FIRST BLOOD TO LORENZO

CHAMP AT­TACKS | |

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Sport - / IN QATAR MO­TOGP REPORTER si­mon.patterson@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

The Mo­togp cham­pi­onship has un­der­gone ma­jor tech­ni­cal changes for 2016 with all new elec­tron­ics and tyres, but the re­sults, ri­val­ries and hos­til­i­ties on track ap­pear to have been un­changed.

World cham­pion Jorge Lorenzo picked up where he left off by win­ning the open­ing round of the cham­pi­onship in Qatar, while Rossi rekin­dled his fiery re­la­tion­ship with the Spa­niard, with the two men trad­ing barbed insults through­out the week­end.

With Rossi fin­ish­ing in fourth place, 2.387s be­hind Lorenzo and just 0.1s off an­other bit­ter ri­val, Marc Mar­quez in third, it was a solid, if not spec­tac­u­lar, start for the Ital­ian.

But while Rossi was un­able to beat Lorenzo on track, he did beat him in the con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tion bat­tle, re-sign­ing for Yamaha to stay in the fac­tory team un­til the end of the 2018 sea­son (see op­po­site page).

Lorenzo has made no se­cret of his wish to get his con­tract with Yamaha con­firmed and is un­der­stood to have heaped pres­sure on Yamaha man­age­ment to get the deal done be­fore the 2016 sea­son had even be­gun.

But while Lorenzo still has­nõt signed on the line, there was no hold­ing back Rossi, who got the deal done and an­nounced on Satur­day, steal­ing Loren­zoõs thun­der, which ap­peared to be the cat­a­lyst for hos­til­i­ties be­tween the two Yamaha team-mates.

The two men clashed on track dur­ing FP4, with Rossi ex­plain­ing: Òjorge ex­ited from the pit and when he got to

‘Some­times one im­age is bet­ter than a thou­sand

words’

Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis is wait­ing for Lorenzo to sign a new deal All Rossi could do was watch Lorenzo soar away to claim the first win of the sea­son

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