Jorge Lorenzo says it's "not true" that he is in talks about a MotoGP return with Ducati, but adds it's the only remaining team that has the "right tools" to tempt him out of retirement in 2021 and if the call is made "I will listen."

Lorenzo is being increasingly linked with the factory he rode for in 2017-2018 due to the ongoing delay in reaching a contract extension with reigning triple title runner-up Andrea Dovizioso.

Asked about the Ducati rumours during a live chat alongside former rival Dani Pedrosa on the official MotoGP website, Lorenzo replied:

"It's not true. It's true that, for example, I have a very good relationship with Gigi [Dall’Igna] from when we worked together in 125. We believe in each other a lot, as a rider and a technician, and we have a human relationship.

"So he called me on my birthday and we spoke about our lives and families, but nothing professional.

"For the moment I'm very happy, enjoying a lot things I couldn't do when I was a professional racer. But I cannot tell you I don't miss the winning feeling and celebrations with the team.

"That's why if the opportunity or the call to [try and ] win the championship came, I would listen and study it. Because for me, the thing that wakes me up and makes me be motivated is winning.

"If I have this chance, this opportunity, I will study it. Because I still believe at 33-years-old I am capable, with the right tools, to win the championship. For the moment this call didn’t arrive so I cannot study this situation, but if it happens I will listen."

'Yamaha or Ducati only possibilities for me'

Lorenzo added that only Yamaha, where he is presently a test rider, and Ducati the only factories that could offer him the 'right tools' to win. But Yamaha's 2021 seats already look to be taken.

"For the moment there's only two possibilities for me to have the right tools to win. Yamaha, who have already more-or-less signed their four riders, and Ducati," he said.

"But if it [a return to MotoGP] doesn't happen, I will be very happy with my life. I will have another kind of life. I would like also to keep working with Yamaha, because I think we could make good work. Now with the Covid, I could only do two days [at Sepang] and it was not enough for me to help the team to improve the bike."

'This winning thing will always be there'

If those words from Lorenzo sounded hopeful in terms of a return, he also gave a lengthy list of reasons why he is enjoying life far more now than when he was racing.

"You have to take into consideration that I have been riding bikes since I was three. I had a father who was very strict and from a kid he gave me this mentality of discipline and always work, work, work. Until the age of 32 I've been always working, hours and hours. Always with the stopwatch, always trying to improve myself.

"This is hard. It's not an easy life. As Dani said, we suffer so many injuries and you are playing with your life in this sport. It's dangerous. All the tension and pressure, we can handle because we are winners, no? I think Dani and myself, Valentino and Marc, we are winners and we like to win, to compete and prove to ourselves that we are the best.

"But when you are sacrificing every day, getting injured, and you are fighting for fifth, tenth or even 15th position it's not worth it.

"If you are still competitive enough, feel good with the bike, are winning races and fighting for the championship, the effort is worth it. If not, in our case, I don't think it's worth it and I think Dani and myself took this decision to start enjoying life, throwing away this risk you always take in racing.

"But it doesn't mean we don’t miss a little bit the feeing of trying to win and the feeling that when you win a race and celebrate with your team. These magic moments for sure we are going to miss a lot and it's very difficult to find in other places in life. But you can't have everything in life at the same time. It’s impossible.

"We have the opportunity to do whatever we want and this is not the case for everyone. Normally people stop work at 63-65, not 30-33. It's a very lucky situation that we have to be grateful for. But this winning thing will always be there…

"At Ducati we made crazy parties after we won. And when the parties finished in the box, we continued in the motorhome. I miss that a lot."

Lorenzo on Petrucci, Oliveira, Binder, Espargaro

Lorenzo was also asked about the news that his Ducati successor Danilo Petrucci will be joining a revised KTM line-up next season, with Pol Espargaro set to take over Lorenzo's former place alongside world champion Marc Marquez at Repsol Honda in 2021.

"I'm happy for Danilo that he found a seat for next season. I think he has a completely different style, maybe the opposite, to me. But there is no doubt that he has some speed, he is very aggressive and is a very hard braker. So he deserves a seat in MotoGP.

"Miguel [Oliveira] has been one of the young talents for a lot of years and is a hard worker so he deserves also the opportunity. I like Brad Binder's style a lot, even if it's not as smooth as I am. I love the way he enters the corners, sliding around under braking.

"Let's see what happens with Pol Espargaro and Honda that the media speak about. Maybe it can be true and it would be a good opportunity for Pol to show finally with a competitive official bike, because KTM is improving but still not in my opinion a championship winning bike.

"But for sure the Honda bike is not simple. It's a bike that you like or don’t, completely. Obviously Pol is very aggressive, but to be at the same level as Marc with his bike is complicated.

"But if he takes this opportunity he shows his bravery and let's see his results."

Advice for Pol?

"I don’t like to give advice to another MotoGP rider because they are the best of the best, each has their own style and you can be competitive with many styles. Also, I can't give much advice on riding the Honda because my season was a disaster!

"Firstly, because the Honda for me was a little bit too short a bike and then I think the 2019 bike was complicated. And then I was injured. For these reasons everything was a mess.

"I think for sure Pol will do a better season than I did. Being at the same level as Marquez is not impossible but close to. But Pol is talented, aggressive, brave so he can do well with the Honda."

 

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