2016 Jorge Lorenzo Movistar Yamaha MotoGP - 6

In what isn’t quite a surprise, Ducati Corse has announced that three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo will be joining its MotoGP team for the 2017/18 season. Rumours had long since been circulating in the paddock that Lorenzo was contemplating a move to the Borno Panigale-based racing team.

Details are somewhat sketchy at the moment, seeing that Lorenzo is still riding with the Movistar Yamaha racing team for 2016, where he is partnered with nine-time world champion Valentino “The Doctor” Rossi. Lorenzo was out-spoken in his criticism of Rossi in last year’s MotoGP race in Sepang, where Rossi and Marc Marquez of Repsol Honda came together in an incident that saw Marquez coming off.

With Lorenzo joining Ducati Corse, the question now arises who will make way for his entry. Currently, Ducati has Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone riding in the team. With Lorenzo needing a development rider for 2017, it appears as if Iannone might make the move next season.

While the game of MotoGP musical chairs is going on, fans are wondering who Yamaha might sign-on to partner Rossi in 2017. Given that Yamaha has traditionally upgraded riders from the 250 cc class, eyes are looking at the Monster Tech 3 satellite team.

Lorenzo, born in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, on May 4, 1987, has won five world championship titles throughout his racing career – 250 cc in 2006 and 2007 and MotoGP in 2010, 2012 and 2015. His record at Yamaha contesting the MotoGP class stands at three world championships, 41 race wins and 99 podium places.