Three-time MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo is anticipating a more open fight for next year’s title due to the technical changes that he believes will close up the field.
Lorenzo won one of the most controversial and turbulent championships in MotoGP’s history in 2015, edging Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi by just five points in the final standings.
For 2016, Michelin takes over as MotoGP’s sole tire supplier following the withdrawal of Bridgestone at the end of the season, while all bikes will now use the same electronic package previously split into ‘factory’ and ‘open’ specifications.
Lorenzo believes that these changes will bunch the field up more, resulting in a more open fight for the championship.
“In the upcoming season many things change,” Lorenzo told motogp.com. “The new electronics are less sophisticated than last year. You still have to know and be able to adjust them, that will be critical. The tire will be a very different look to this year and will influence the performance of the riders.
“In the end, I think the fastest with the most talent and experience will remain towards the top in 2016. It may be that more riders get into the fight, Suzuki came strong at the end and could be closer.”
Tensions between Lorenzo and Rossi flared up towards the end of the year following the latter’s penalty in Malaysia after he was adjudged to have deliberately made contact with Marc Marquez to cause the Spaniard to fall.
Rossi was forced to start the final race of the year from the back of the grid after having a stay of execution rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. With the championship decided in Valencia, he ultimately opted to withdraw his appeal against the penalty.
Lorenzo dodged questions about Rossi’s decision, but said that he is open to holding talks with his teammate in the near future.
“Sorry, I will not continue to feed the controversy on the season,” Lorenzo said.
“I’m just looking forward and happy to talk about 2016. I have not had time to talk to him, I imagine in the future we will have time and opportunities to do so.”