Jorge Lorenzo will not compete with Yamaha in 2020 due to newly-announced changes to wildcard entries – as well as concessions – by the Grand Prix Commission.
The raft of changes were announced as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the need to limit the number of employees at each event to an absolute minimum, forcing any scheduled wildcard entries – across all classes – in this year’s championship to be scrapped.
Lorenzo – who retired from full-time MotoGP competition following a horror year with Honda last season – signed up as Yamaha’s test rider earlier this year, and was due to make his first race start with the marque since the end of ’16 at the Catalan GP.
The contest was postponed following lockdown restrictions in Spain as a result of Covid-19 though, and the new restrictions introduced by the GPC have now scuppered any further plans for ’20 at least.
Also missing out will be Ducati tester Michele Pirro – who traditionally competes in three or four races a year – as well as KTM’s Mika Kallio, Suzuki’s Sylvain Guintoli and Katsuyki Nakasuga, who competes in his home Japanese GP with Yamaha every year.
The GPC confirmed that is has “every intention” to reintroduce wildcard entries for ’21, but that this will be reviewed prior to the season start.
Manufacturer concessions also face the pinch
Also confirmed to change were the frequency of concessions points available for eligible manufacturers KTM and Aprilia due to the reduced number of events due to take place in ’20.
The two marque’s can now only lose concessions and not gain them for ’21, making things potentially very tough should either struggle with their respective packages.
As a result of the ’20 machines being mandated for next year as well as this, both Aprilia and KTM have been granted an extended homologation window for their ’20 engines to the 29th of June, allowing them to make further upgrades while every other manufacturer will have to continue to campaign the units they homologated ahead of the planned season start.