Yamaha Racing chief Lin Jarvis called a special press conference to put a lid on rumours of an in-team squabble with the departing Jorge Lorenzo, after the factory had refused him permission to join private Ducati tests at Jerez after the end of the season.
Lorenzo had done little at the pre-race conference to dispel the rumours, saying when questioned: “I think for the years we have spent together and for the things we have won together, I deserve it. But I will respect any decision Yamaha makes, because I am a Yamaha rider.”
There was no malice, and no ill intent, said Jarvis, and no bad atmosphere in the pit. It was just normal business practice, whereby both parties to a contract abide by its terms.
Confusion may have arisen, he allowed, because they were letting their triple-champion test the Ducati at the two-day official IRTA test after the Valencia GP, but this too was in line with normal practice – a sort of tit-for-tat informal inter-factory agreement under which Suzuki would also allow Viñales to test the Yamaha he will ride next year, and Ducati allow Iannone to test next-year’s Suzuki.
“For us, that’s reasonable, and it is enough. We are willing to play the game,” said Jarvis. But normal rider contracts run through the calendar year rather than the season, giving Yamaha the right to exploit Lorenzo’s image until the end of December.
Further, “Ducati is a major competitor”, he said; and there was no sensible reason why Yamaha would give them any extra help in next year’s forthcoming battle.
Ducati had wanted Lorenzo to join the private tests, but that, said Jarvis, “would be like giving a hand and someone takes your whole arm”.