The feud between past and future Yamaha test riders Jorge Lorenzo and Cal Crutchlow has intensified ahead of qualifying for today’s final round of the 2020 MotoGP world championship and Crutchlow’s imminent move to take Lorenzo’s spot.
The war kicked off last weekend when Lorenzo described Yamaha’s decision to trade himself for the British rider as swapping ‘gold for bronze’ on social media.
Crutchlow responded to that yesterday at the Portuguese Grand Prix, telling the media that he thinks that the ‘bored’ Lorenzo may have been a great racer and a five-time world champion – but that it doesn’t mean he’s necessarily a top tester.
“He’s very special on the bike,” said Crutchlow, “but that doesn’t mean he’s a great test rider. I think you have to take some of the things he says with a pinch of salt, and I’m sure it has affected him more than it has me.”
Lorenzo took to Instagram to respond today, captioning a picture of Crutchlow crashing a Ducati in 2014 with a lengthy rebuttal in Spanish.
“Saying I’m not a good test rider is like saying the world is square,” said Lorenzo on Instagram.
“The engineers in Yamaha and Ducati both know my abilities to evolve a bike and make it faster and faster. If we only talk about numbers, it’s a fact that both teams have only had fewer and fewer victories since I left.”
Whatever the circumstances were surrounding the drop-off, Lorenzo’s comment is based in fact. His final year with Ducati, 2018, yielded seven wins for the marque, which has only headed four races in the two years since.
At Yamaha, Lorenzo took four of its six wins in his final year in its works line-up in 2016, while the Iwata marque has averaged 3.75 wins per year since his departure – albeit with the chance still to take the average to 4.0 this weekend.
“As for Cal, he is one of the riders with the fewest wins and most falls of the last 10 years,” Lorenzo continued. “He will be a great rider to test the hardness of the bike.”