Ducati's Lorenzo: My MotoGP rider market value not as high after 2017

Jorge Lorenzo admits his value in the MotoGP rider market is "not high" after a mixed first campaign with Ducati in 2017

Ducati's Lorenzo: My MotoGP rider market value not as high after 2017

The three-time MotoGP champion joined the Italian manufacturer after nine years with Yamaha, but found the transition from the YZR-M1 to the vastly different Desmosedici a difficult one.

He steadily adapted to the bike over the course of 2017, but ended the season without a win for the first time in his MotoGP career, was seventh in the standings and managed just three podium appearances.

The majority of riders' contracts will run out at the end of 2018, and Lorenzo admitted his stock had taken a hit after feeling he had "won" his first two-year deal with Ducati following his successful spell at Yamaha.

"I have a good contract [for 2017 and '18] because my value in the market was high," the Mallorcan said during Ducati's '18 livery launch presentation in Bologna.

"A lot of riders speak about that, but when I signed the contract I was five-times world champion; I [had] more than 60 victories, 44 in MotoGP, a lot of pole positions.

"I fight [every year for] nine years for the world title, so I won this contract.

"They say your value is the same as your last race. Last race I crashed, so it's not very high and my last season was not very good."

Lorenzo said he felt he was riding the Ducati more naturally by the end of 2017, but said he would continue to adapt to the bike even though he feels the 2018 version will be designed to suit him better than last year's did.

"You never stop learning and I never stop changing my riding style, even when I was at Yamaha in my eighth or ninth year because I think you always learn something," he explained.

"It's there you learn something, you have the will and the curiosity to do it, and when I retire I will try to learn something.

"Last year I changed so much, I learned so much, to try to ride the Ducati at its best.

"It's never complete, but also I believe that last year if we were like this I changed a little bit more than the bike within myself to the bike.

"Probably this year it will be the opposite - the bike will improve quite a lot to go in my direction to be quick also. Not only in acceleration, [on] straights, in the braking, but also for example in the centre of the corner."

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