Albert Valera was a guest of Zam in his column “Quella volta che” and retraced the negotiations that brought the Majorcan first to Ducati and then one step away from Yamaha-Petronas: then Jorge spoke to Puig…
9 maggio 2023
In a live broadcast a few days ago Zam, inside his address book that time when…, met Albert Valera, manager of Jorge Lorenzo.
Valera first reconstructed Lorenzo’s passage to Ducati, clarifying the reasons which led Jorge to switch from Yamaha to Ducati: “He could have stayed in Yamaha and won another title, but he wanted a new challenge”.
Among the reasonswin with a new bike” but also the fact that he had a good relationship with “Gigi Dall’Igna”.
“I think the world championship he won in 2015, his third, made him understand that he was a champion and wanted a new project – added the manager – among the pros of this choice Ducati was that this challenge wasn’t so much a risk but an opportunity to make history”.
Also to succeed where Valentino Rossi had failed was it a motivation? “No, he knew that the Ducati that Valentino was riding was inferior” Valera sincerely admitted.
Valera remembered how tank modification, expressly requested by Jorge, was one of the keys to unlocking the Majorcan’s potential on the Ducati: “Jorge is black or white… you know, when he got on well, he went from black to white!”.
“We were ready to continue with Ducati, but there were many doubts from Ducati, but we can understand that, it was the second season, the fourth race and we had heard their doubts and we had to find other solutions”.
“When everything was already done, the victory at Mugello arrived, if it had arrived earlier we would have continued with Ducati”.
At this point Zam asked Valera to tell how he was born the agreement with Honda and here emerged the Yamaha background: “Our idea was go back to Yamaha and we wanted to go to Petronas which was a project in the beginning. But he felt like make another challenge…”.
“’I’ve already won with the Yamaha and so I want to try with the Honda’ Jorge told me. I – explained Valera – wanted bring it back to Yamaha but he spoke to Alberto (Puig, ed) who told him there was a possibility”. And so that move to Honda in 2019 was born, a super negative year for Lorenzo, with his retirement at the end of the year.
Albert still follow Lorenzo as manager? “No, now a friend of mine is following him, but we are very good friends. Time to Pedro Acosta, Jorge Martin, Aleix Espargaro and Jorge Navarro in Supersport” concluded Valera.