Jorge Lorenzo insists that he wants to become a Ducati legend and finish his MotoGP career with the Italian team. After nine years with Yamaha, Lorenzo chose Ducati for 2017 to find some new challenges.
The Spaniard had his first taste of the Ducati machinery at the post-race test at Valencia. Lorenzo was third and eighth fastest respectively on the two days. The official pre-season test for 2017 MotoGP season will commence on January 30 at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia.
After the Sepang test, the team will fly to Phillip Island in two weeks time. Lorenzo along with his team-mate Andrea Dovizioso will wrap up the winter test in Qatar a few days before the season opener at the same venue on March 26.
In an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport, Lorenzo said, "I signed with Ducati to finish my career here, although you never know what's going to happen in life, let alone in racing. But my intention is to retire as a Ducatista and, if possible, as a legend."
"Staying at Yamaha was a very good option, both from a financial point of view as well as the package the team and the bike form. But I chose Ducati.
"I understand the importance Rossi has for Yamaha, for everything he has given to them, for his victories, his titles, and the relevance a character like him has on marketing. It's normal for a manufacturer like Yamaha to focus on him.
"But they always gave me the same technical level. Every time we re-signed, Yamaha and especially Lin Jarvis (Yamaha team boss) acknowledged my value."
After winning the last race at Valencia in 2016 and wrapping up the nine-year partnership with Yamaha, Lorenzo gave a handshake to Rossi.
He also said about the dramatic handshake with Rossi, "Someone suggested it, but it was a good idea. It's very difficult to have a good relationship with your teammate because he's your main rival.
"If he beats you, there are no excuses. But in the end, it's good because it helps you understand that he is someone like you, who has feelings like you."