Published on 21 May 2012 by Toni M.
Casey Stoner’s retirement announcement has thrown contract negotiations into a tizzy, with the teams now having to start negotiations much sooner than they expected and the focal point of the riders market is now Jorge Lorenzo, whose contract is up at the end of the season.
Once Stoner made his decision, Honda’s Livio Suppo went straight to Dani Pedrosa to talk contract extension as did Yamaha’s Lin Yarvis did with Jorge Lorenzo wanting him to sign for another two years. Lorenzo again said that he wants to finish his career with Yamaha, but it was those extra three little words “for the moment” that sent small cold shivers down Yarvis’ spine.
Talking to the Italy’s Gazzetta dello Sport, Javis said, “I’m not going to say anything regarding the ongoing negotiations, but it is clear that it our object is to keep Lorenzo for a long period. He’s 25 and has the possibility to ride five more years at an extremely high level so we want to extend his contract for another two seasons. “
However the Yamaha manager doesn’t seem that afraid that Honda will poach Lorenzo from them offering him a much higher salary - even if the risk is that Lorenzo could play the Japanese manufacturers against each other in a bidding war. “You can think to ask to ask any amount, but if there aren’t any resources, you can’t ask for more. Honda a dangerous competitor? I don’t think Stoner’s salary is very different from Jorge’s. We don’t have a written agreement with the other manufacturers, but the common denominator is to keep costs in an acceptable limit. And money isn’t everything, there’s the technical development and the assurances that we can give. Yamaha has already a five year program for GP racing and the next two have already been completely planned.”
Lorenzo’s signing on the dotted line with Yamaha could be very soon, admitted Jarvis, “At the present nothing has changed in respect from two days ago, even if I can’t exclude that in the next two weeks it could happen.”
Asked about a return of Valentino Rossi to the Yamaha factory team, Yarvis hinted that if Rossi lowers his demands it could be feasible, as he believes that in this moment the Italian needs a competitive bike rather than an important salary, “Since he left us we haven’t had any contact, but his farewell wasn’t traumatic. In this world anything is possible. If we can spend the amount of money to have Rossi ? I know what we offered him to stay in 2011, but I think that at the moment he’s just looking for a bike that will permit him to be competitive and win.