Yamaha has 'ideas' for who to sign if Jorge Lorenzo leaves in 2017

Yamaha has some riders in mind if it does need to replace Jorge Lorenzo at the end of the 2016 MotoGP season, team boss Lin Jarvis says

Yamaha has 'ideas' for who to sign if Jorge Lorenzo leaves in 2017

Valentino Rossi penned a two-year contract extension to the end of 2018 during the Qatar Grand Prix week, and Lorenzo has been tabled his own fresh offer.

Yamaha believes the three-time world champion is waiting on Ducati, which is known to be keen on Lorenzo, before deciding his future.

Jarvis admits that replacing Lorenzo would be tough if he did elect to leave, but that options do exist.

"We realise that if Jorge left, the person we take as a replacement would not be able to match his immediate performance level, there is no doubt," he said.

"We obviously, as every team, need to have eventually a plan B and a plan C. So we have some ideas in our mind.

"The riders are pretty obvious because everybody will be looking at who is the next possible young talent, but I am not prepared to comment on names."

All of MotoGP's factory riders - other than Rossi - and the bulk of the satellite riders are out of contract at the end of the year, with Suzuki's Maverick Vinales considered by many the leading available prospect.

Aside from Rossi's two seasons at Ducati, when Ben Spies was promoted from the Tech3 satellite outfit, Yamaha has fielded the same pairing since 2008.

It hired Lorenzo as the reigning 250cc world champion, and Jarvis concedes the success and longevity of its currently line-up has not made succession planing easy.

"If you have the two best riders in the world, you can wait," he said.

"The ideal scenario is both Vale and Jorge continue with us.

"And then we will worry about our succession plan two years later, and maybe we can solve that by bringing in some young talent into the Tech3 team.

"So it's always difficult. You need to have a space, you need to have a window where you can put somebody in.

"And obviously Honda had that a couple of years ago, they were able to encourage the rules to be adjusted and they were able to take Marc [Marquez] straight into their factory team [from Moto2].

"That was a masterpiece, what they did and they took the hottest young rider, but we did the same with Jorge, several years ago."

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