MotoGP

No return for Lorenzo in 2020 as wildcards blocked

May 15 2020
By Simon Patterson
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Jorge Lorenzo will not return to the MotoGP grid in 2020 after a decision made by governing body the Grand Prix Commission means wildcard appearances will be banned when the season eventually gets underway.

Lorenzo was originally scheduled to ride for Yamaha at his home race in Barcelona, which is now on hold until next season at least.

The new ruling has been introduced as a way to further limit the number of people in the paddock as MotoGP works to shrink the total needed as much as possible in the face of post-coronavirus travel and social distancing rules.

The news was announced on Friday morning alongside a number of changes to the concession rules also brought about by the pandemic.

Lorenzo had signed up to ride for the Yamaha test team only months after retiring from racing after a horrid season with Repsol Honda.

He tested for Yamaha at the start of the year in Sepang and was due to ride at a number of European tests throughout the season alongside making wildcard appearances, but the additional personnel needed to run an extra bike means that the opportunity has now been taken away.

Jorge Lorenzo Yamaha MotoGP 2020

The ruling is also likely to affect a number of other test riders, with Ducati’s Michele Pirro, Honda racer Stefan Bradl and Suzuki’s former World Superbike champion Sylvain Guintoli among the permanent testers who were scheduled to make race appearances throughout the season.

The rule changes introduced on Friday also modify how MotoGP’s concession system works, with no team able to gain concession points throughout the shortened 2020 season.

This means that KTM and Aprilia won’t lose their special status should the much-altered season throw out strange results and see either team be able to deliver a race win.

Teams have also been granted more time to develop their 2020 engines before the homologation freeze, with the date for sealing initial engine spec now pushed back from shortly after the scheduled opening round in Qatar until June 29.

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