Lorenzo to leave Yamaha at season end

Ducati's website stated: "Ducati announces that it has reached an agreement with Jorge Lorenzo thanks to which the Spanish rider will takepart in the MotoGP World Championship in 2017 and 2018 aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Team."

Jorge Lorenzo joined the Yamaha team in 2008, and went on to win three MotoGP World Championships — 2010, 2012 and 2015.   -  Getty Images

Yamaha confirmed on Monday afternoon that Jorge Lorenzo will leave the team at the end of the 2016 MotoGP season and join Ducati for the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

"Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces that its partnership with Jorge Lorenzo will be discontinued at the close of the 2016 MotoGP season, when Lorenzo will move on to new racing challenges. Yamaha is extremely grateful for Jorge's contributions to its racing successes and looks forward to sharing more memorable moments during the remaining 15 MotoGP rounds of 2016, their ninth season together. Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. wishes Lorenzo the very best in his future racing endeavours and reconfirms the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team’s full support on his campaign to achieve his fourth MotoGP title."

Yamaha said in its statement said that it will reveal the team riders' line-up in due course.

"Having already reconfirmed Valentino Rossi for 2017-18, Yamaha will announce the future Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team riders’ line-up in due course after securing the services of the second rider."

Ducati also took the opportunity of confirming the news. Ducati's website stated: "Ducati announces that it has reached an agreement with Jorge Lorenzo thanks to which the Spanish rider will takepart in the MotoGP World Championship in 2017 and 2018 aboard the Ducati Desmosedici GP of the Ducati Team."

Lorenzo joined the Yamaha team in 2008, and went on to win three MotoGP World Championships — 2010, 2012 and 2015 — claiming 41 race wins. The Spaniard raked up 99 podium finishes out of 141 races contested.

Born in Palma de Mallorca on May 4, 1987, Lorenzo has won five world championship titles throughout his racing career — which includes 250cc in 2006 and 2007.

Apparently, Yamaha offered Lorenzo a new deal at the same as Rossi. However, he opted not to sign. Even Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis admitted that he knew Lorenzo was awaiting an offer from Ducati.

Ducati is yet to announce on who will line up with Lorenzo. Both Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone will be without a contract at the end of the current season.