PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) have made it clear that they want to keep talented youngster Fabio Quartararo for next year if this season’s World Championship is wiped out by the Covid-19 pandemic.
SRT team principal Datuk Razlan Razali said while he remains hopeful that the MotoGP
season will go on this year, he does not discount the possibility that there may not be any races at all.
In a worst case scenario where all races are cancelled this year, what SRT essentially want is for the 2020 season to be run in 2021.
Quartararo, who won the Rookie of the Year and Top Independant Rider titles with the satellite outfit last season, however, has already signed a deal to ride for Monster Energy Yamaha factory team from next year.
“We hope that this (complete wipe-out) will not occur but as I have said before, the possibility is real and we have to monitor the situation on a month-by-month basis,” said Razlan.
“We have discussed with Dorna (MotoGP rights holder) on what will happen (if there are no races).
“If there are no races, we want to make it (2020 season) null and void, and then start the 2021 season with the same arrangements we had for 2020.
“This is something that we will fight for because we have been looking forward to having a good 2020.”
Based on Quartararo’s performance last year and in pre-season testing, Razlan believes that he has a good chance of challenging for the championship title with SRT, a feat which is rare in a sport usually dominated by factory teams.
“We will insist for Quartararo to remain with us for his final year (of the contract with SRT),” added Razlan.
“If we got one or two (race) wins that would be good enough but in theory, we have a chance to fight for the championship (with Quartararo).
“We got him a new Yamaha factory-specs bike which is the same used by Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinals, and he has done well in testing.
“In fact, we have targeted for him to finish (at least) second in the overall championship (standings) this season and we want that for the team.”
Mugello and Catalunya, scheduled for May 29-31 and June 5-7, are the latest races to have been postponed as Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe.
While Moto2 and Moto3 were able to race at the Qatar GP, the MotoGP category is yet to be held this year.