In the game of MotoGP musical chairs, 2019 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Fabio Quartararo, currently riding Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, announced that he has signed for Yamaha Factory Racing for the 2021 – 2022 seasons. He will join Maverick Vinales at Yamaha Factory Racing after completion of his contract with Petronas Yamaha and both will be astride a fully factory supported YZR-M1.
Meanwhile, fan favourite Valentino Rossi, while having been promised a factory Yamaha for as long as he wants it, has struggled with the YZR-M1 the past two seasons and and not produced many notable results. Quartararo, in 2019, with six pole positions and standing atop the podium seven times in 2019, is seen as a rising star and probable future champion in MotoGP.
Rossi’s contract with Yamaha ends in 2020 and the former nine-time world champion will be making a final decision on whether he will continue to participate in 2021. This was requested by Rossi in order to evaluate his competitive speed compared to the rest of the grid after the first seven or eight races of the 2020 MotoGP season.
“It is clear that after the last technical changes and with the arrival of my new crew chief, my first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider also in 2021. Before doing so, I need to have some answers that only the track and the first few races can give me,” said Rossi.
“I‘m delighted about what my management has achieved in the last few months together with YMC (Yamaha Motor Corporation). It was not simple to establish, but now I have a clear plan for the next three years and I‘m really happy,” Quartararo said. First look at the 2020 MotoGP bikes and riders happens on February 7 to 9 at Sepang International Circuit.