Honda admits interest in Jorge Lorenzo for 2015 MotoGP season
|By Sam Tremayne||Monday, February 10th 2014, 10:56 GMT|
Honda has admitted it is interested in poaching Jorge Lorenzo from MotoGP rival Yamaha.
The two-time champion's current contract expires at the end of 2014, after which he will become a free agent.
Honda's works duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa also have deals that expire at the end of the season, prompting early speculation that Honda could try to lure Lorenzo away from Yamaha and pair him up with Marquez.
HRC team principal Shuhei Nakamoto said that it would be foolish not to open negotiations with Lorenzo, should the Spaniard be on the market for a potential switch.
"At the moment we are happy with both Dani and Marc, and if both riders agree we would like to continue," Nakamoto said.
"But at the same time [if] Jorge is also on the market, then at least I will talk with him."
Marquez said in December last year that he would have no qualms about Honda signing his arch rival, saying: "What I want is to be in that garage. My team-mate [is irrelevant]."
Yamaha has been Lorenzo's sole employer since his graduation from the 250cc series - where he was a double champion - to MotoGP for the 2008 season.
In that time he has won two titles and claimed 31 grand prix victories, 74 podiums and 29 poles.
Honda previously eyed Lorenzo in the wake of Casey Stoner's retirement, but the Spaniard swiftly committed to a two-year extension with Yamaha.
He recently reiterated his loyalty to Yamaha amid reports of a potential Ducati deal for 2015.