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Lorenzo determined to stay at Yamaha

Valentino Rossi and Jorge LorenzoJorge Lorenzo says his preference is to stay with Yamaha for 2011 and beyond, even though team-mate Valentino Rossi believes the team cannot support both riders.

Last year Rossi hinted that he would only be willing to agree a new deal with Yamaha if Lorenzo went elsewhere as he did not feel their joint number one status was sustainable.

But Lorenzo sees no reason why their partnership cannot continue into a third year.

"I think we can still be together," Lorenzo told the BBC. "Why not? For sure I have a lot of things to learn from Valentino, and if you are in the same team, it's better for you. On one side it might be worse because there is one rider who is faster on the same bike."

Lorenzo's future had been at the centre of last summer's 'silly season', with a move to either Ducati or Honda mooted. But he said he had preferred to remain at Yamaha then, and still felt the same.

When asked how close he had come to leaving Yamaha in 2009, Lorenzo replied: "To be honest, very close, I don't want to lie. The Ducati offer was very attractive - a lot of money, a bike which is very fast.

"The biggest thing that makes me stay at Yamaha is the confidence Yamaha had in me when I was only a 250cc champion. I feel that I have to stay in Yamaha."

The Spaniard, who took the championship lead by winning at Jerez yesterday, also reitereated his belief that he is under less pressure to win the title than established champions like Rossi and Ducati's Casey Stoner.

"If it's my time to fight for the championship, for Valentino, what is it? Or for Casey, who has won a world title?" said Lorenzo. "I still don't have any world titles, so I don't have this pressure.

"I do my best. If my best is to finish second, and I could have won, I have to admit it and I have to work to be better next year. We are fighting at the front, and if it's possible to win, I will try for sure."

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