Ducati’s departing MotoGP star Jorge Lorenzo will be free to test with Honda at Valencia and Jerez, sporting director Paolo Ciabatti has confirmed.
When the Spaniard joined Ducati from Yamaha, the somewhat disingenious Iwata factory banned him from testing until 2017 aside from the post-race Valencia exercise but Ducati will not be doing the same.
“Concerning Jorge, we will obviously let him test with Honda, his new team. This is quite normal and in the end he will be a Ducati rider until the last race in Valencia, but then there’s no reason not to let him test with the new team,” said Ciabatti.
“Obviously, there will be restrictions on branding to respect our sponsors, but he will be free to do the two tests in Valencia and Jerez with his new team.”
Lorenzo’s contract will run out on December 31 which makes potentially riding for another manufacturer difficult in November. However, there is a gentleman’s agreement for the Valencia test where all those who are switching are allowed to ride. Some are allowed to carry this on, some not.
When Casey Stoner moved to Honda in 2011, he tested only at Valencia, as did Valentino Rossi the same year he went to Ducati. Similarly, when Rossi returned to Yamaha at the end of 2012, the Italian only tested at Valencia. When he left Honda for Yamaha in 2003, HRC spat the dummy right out, and he was held to his contract and not allowed to test until January 1, 2004.