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“For me, it was a per­fect end to a very suc­cess­ful multi-year pro­gramme to­gether, and we couldn’t have ended it in a bet­ter way.

“Lorenzo is ex­cep­tion­ally skilled and de­ter­mined and com­mit­ted, and when he is able to align all of his stars he’s un­beat­able – which is what we saw this week­end. From Fri­day morn­ing to qual­i­fy­ing to the race, there was no doubt in his mind who was go­ing to win. ‘Right, I’m go­ing to get the holeshot and I’m go­ing to win.’ That’s ex­actly what he did, and ev­ery other rider will tell you that when he’s in that mood, he’s un­touch­able.

“We’re here to per­form, to win, and to be ul­ti­mately suc- cess­ful, and so is he. We’ve had our ups and downs through the years, for dif­fer­ent rea­sons – fric­tion be­tween him and his team­mate, be­tween him and the team; but also beau­ti­ful mo­ments too, when ev­ery­thing is har­monised. I think he would ad­mit that it’s been a fan­tas­tic ride, and he feels now that it’s time for a change.

“It’s not al­ways been easy over the years to main­tain the part­ner­ship, be­cause other peo­ple have made very strong of­fers to him. Du­cati made an of­fer, even though they al­ways de­nied it, and I know for a fact Honda put a very strong pack­age to­gether four years ago, when Casey left. He’s had tempt­ing of­fers, but we’ve al­ways re­sponded and been fair.

“The door re­mains open, be­cause life is fickle and you never know what is around the cor­ner. When you break a re­la­tion­ship, es­pe­cially a suc­cess­ful one, it’s im­por­tant to fin­ish in a good way. We will ab­so­lutely be com­peti­tors on the track, but there is no rea­son we should be ene­mies off it. We’ve had a good time to­gether, and if fate brings it around that he wants to come back to Yamaha, we’d be ready to lis­ten.”

‘If he wants to come back to Yamaha, we’d be ready to lis­ten’ LIN JARVIS

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