The cards have been dealt in his hand, now it’s up to him to decide whether to play them or get up from the table. The stakes lying in front of Jorge Lorenzo go by the name of Aprilia. The fact that he had already been offered a position as a test rider is well-known, but now it could turn into that of a rider. “In Noale I would close a circle” commented the Majorcan a few days ago, recalling the World Championship in 250cc. However, the stakes have risen since then...
Massimo Rivola is hard at work, it’s a great opportunity and not trying to get Jorge would be a mortal sin.
Aprilia, from the very beginning of the doping affair that involved Iannone, had always said they wanted to be alongside their rider and it kept its word. Even more so now the second RS-GP is free, pending the ruling of the CAS which, if the promise is kept, will come within a week, maybe even less.
This does not mean that they have not been looking around in Noale. There have been negotiations with Dovizioso, the same with Crutchlow, but now these two doors have closed. Barring an almost impossible rethink by Andrea (Dovizioso), Aprilia can only hope now that the CAS will cancel the disqualification of Andrea (Iannone). Which is possible, but far from certain.
If not, who would there be to put on that bike? All the MotoGP riders, like the most promising ones in Moto2, have already been snapped up and there are no alternatives. From here we arrive at Lorenzo…
In recent weeks he had been approached for the role of test rider, after relations with Yamaha had soured following the Portimao tests. The Spaniard was not displeased with the idea and had also thought about joining Iannone as a coach. The two both live in Lugano and sometimes train together on bicycles, as confirmed by their social media profiles.
As always, Lorenzo is reported to have kept a door open to race, wanting the possibility of some wild card to be put down in black and white. He had also done the same with Yamaha and his return to racing had also been fixed for Barcelona, before Covid put paid to these plans.
It would be like this with Aprilia as well, but the possibility of going from test rider to rider is real. At this moment there is nothing written, but contacts are continuous and the offer has been put on the table. For Noale it would be a sensational coup. Having Jorge, a multiple champion with undoubted experience and sensitivity, in the team would be an inestimable value for a promising project that is struggling to get off the ground.
At this point, it’s up to Lorenzo to decide. If he wants to return to the MotoGP paddock on a permanent basis, the bike is there for him and the agreement can go through. All that remains is to say how much desire he really has and the decision of the CAS on Iannone. Aprilia is one step away from a market coup that no one could ever have imagined.