by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 60
>>Moto GPnews Lorenzo mulls over Marlboro’s millions Answer by next weekend, says Manager VALENTINO Rossi’s star-turn team-mate Jorge Lorenzo’s future is in the balance, as the rider contemplates an offer rumoured to top £13 million (US$21.5m) for two years to switch his allegiance from Yamaha to Ducati. The offer, which would draw his levels of pay closer to those of Rossi, was put on the table by a concerned Marlboro Ducati team in the days after the Czech Republic GP, where Lorenzo had officially ceded the title to Rossi after a second race crash in succession. Yamaha had offered less than half of that to keep him, and the company is considered unlikely to engage in a bidding war, considering it more important at this stage to keep established team superstar Rossi happy. With the door to Honda formally closed at Brno (as it had been informally for some time), it seemed that Lorenzo had little option but to stay put at whatever Yamaha was prepared to pay. Stoner’s surprise withdrawal was the trigger for serious concerns at Ducati and sponsor Marlboro. Stoner is the only man guaranteed to succeed on the quirky Desmosedici, and his strength when he does return will be open to question until the Australian can prove otherwise. After dominating the postBrno test session, Lorenzo took advantage of the free weekend for a trip to the calm and quiet of his native Mallorca, to consider the full implications of the decision. In between, his management had a high-powered meeting with Marlboro brand owners Phillip Morris and Ducati in Barcelona. His manager, Brazilian Marcos Hirsch, spoke to the official MotoGP website on Friday, promising the decision would not be delayed beyond next week. “Until the middle of this week we were still ticking off the boxes and finalising the offers,” said Hirsch; adding: “We acknowledge that now is the right moment to make a decision.” Switching to Ducati would be lucrative but risky, but some commentators see that Ducati have a trump card in being able to offer Lorenzo the role of number one rider, while Yamaha has not gone out of its way to make Lorenzo feel welcome. This view was boosted by another of Hirsch’s comments: that “sporting factors would be the key to the decision”. Money was important, he said, but “at the bottom of our list of priorities. Stoner’s view on Ducati offering the top slot to the newcomer remains to be seen. He is still in retreat on his hardto-reach farm. 13