Tag: Valentino Rossi

SRT to Shut Down Moto2, Moto3 Teams

Petronas SRT

Following Petronas’ withdrawal as the title sponsor for the Petronas Sepang Racing Team (SRT), an announcement was made yesterday by SIC that there will no longer be Moto2 and Moto3 SRT teams next year.

Sepang CEO Azhan Shafriman Hanif confirmed that the SRT Moto2 and Moto3 teams will close at the end of this season.

However, the official announcement by the team principal, Datuk Razlan Razali is expected to be made only at the Silverstone GP in a couple of weeks.

Fully ‘independent’

Azhan also mentioned that SIC has come to an agreement with SRT Team Principal Datuk Razlan Razali that SRT will be independent from SIC next year onwards, which means that the SRT is pretty much on its own without any backing from SIC.

Petronas Yamaha SRT

While it is unknown who the new MotoGP team owners will be, SRT has already secured a new five-year deal in place for MotoGP grid places and, with all other teams already confirming their 2022 machinery, is set to extend its contract with Yamaha.

Another headache for Datuk Razlan is to find a new rider for SRT next year, as both the current riders will be leaving the team and the end of the season.

New riders

While Valentino Rossi will be retiring from the sport itself, Franco Morbidelli is set to join the Factory Yamaha Racing Team alongside current championship leader Fabio Quartararo.

Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis confirmed that the Italian is to move up to the factory team for the 2022 season as Maverick Vinales will be joining Aprilia in 2022.

That being said, things are certainly looking shaky for the SRT at the moment without a title sponsor and riders. However, all the answers to our doubts and questions will be answered at the Silverstone Grand Prix.

So, watch this space for more updates on MotoGP and the Sepang Racing Team.

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Petronas and Sepang Racing Team to Part Ways

Petronas Yamaha SRT

Just a week after Valentino Rossi announced that he will be retiring the end of the season, another shocking news involving the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team has emerged today.

According to a report published by Crash.net and a few other sources today, Petronas, the title sponsor of the Sepang Racing Team in the MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3 classes, will not be renewing their agreement for the 2022 season.

‘New independent entity’

It is said that the Sepang Racing Team will be continuing its journey in MotoGP under a new independent entity.

The report also said that SRT’s future will be made clear at the Silverstone round later this month, when its new satellite Yamaha contract should also be confirmed.

Petronas Yamaha SRT

“SIC wishes to thank Petronas for the unwavering support during the partnership and a remarkable journey together,” said Sepang International Circuit (SIC) Chief Executive Officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif in a statement released regarding this issue.

“We respect Petronas’ decision, and mutually agreed that this partnership has accomplished its purpose and objectives.”

Fruitful two years

“We have enjoyed a meaningful partnership, with great achievements and memorable moments with the team. I believe this is not the end of our collaboration in motorsports as we continue our quest in nurturing Malaysia’s motorsports talents.”

“SIC is proud to have been involved in the formation and early development of the team that had surpassed expectations in its performance. We wish the team all the best in the next phase of its evolution under a new entity.”

Petronas’ Head of Strategic Communications, Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz said, “We entered into this partnership with SIC to showcase our R&D capabilities, and we are proud that Petronas Fluid Technology Solutions have been instrumental towards establishing the team’s status as a championship contender.”

“Together, we have created some standout moments in the sport, serving as an indication that we have achieved what we set out to do and we feel it is the right time for us to conclude the partnership.”

Contract with Yamaha ending at the end of the season

“On behalf of Petronas, we would like to express our gratitude to SIC for their commitment towards ensuring the success of the partnership.”

While it was reported that the Sepang Racing Team has already confirmed grid places for the next five years with Dorna, MotoGP’s governing body, the team’s current contracts with Yamaha and Petronas will be expiring at the end of this year’s season.

That said, whether the team will be running with a different bike manufacturer remains unknown for now.

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All Eyes on Petronas Yamaha SRT as New Bike Unveiled

Petronas Yamaha SRT 2021

The Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is all set to start its third season in the MotoGP World Championship campaign with riders Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi, who showcased their 2021 Yamaha YZR-M1 through a virtual launch.

After a stellar second season in 2020, where the team and rider Franco Morbidelli finished the year as vice champions in their respective championships, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is eager to continue its extraordinary story of success as the first-ever Malaysian team in MotoGP.

Petronas Yamaha SRT 2021

In 2019 the team became Top Independent Team, finishing fourth in the overall team standings, with rider Fabio Quartararo taking the Rookie of the Year title and Top Independent Rider.

Over the course of last year the team was on the top step of the podium six times as well as leading the standings for most of the year before finishing the season as the Top Independent Team – and second in the overall standings – with Franco Vice Champion as well as Top Independent Rider.

Petronas Yamaha SRT 2021

2021 sees Franco joined by Greatest Of All Time rider Valentino Rossi who will add an extra dimension of championship winning knowledge and potential to the squad. Featuring an updated look with the latest Petronas branding, the team’s Yamaha YZR-M1 will be in Factory-spec for Valentino and A-spec Plus for Franco. 

2021 also marks the third year of Petronas as the team’s title partner. The impressive results achieved by the team over the past two seasons are a testament to the Malaysian energy company’s Fluid Technology Solutions that powered PYSRT to its six MotoGP wins in 2020.

Petronas Yamaha SRT 2021

“We are looking forward to the season ahead, eager to give Franco and Valentino the best opportunity. For Franco, it’s a fabulous opportunity to achieve even better things than his stellar season in 2020 and for Valentino we’re hoping a new team will give him the best opportunities to harness his talent and expertise,” said Razlan Razali, the Team Principal.

Frankie says…

“This will be my third year with the team and there are many things I like about Petronas Yamaha SRT. The 2021 YZR-M1 livery is similar to the last two years, but still changed; it’s the same but different so I like it. What is different from last years is my teammate; I expect and hope it will be a great season for Vale and me,” said Franco Morbidelli.

Petronas Yamaha SRT 2021

Valentino Rossi on the other hand, said, “I’m very proud to be part of Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. It’s a new challenge for me. This is a very young team, but in the last two years they have already been really competitive. I’m happy to see my new bike for this year and I really like the colours of the livery, leathers, helmet, etc. It looks awesome. My target for 2021 is to be competitive, fight to win races, fight to achieve podiums and also fight for a good position in the World Championship standings at the end of the season.”

Rossi is “ready to start”

“We are all very focused on our targets to make the best we can. I think that with Franco we are a very interesting couple of riders as we know each other really well. All the whole team has a lot of motivation and I will give my maximum to achieve together the best possible result at the end of the calendar. We are ready to start.”

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Can We Forget About Marquez for Now and Give Quartararo the Attention He Deserves?

Last weekend saw Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) rider Fabio Quartararo take his first ever MotoGP race win in remarkable fashion in Jerez, Spain.

So, to commemorate his first ever MotoGP win which was a long time coming, let us take a look at the stats behind the rider’s 20 races in the premier class which clearly indicate that he could be the next big thing IF he can maintain the momentum.

Fabio Quartararo immediately became a force to be reckoned with upon his move to the MotoGP Championship, taking Rookie of the Year honours last year, and has racked up a remarkable list of stats. The paddock knew it was only a matter of time until he took his maiden victory…

Quartararo’s 20th race over the weekend was definitely one for the history books as he became the first French premier class winner since Regis Laconi at the 1999 Valencia GP, and became the first satellite Yamaha winner in the MotoGP era (the last being Garry McCoy at the 2000 Valencia GP). He is also the eighth youngest rider to win in the premier class at 21 years and 90 days. 

His debut season last year, which was also the debut season for Petronas Yamaha SRT, saw him immediately impress at the first round in Qatar, setting the fastest lap around Losail International Circuit – an achievement that he repeated at Le Mans, his home grand prix.

Fabio also became the youngest ever MotoGP pole sitter in Jerez, in what was an historic day for the team, with Franco Morbidelli joining him on the front row of the grid after qualifying second.

After racking up six pole positions, seven podium finishes (five of which saw him on the second step) and breaking 4 lap records (Jerez, Assen, Buriram and Sepang), it was no surprise that he became 2019 Rookie of the Year in Japan with three races still to go and helped Petronas Yamaha SRT take the Independent Teams Championship in just their first year in the category.

The enforced break from racing meant that Fabio had to wait until last weekend in Jerez to take part in just his 20th MotoGP race, where he showed that being away from his Yamaha YZR-M1 for over four months has only sharpened his drive.

Over the course of the weekend Quartararo broke the lap record (which he himself had set the year before) twice on his way to taking his seventh pole position and ultimately his first MotoGP win. It was his eighth podium and boosted his accumulated points total across the 20 races to 217. 

Fabio currently sits at the top of the MotoGP World Championship standings after his victory on Sunday.

Yes, we know that it has only been one race and that there is still a long way to go, but this was not an overnight success for Quartararo or the Petronas Yamaha SRT team.

Since the formation of the team, they have been there constantly, fighting in the forefront while trying to find the rhythm. And finally, all the efforts have started bearing fruit.

The million dollar question now is whether the boys at Petronas can keep the momentum going. Let us wait and see how the rest of the season unfolds.

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MotoGP is Returning in July, Sepang Still 50-50

Its official guys! The MotoGP World Championship will be kicking off next month, on the 19th of July in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. 

It is said that the 2020 MotoGP World Championship will comprise between 13 and 17 races, as confirmed by the official calendar released this morning by FIM and Dorna Sports.

After the cancellation of the Qatar GP for the MotoGP class on the last 8th March, and the subsequent postponements of all other events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, FIM and Dorna Sports have only announced the new 2020 calendar yesterday.

The 2020 season will have a duration of four months – if the championship will be held only in Europe – which could be extended to five months if racing overseas will become possible in the latter part of the year.

The first MotoGP race of the 2020 season will be held on Sunday 19th July at the Spanish Circuito de Jerez- Ángel Nieto, which will also host a second GP the following weekend, on 26th July.

After that, the calendar will become very challenging, until the completion of the 13 races scheduled in Europe in just four months.

The championship could also see the addition of the Americas GP (Austin), Argentina GP (Termas de Rio Hondo), Thai GP (Buriram) and Malaysian (Sepang) GP, which have not been confirmed yet, and that could extend the season until the 13th December, deadline for the completion of 2020 campaign.

CALENDAR

19th July – Spanish GP – Circuit de Jerez- Ángel Nieto
26th July – Andalusian GP – Circuit de Jerez- Ángel Nieto
9th August – Czech Republic GP – Brno Automodrom
16th August – Austrian GP – Red Bull Ring – Spielberg
23rd August – Styria GP – Red Bull Ring – Spielberg
13th September – San Marino and Riviera di Rimini GP – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
20th September – Emilia Romagna and Riviera di Rimini GP – Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli
27th September – Catalan GP – Barcelona – Catalunya
11th October – French GP – Le Mans
18th October – Aragón GP – MotorLand Aragón
25th October – Teruel GP – MotorLand Aragón
8th November – Europe GP – Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo
15th November – Valencia GP – Comunitat Valenciana – Ricardo Tormo
To be confirmed – Americas GP – Circuit of The Americas
To be confirmed – Argentina GP – Termas de Rio Hondo
To be confirmed – Thai GP – Chang International Circuit
To be confirmed – Malaysian GP – Sepang International Circuit

All dates, events that, for now, will be held behind closed doors, will be subject to the evolution of the health situation and the approval of the governments and authorities for each country.

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