"Yamaha CEO" Lorenzo on Spies leaving and Rossi as a teammate

Lorenzo interview USA pre-event
Wednesday, 25 July 2012

In an interview at Yamaha USA headquarters in LA on Tuesday, championship leader Jorge Lorenzo talked about the upcoming Laguna Seca race, teammate Ben Spies’ decision to leave Yamaha, and the rumours announcing Valentino Rossi as a possible teammate.

Following the recent news that teammate Ben Spies is set to leave the Yamaha Factory Racing team at the end of the season, Lorenzo said: "It’s sad news to hear that Ben is not continuing. For Yamaha it’s really sad, because he has been a Yamaha rider for a long time. I think he has great potential, and I wish him good luck in the future. Now we have to see what is going to happen with the second rider in Yamaha."

This announcement has naturally sent the rumour mill into overdrive with regards to who his teammate will be next year, to which the Spaniard said: "I hear some rumours. And some rumours say that Valentino is going to come back. It could be a good thing for Yamaha. We have been a good couple in the past years, but it hasn’t been decided yet. My preference is to have a competitive rival in the team."

He is however full focussed on the job ahead and commented that the Laguna Seca track is one he particularly enjoys, as it is so different from anything else the MotoGP grid races at. Lorenzo goes into the race with a 19-point cushion at the top of the championship and has stated that he, the team and bike are in good shape and hope to continue as they are.

As part of the usual USA antics, during which all Yamaha riders film a promotional video for the brand, Lorenzo was this time given the job as Honorary Yamaha CEO – a job he enjoys, as he said he can "do anything." Two years ago he was given the job as janitor, which has this year been passed to Yamaha new-boy Andrea Dovizioso.

Stay tuned for the Yamaha promotional video this Friday.

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