Of course, when there’s 1 case that epitomises the faulty logic behind the now-traditional biennial pun for signatures, it’s Ducati’s choice to axe Lorenzo.

Cast your mind back to May’s lemans around, if you’ll. Ducati representative at the riders’ standings after that race wasn’t Lorenzo, nor mill team mate Andrea Dovizioso. This had been Pramac riders Danilo Petrucci, on 54 points – versus 46 for Dovizioso (who crashed from the lead in France) and a mere 16 for Lorenzo (who finished first ).

Petrucci made it evident at the beginning of year that 2018 are his final summer at Pramac. He even needed a roles Aprilia contract waiting to be signed up if the Bologna marque didn’t take up the choice it stored on his own services.

Back in 2016, Ducati had lured Lorenzo from Yamaha at great expense. Clearly, Ducati expected more from its euro;12m-a-year investment.

Lorenzo knew this, declaring through the Ducati preseason launch that his market value had dipped considerably in the preceding 18 weeks . And matters were more complicated by Ducati needing to reward Dovizioso, whose 2017/18 salary didn’t reflect his abrupt surge in shape (and subsequent interest from rival marques).

It’s against this background that Lorenzo 2018 struggles have to be looked at. Of the first five races, Jerez was the only person at which the three-time champion, buoyed somewhat by way of a modified chair that was competitive, but the chance of a podium finish vanished in a three dimensional melee with Dovizioso along with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa.

Despite the fantasies of several senior team members to devote Lorenzo additional hours and energy to establish he deserved to stay, Domenicali wanted Lorenzo out, and also the considerably more economical Petrucci in.

Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team

Jorge Lorenzo

Photo by: Goose and Gold / LAT Pictures

The very next race in Mugello, of course, was at which Lorenzo finally broke his losing streakalong with a brand new gas tank allowing him to keep up his energy and his pace over a race distance. However, it had been too late.

“My narrative using Ducati is over, it’s a matter of self-esteem,” said the Spaniard after victory. “part of me is sad because I know that using this particular bike I might have fought for some sort of champion, that is why I came here. Now it’s too late. There’s nothing.

“I kept telling people inside the team to trust in me, to give me everything I asked for. They have done it, but too late”

Right after the Mugello race, Motorsport.com broke the news that Honda had decided to ditch its long time servant Pedrosa, also down the road exactly the same day which it had arranged Lorenzo being a replacement to partner Marc Marquez.

Read more on Lorenzo:

In Barcelona, Lorenzo disclosed it had been he who had made the first move using his new company . He could see that the writing was to the walls after lemans, directing him to reach out to Honda boss Alberto Puig, who had been rejected by both Dovizioso and KTM-bound Johann Zarco in his quest to replace Pedrosa.

This weekend, Lorenzo rubbed yet more salt in Ducati’s wounds by claiming back wins, and might go onto bag a second victory in Austria before his season was cut off short by accident.

The way he suits up against Marquez promises to be the narrative for MotoGP fans to accompany in 2019.

Go here to see the Top 20 Stories count-down thus far.

Jorge Lorenzo, Repsol Honda Team

Repsol Honda Team, jorge Lorenzo

Photo by: Goose and Gold / LAT Pictures


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