OFF TO DUCATI: It has been speculated for weeks, but it is now confirmed that Yamaha's reigning champion, Jorge Lorenzo, will be heading to Ducati in 2017. Image: AFP / Javier Soriano
Madrid - Ducati says reigning MotoGP world champion, Jorge Lorenzo, is to join its team at the end of this season.
In a statement released Monday, Ducati says the 28-year-old Spanish rider will race with the Italian team through 2018.
Mallorca-born Lorenzo, who currently races with Yamaha, has won five world titles in his career - three in MotoGP and two in the 250cc category.
Yamaha confirmed the move and said in a statement that Lorenzo leaves "after three incredible titles, 41 race wins and 99 podiums together."
Yamaha had already signed Italian great Valentino Rossi for the 2017-18 season and said it would announce its second rider "in due course."
Lorenzo is currently second in the standings behind Honda rider Marc Marquez.
Ducati's riders this season are Andrea Dovizioso and Andrea Iannone.