Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo has showed signs of a return to form as he went fastest in practice for the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez.
The Spaniard admitted he had been disappointed by his start to the season as he trails teammate Valentino Rossi by 29 points after the first three races of the campaign, but his performance in both sessions on Friday showed he is on the improve.
However, on the day Yamaha Factory Racing managing director Lin Jarvis confirmed that Lorenzo would see out his contract until the end of the 2016 season, the two-time world champion showed he could yet challenge for the title as he outperformed Rossi and reigning world champion Marc Marquez with a best lap time of 1min 39.174sec.
“I can assure you and I can assure the MotoGP paddock that Jorge will be with Yamaha for 2016,” said Jarvis.
“We have spoken together already and its already clear, he wants to stay with us, we want to stay with him, it’s done, so Jorge will be with us this year and next. It’s a fact.”
Marquez showed little ill-effects from suffering a broken finger in training last week as he improved from eighth-fastest to second in the afternoon practice session.
Rossi, who has won two of the three races so far this season, slipped down from sixth-fastest to 13th in the second practice session of the day.
Italian Andrea Dovizioso, who is six points behind Rossi in the world championship standings, was fourth in both sessions.
Meanwhile, Dovizioso’s Ducati teammate Andrea Iannone, currently third in the championship standings, climbed from 12th-fastest to third in the second session.