Yamaha has offered retired triple MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo a test role for 2020, Autosport has learned.
Lorenzo retired from racing at the end of the 2019 season following a single, difficult year on the Honda, in which his struggles to adapt to the RC213V and various injuries meant he did not even manage a top-10 finish.
He spent nine years as a Yamaha rider in MotoGP, making his debut with the brand in 2008, and won all three of his premier class titles on the M1 in 2010, 2012 and 2015.
Yamaha introduced a European test team for the first time this year, helmed by former Tech3 rider Jonas Folger.
But Yamaha confirmed later in the year it would not continue with Folger despite his claims that he still had a contract.
It then looked likely another ex-Tech3 rider, Johann Zarco, would take over as Yamaha test rider in 2020, with Valentino Rossi's now ex-crew chief Silvano Galbusera set to work with him.
However, Yamaha took this offer off the table when Zarco agreed to ride in place of the injured Takaaki Nakagami for the final three races of the season at the LCR Honda squad.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis confirmed at Valencia that the testing programme was being reviewed, and from 2020 there would be a global operation formed of the Japanese test team, while hinting at there still being a European rider in use.
Lorenzo said on Servus TV in Austria this week that he will be back in the paddock in 2020, but was coy to specify in what capacity.
"Of course, I'll be back in the paddock, but I don't know in which function yet," said Lorenzo.
"We're definitely working on it, maybe I can talk about it soon. I've travelled so much, 17 years of my life, always been in the same hotels, on the same tracks, in the same places, doing the same thing.
"There was a lot of pressure, there were many injuries. And there was always the will to give one's best, even in training.
"I really always saw myself as a happy person with what I was allowed to do, what I loved and where I was successful.
"But when you then get the opportunity to live a little more freely and calmly, as I can now, then you naturally take advantage of that and enjoy that you have no pressure and see what life brings."
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