Lorenzo exploring options away from Ducati for 2019 MotoGP season

Jorge Lorenzo has admitted he is exploring options away from the factory Ducati team that will keep him on the MotoGP grid in 2019

The three-time premier class champion and Ducati appear increasingly likely to part ways after a troubled 18-month spell that has yet to yield a race win.

Autosport reported last week that Lorenzo could end up on a satellite Yamaha as his manufacturer options dwindle.

Pramac rider Danilo Petrucci suggested after the previous race at Le Mans that Ducati would choose either him or team-mate Jack Miller to partner Andrea Dovizioso at the works team in 2019.

That was followed by Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali expressing regret during a media event that Ducati's gamble on Lorenzo, who was lured from Yamaha at great expense, had not paid off.

"Lorenzo is a great rider who has not succeeded in getting the best from our bike, a bike that has great strengths and some weaknesses," said Domenicali.

"Unfortunately neither him nor the technicians have managed to make the most of his talent. This is a bit of bitterness that remains."

Addressing those remarks on Thursday at Mugello, Lorenzo said he was beginning to look at alternatives to remain on the MotoGP grid in 2019.

"We are looking at other options [besides Ducati]," said Lorenzo. "I won't comment on Domenicali's remarks.

"I'll only say that I'm not [just] a great rider, I'm a champion."

Lorenzo also moved to dismiss rumours he could decide to retire from MotoGP, alluding to potential plans for him to ride a factory-backed Yamaha at a satellite team next season.

"I will continue the next two years, I will not retire," he said. "And it will be with a good bike.

"It's the only thing that I can say. I guess at Montmelo [Barcelona, in mid-June] I will have more information."

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