Spanish motorcycle racer Jorge Lorenzo announced on Tuesday that he would be making the switch to four-wheeled racing full-time from here on out, following his 2019 retirement from MotoGP after winning five motorcycle world championships (three times in MotoGP with Yamaha, and twice in the 250cc category with Aprilia).
Legendary Lorenzo will step aboard a Porsche 911 Carrera Cup racer for the Italian championship this season. The two-wheeled champ has signed a deal with former F1 racer Piercarlo Ghinzani to race for the Team Ghinzani Arco team sponsored by Q8 Hi Perform.
“A new and exciting stage of my life begins,” Lorenzo wrote on social media. “I want to thank the Q8 Hi Perform team for welcoming me and choosing me as an official driver for the Porsche Carrera Cup Italy. We are a strong, united and ambitious team and I am eager to get involved and prove that I can also be competitive on four wheels.”
Lorenzo follows fellow MotoGP competitors Valentino Rossi, Dani Pedrosa, and Andrea Dovizioso make the jump from two wheels to four. Rossi himself is racing in a DTM Ferrari with Red Bull backing, while Pedrosa will take on the Lamborghini Super Trofeo Europe series.
Jorge, like Rossi had, spent some of his time in MotoGP dabbling with four-wheeled racing efforts. He raced and won his class at the 24 Hours of Barcelona, and entered the Gulf 12 Hours in Abu Dhabi. He’s also spent time onboard a then-current GP2 car in 2012, and tested the Mercedes championship-winning F1 car in 2016. By comparison, a sprint race in a Porsche cup car should be a walk in the park!
Porsche Carrera Cup Italy is typically a very strong field of competition, having produced recent champions like Alessandro Balzan, Mateo Cairoli, Côme Ledogar, and Alessio Rovera. The 2021 champion, Alberto Cerqui, raced for the very same Q8 Hi Perform Team that Lorenzo will climb aboard in 2022.
The season kicks off at Imola in May, and will go on to visit tracks that Lorenzo is quite familiar with, including Misano, Mugello, and Monza. There’s no telling yet whether Lorenzo can parlay his motorcycle success into a career in tin tops, but we’ll have a much better idea after the six rounds of this championship.