In addition to the arduous search for a driver, the Malaysian Yamaha MotoGP customer team is facing the next setback.
The Petronas SIC SRT team will begin a new major sponsorship after their third year with Yamaha in 2022. Malaysian metals company Petronas is on its way out. Insiders are convinced that the arduous search for a driver for the upcoming MotoGP season played a role in this maneuver. He drove Petronas with Morbidelli and Quartartaro in 2019 and 2020, winning six world championship races in 2020 and becoming Vice World Champion with Morbidelli. Now Morbidelli and Rossi are 15th and 19th in the World Cup. Morbido has one podium finish so far – third at Jerez.
A new driver lineup must be found for 2022. Because Rossi has stopped and Morbidell has changed to the Monster Yamaha Factory Team instead of Viñales.
For now, it looks like the SIC team will compete in 2022 with Garrett Gerloff, Iker Lecuona or Augusto Fernandez.
The withdrawal of Petronas means a sharp budget cut, so the SIC teams are locked into Moto3 and Moto2. SIC stands for Sepang International Circuit, which is also a Malaysian-owned company – like Petronas. SIC will remain on board with the Yamaha MotoGP customer team as sponsor.
The future of the MotoE team is still under discussion.
Petronas-Yamaha was initially associated with drivers such as Johnny Rea (34) and Andrea Dovizioso (35) in 2022. But team boss Razlan Razali explained, “We are the little Yamaha team.”
“We are looking for drivers for 2022,” Yamaha race director Lynne Jarvis confirmed. This means: Since there is no superhuman talent that Raul Fernandez would impose on Yamaha, a temporary gap of a year is sought.
For one year, though, six-time Superbike World Champion Johnny Rhea doesn’t want to pull out of his well-paid, comfortable position at Kawasaki.
At Spielberg, he even heard that Petronas Honda Moto3 rider Darryn Binder could be upgraded directly from the 250 cc class to MotoGP.
For cost reasons, Petronas will only rent Class A bikes to both riders in 2022, i.e. motorbikes with technical status for the 2021 World Cup. This year Rossi will be driving the 2021 Yamaha plant in Petronas.
This is what the MotoGP teams could look like in 2022
Marc Marquez, Paul Espargaro
Ducati Lenovo Team
Jack Miller, Biko Bajnaya
Yamaha Monster Energy
Franco Morbidelli, Fabio Quartaro
By Alex Raines, Joanne Mir
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing
Brad Bender, Miguel Oliveira
Aprilia Racing Team
Alex Espargaro, Maverick Vinales?
Jorge Martin and Johann Zarco
Sky VR46 Ducati Racing
Luca Marini, Marco Besecki
Petronas Yamaha SRT
Augusto Fernandez? Garrett Gerloff? Iker to be? Darren Bender?
By Alex Marquez and Takaaki Nakagami
KTM Tech3 Factory Racing
Remy Gardner, Fernandez
Flexbox Gresini Ducati Racing
Ina Bastianini, Fabio Di Giannatonio
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