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Lorenzo's future: "I'm not retiring"

Ahead of the Italian GP, the Spaniard confirms he'll race in MotoGP™ for at least the next two seasons

Jorge Lorenzo’s (Ducati Team) future has been subject to plenty of speculation in the opening five rounds of the 2018 season, however ahead of the Gran Premio d’Italia Oakley, the five-time World Champion revealed he will be racing in the premier class for at least the next two years.

What are Lorenzo's plans for 2019?

Speaking on Thursday, Lorenzo was inevitably asked about an update and with Mugello being Ducati’s home round, was this a pivotal weekend for his future? No, according to the number 99. “No, it doesn’t have to be like that, my value is always high because of what I did in the past.”

A fair assessment for a man in plenty of record books, but with talk of him leaving the paddock altogether gathering pace ahead of the Italian GP, Lorenzo put to bed those particular rumours: “What I must say is that I will be competing in MotoGP™ in the next two years, I will not retire and it will be with a good bike, that is all I can say about my future.”

A surprise return to Yamaha is now being talked about within the paddock and in the pre-event Press Conference, Valentino Rossi (Movistar Yamaha MotoGP) was asked whether a potential return to Yamaha would be a problem. “After I tried to stop Zarco I will try to stop Lorenzo,” joked the ‘Doctor’. “He’s a great rider. He can ride a Yamaha very fast, but the situation will be similar to this year because we have Zarco who is very strong. At Yamaha, you always have a good teammate!”

Viñales also spoke about Lorenzo’s potential return, suggesting three fast factory riders would help improve the bike to a higher level. “I think it’s always important to have good riders in any factory because it helps you to get better, they help above all to improve the bike to a higher level and, in the end, it’s always interesting – why not have 3 fast riders?” He continued, “I think it’s very interesting and if the opportunity should present itself, for us, it could also be a great help because Jorge races in a very different way to how I do and to see if the bike works well with two very different riders it’s interesting.”

The former Moto3™ World Champion concluded, “having two great riders like Jorge and Valentino side by side would help to motivate you and improve every day.”

There maybe more news at Montmelo and the Catalan GP is what Lorenzo says – so it looks like we’ll have to wait another couple of weeks to find out for sure…