Jorge Lorenzo began his return to the Yamaha MotoGP team by posting a short recap of his first outing on the YZR-M1 since 2016 at the Sepang International Circuit.
Completing only the final day of the three-day shakedown test at the Malaysian track in his new role as Yamaha test rider, Lorenzo will join the full MotoGP field for its full three-day test commencing on Friday.
Tuesday’s outing marks Lorenzo’s first time on a MotoGP bike since announcing his retirement at the end of 2019 – half way through a two-year deal with Repsol Honda – and the three-time World Champion admitted that he went into the day apprehensive about his physical condition.
Those doubts will have been put to rest after setting a fastest time of 2m00.506s – a second off Pol Espargaro’s fastest lap of the day and only 0.028s slower than his qualifying time at the 2019 Malaysian Grand Prix.
“We’ve just finished the first day with the Yamaha after nearly three and a half years, and it was a very emotional day,” Lorenzo said after completing 46 laps at Sepang.
“I was a little bit worried about some things, like if the characteristics of the bike had changed or if I still had some pain from my old injuries – but my back wasn’t painful at all and the bike is very similar to the one that I left in 2016.
“It’s very friendly to the rider, the engine is still very smooth and I felt at home from the opening laps, even if I still need some time to adapt and to get the maximum from the bike.
“I need to change my riding style a little to suit the bike and I need to find where the limit is with it, but it was a very positive first day.”
Lorenzo’s Red Bull deal also seems to have ended with his Honda contract, with the former Monster-backed rider back in the American energy drink’s colours after a year with their Austrian rivals while a Honda rider.