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Page last updated at 09:31 GMT, Wednesday, 26 August 2009 10:31 UK

Steve Parrish's MotoGP column

Steve Parrish
By Steve Parrish
BBC motorbikes commentator

Jorge Lorenzo

After much speculation Jorge Lorenzo has signed a contract extension with Yamaha and I'm not really surprised.

I think his management were quite smart and gave him quite a bit of bargaining power. He is the brightest face out there and the most likely man to wrestle the MotoGP title off Valentino Rossi in years to come, so he was in an excellent position to get a good deal.

There were strong rumours that he was going to switch to Ducati for £9m a year which I imagine is a fair bit more than Yamaha are paying him.

Ducati face the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen to Casey Stoner, who is battling illness at the moment, so it could have been a good move for Lorenzo.

But I'm pretty sure Stoner would have spat out his dummy if the Spaniard had joined Ducati because he is very much the team's main man.

Saturday 29 August
Qualifying: Qualifying: 1800-2100, BBC Red Button/online
Sunday 30 August
125cc and 250cc races: 1650-1805, BBC Red Button/online Race live: 1945-2100, BBC Three/online; MotoGP repeat, 0220-0335 BBC Red Three/online

I think that Lorenzo realised that for now, if he wants to take on Rossi, he has to do it on the same bike to have a chance - although I imagine Rossi would have been very keen to get rid of him so he wouldn't be as much of a thorn in his side anymore.

Speculation about who is going to move where next season is hotting up and things hang in the balance for Great Britain's James Toseland.

I think Superbike rider Ben Spies will go to MotoGP with Toseland's Tech 3 team a likely destination if you believe the rumour mill.

But would the Tech 3 team want two Americans on the team, if Spies usurped Toseland and rode alongside Colin Edwards?

From a marketing point of view that would be a strange move and it wouldn't broaden the team's worldwide appeal.

By employing James Toseland at the moment they are tapping into the huge British interest in MotoGP.

Surely they wouldn't want to get rid of Colin Edwards as he has been consistently outperforming Toseland so it is a very awkward scenario for Yamaha.

As for Toseland, we need a British rider, it's good for the sport and the sport's governing body Dorna will certainly want him to remain.

Indianapolis MotoGP race in 2008 was affected by Hurricane Ike
The Indianapolis MotoGP race in 2008 was affected by Hurricane Ike

I think though following his performances this season he only has a 50/50 chance of remaining in the sport, but it is up in the air.

Chris Vermeulen has offered his services to Tech 3 for free so it depends how desperate James is to do well in MotoGP as to whether he to would be prepared to ride for nothing.

He has to weigh his options up. You have to think if he has to drop down to Superbikes there isn't much chance of him making a return to MotoGP in the future.

This weekend we're back at Indianapolis where everyone enjoyed MotoGP's first trip last year despite Hurricane Ike doing its best to spoil it.

We were all a little unsure about the circuit as it has quite a peculiar layout so there was certainly some trepidation, but everyone soon warmed to it.

It dwarves anything we go to, it is huge. There is even an 18-hole golf course in the middle of the track and 250,000 seats. It really is a jaw dropper when you first get there.


Rossi won here last year and will be looking to take another step towards retaining his title this weekend.

His 50-point buffer is huge and he has the luxury of approaching the race in two different mindsets.

He could go all out for the victory knowing even if he falls off and Lorenzo wins, he will still have a 25-point lead.

Or he could just sit on the shoulder of Lorenzo and finish second, content in the knowledge his lead won't be eaten into too much.

He isn't a second place kind of guy though and neither is Lorenzo.

The 22-year-old will be going all out to win as that is the only way he knows how.

He is a maverick and he knows he has to win, hence his tumble last time out in Brno. He has the attitude 'win it or bin it'.

It has all the ingredients for a spectacular weekend.

Indianapolis prediction:

1) Jorge Lorenzo 2) Valentino Rossi 3) Dani Pedrosa

Steve Parrish was talking to BBC Sport's Paul Birch

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see also
Lorenzo pens new deal with Yamaha
25 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Lorenzo crash hands Rossi victory
16 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Espargaro given shock MotoGP ride
19 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Matt Roberts' MotoGP column
17 Aug 09 |  MotoGP
Stoner mystery illness diagnosed
15 Jul 09 |  MotoGP
What new rules mean for MotoGP
12 Apr 09 |  Motorsport
MotoGP calendar 2011
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP on the BBC
15 Mar 11 |  MotoGP
MotoGP standings
31 Oct 10 |  MotoGP
Contact the motorbikes TV team
06 Mar 07 |  MotoGP

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