When Jorge Lorenzo retired amidst much navel-gazing last fall, it sounded like he had plans to ride off into the sunset, like a hero in an old western. Turns out that isn’t the case—he’ll be back racing this season.
Lorenzo’s return is the natural progression of his off-season moves. First, he announced a return to the Yamaha factory team, as a test rider. A sensible move, allowing him to do what he’s good at (laying out laps like a metronome) without assuming toooooo much risk. Honda might not have been happy about it, as he left his contract with a season remaining on it, but what were they going to do about it?
Well if Honda was unhappy about Lorenzo quitting, they’re no doubt even more sour about his announcement today, that he’s going to race as a wildcard at Catalunya, on the weekend of June 5-7. “After some weeks thinking about it, yesterday I decided I will compete at the Catalan GP. I’m really looking forward to it and I’ll see you all there,” Lorenzo said today. Well it’ll be interesting, because if Lorenzo does well, not only could it take points away from the team he was signed to ride for this year (Honda), it could also put a hole in Yamaha’s hopes to take the MotoGP title back this year.