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MotoGP 2020: Rossi and Quartararo question Yamaha over underused Lorenzo

Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo has not ridden the YZR-M1 since February
Omnisport
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Modified 11 Sep 2020, 01:02 IST
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Valentino Rossi and championship leader Fabio Quartararo admitted they are unsure why Monster Energy Yamaha are not utilising test rider Jorge Lorenzo more regularly.

Lorenzo retired last year after winning three MotoGP championships, the last of which came in 2015, before being signed up by the factory Yamaha team in January as their test rider.

However, while Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, Repsol Honda, Ducati and Aprilia have been carrying out tests in recent months, Lorenzo has not ridden the YZR-M1 since February's Sepang test.

Ahead of this weekend's San Marino Grand Prix on the new track surface at Misano, Rossi questioned why the experienced rider has not been called upon.

"I have the same question as you," he said at a news conference on Thursday when asked why Lorenzo is not present. "Honestly, I don't know.

"It is true we don't understand because in the past we know the capacity of Jorge on the Yamaha, so I don't know why he is not riding. He did 20 laps in Sepang and that is it.

"When we see all the riders in June and we don't see the Yamaha here, I won't say it is a disadvantage, but it is good to have some comments [on] our bike with the new asphalt."

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Quartararo, who holds a three-point lead on closest challenger Andrea Dovizioso at the top of the drivers' standings, echoed the views of Rossi and aimed criticism at the team.

"I have exactly the same question for Yamaha. I was very happy when I understand Jorge is our test rider because he is one of the best riders in the history of the M1," he said.

"I think he can help us a lot – we see what [Dani] Pedrosa did with KTM in one year, I think he gives them a lot of good advice.

"Yamaha has to trust in the programme and sincerely I don't know. Sometimes things happen at Yamaha that is difficult to explain, so you have to speak with them.

"From tomorrow we will have to start from zero with the new asphalt and understand a lot of teams like KTM and Ducati already did in the last test. It will be harder I think."

Quartararo has stumbled through the past three races, accumulating just 20 points in the process, but still leads the way at the summit.

However, the 21-year-old acknowledged that a vast improvement is needed if he is to hold off the likes of Dovizioso and Jack Miller in second and third respectively.

"Honestly, it's still difficult to believe that after three bad races we're still leading the championship," he said.

"It's crazy. But I'm really happy to be here in Misano. Last year everything was really good, pace was good, and we were fighting for the win until the last lap. Let's see this year.

"I'm confident because it's a track that I like, and I feel comfortable. For sure I will give my maximum to fight for victory and the podium."

Dovizioso is now hot on Quartararo's heels but will leave Ducati at the end of the season after failing to come to an agreement over a new contract.

Ahead of his home Grand Prix this weekend, the three-time runner-up confirmed he has still yet to make a decision over his future.

"In this moment, I still don't have anything on the table," he said. "There isn't any news. I have to wait.

"I don't need to make a decision now – it doesn't change this season now. I want to be focused on this season.

"About next year, we will see. I took a decision for clear reasons and I know very well what I need to be competitive in this difficult class.

"We will see when I have something on the table because I don't want to race just to race.

"I am really open in this moment and I don't have anything clear in this moment. I think in the next month something will come out, but we will see."

Published 11 Sep 2020, 01:02 IST
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