2019 will see the start of an important collaboration between Sepang International Circuit and Petronas on one side and Yamaha on the other one. Today, the well-known Petronas Towers in Malaysia hosted the launch of Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, ready to debut in MotoGP World Championship with Franco Morbidelli and rookie Fabio Quartararo. Furthermore, the audience was introduced the riders of Petronas Sprinta Racing Team for the squad’s campaign in Moto2, where they’ll line up Khairul Idham Pawi, and Moto3, where John McPhee will ride alongisde re-signed Ayumu Sasaki.
The CEO of Sepang International Circuit, Razlan Razali, strongly believes in this project: “Everything started in Moto3, where we scored a podium with Zulfahmi Khairuddin, and then the team has grown in the last few years till debuting in MotoGP, thanks to our sponsor Petronas. Our goal was to bring a rider and team from Malaysia into MotoGP and now we can say that we’ve reached both our goals: Hafizh Syahrin debuted in MotoGP last year and now it’s our time, as we’ll take part in MotoGP World Championship with Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. SIC, Petronas and Yamaha have started an important collaboration, as about 50 people of several nationalities have been involved. Our expectations are very high also about Moto2, where Khairul Idham Pawi has to prove that he can become our Malaysian rider for MotoGP, and Moto3, where we expect both Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee to score great results. Furthermore, we’re working on a program for young Malaysian riders together with Zulfahmi Khauridduin, as the plan is to follow these riders and bring them to the world stage.”
After the contribution from Petronas Yamaha Racing Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg and the riders of the team for Moto3 and Moto2, the mic went to Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo. 2018 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Franco Morbidelli said: “The team are working very hard on this project and I’m happy with the trust they’ve put in me. The first tests we had were positive, but it’s still early to say where we are in the field. Anyway, I’ll do by best from the beginning. I’m grateful for this opportunity, we’ll try to make you proud of us”. The final say came from Fabio Quartararo: “I’m very happy to be part of this project. I’m the youngest rider of the team and one of the rookies of this year’s MotoGP season, but I will try my best to get to speed and enjoy.”
Translated by Alessandro Palma