Motegi: Championship leader Jorge Lorenzo, on course to win his first title, signed a fresh two-year deal to stay with Yamaha, the team said Saturday.
The 23-year-old Spaniard, now at Motegi Twin Ring circuit for the Japanese Grand Prix on Sunday, will continue with the Japanese manufacturer in 2011 and 2012, after joining it in 2008.
“My first choice was always to stay here with Yamaha and I am very glad that this will happen,” Lorenzo said.
“Now we are focused on winning the championship but I am already excited about next season,” he said.
Lorenzo leads the field with five races of the 2010 season remaining, including Motegi.
He can secure the season victory with strong performances in Japan and in Malaysia next weekend, and if second-ranked Dani Pedrosa, who broke a collarbone Friday and pulled out of the Motegi race also misses Malaysia.
Lorenzo will join American rider Ben Spies, who has agreed to move to the Yamaha factory team to replace reigning champion Valentino Rossi, who will ride a Ducati the next season.
“I know that Ben and I can do a great job for Yamaha and I want to thank them for their belief in me,” Lorenzo said.
Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis expressed his delight at renewing Lorenzo’s deal.
“I am particularly pleased to finally get the agreement in place here in Japan because it will now enable Jorge to focus all of his efforts and concentration in the coming weeks to try to secure his first MotoGP class rider’s title,” he said in a statement.