Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis has paid tribute to the departing Jorge Lorenzo, toasting a hugely successful nine years with the Spaniard as he departs to Ducati for the next two seasons - but with a door firmly remaining open for him at the Japanese manufacturer.
“For me, it was a perfect end to a very successful multi-year programme together, and we couldn’t have ended it in a better way.
“He is exceptionally skilled and determined and committed, and when he is able to align all of his stars he’s unbeatable – which is what we saw this weekend. From Friday morning to qualifying to the race, there was no doubt in his mind who was going to win. ‘Right, I’m going to get the holeshot and I’m going to win.’ “That’s exactly what he did, and every other rider will tell you that when he’s in that mood he’s untouchable.
“We’re here to perform, to win, and to be ultimately successful, and so is he. We’ve had our ups and downs through the years, for different reasons – friction between him and his teammate, between him and the team; but also beautiful moments too when everything is harmonised. I think he would admit too that it’s been a fantastic ride, and he feels now that it’s time for a change.
“It’s not always been easy over the years to maintain the partnership, because other people have made very strong offers to him. Ducati made an offer, even though they always denied it, and I know for a fact that Honda put a very strong package together four years ago, when Casey left. He’s had tempting offers, but we’ve always responded and been fair.
“The door remains open, because life is fickle and you never know what is around the corner. When you break a relationship, especially a successful one, it’s important to finish in a good way. We will absolutely be competitors on the track, but there is no reason why we should be enemies off it. We’ve had a good time together, and if fate brings it around that he wants to come back to Yamaha, then we’d definitely be ready to listen.”