Petronas plans to back out of its title partnership with the Sepang Racing Team (SRT) for the 2022 season. SRT will also scrap its Moto2 and Moto3 teams to protect its efforts in MotoGP.
The team stepped up to MotoGP as Yamaha’s new satellite partner with the backing from the Malaysian oil giant, Petronas. SRT brought Fabio Quartararo from Moto2, as well as Moto2 World Champion, Franco Morbidelli. Because of the two additions to the roster, the team was a breakout success. Quartararo, on a B-Speed version of the YZR-M1, was able to achieve seven podiums and six pole positions. The team was able to win six races in the 2020 series, with Quartararo riding the M1 and Morbidelli on the A-Spec bike.
Since then, SRT wanted to become a breeding ground of young talents, utilizing its Moto2 and Moto3 projects to lead up into the big leagues: MotoGP. However, it seems like there is a bit of a dilemma with its 2022 rider lineup. Maverick Vinales quit the Factory Yamaha squad at the end of the season.
To solve the issue, Yamaha will promote Morbidelli to join Quartararo next year. Following the retirement of MotoGP legend, Valentino Rossi, it looks like SRT will have to find and field two riders for the 2022 GP season.
As to who it will be is still up in the air. Moto2 star, Raul Fernandez could have been an optimal choice if he wasn’t already locked into a contract with KTM for the next two years with the Tech 3 Squad.
Another prospect would have been Marco Bezzecchi, who was supposed to be a part of SRT, but Autosport reports that he looks set to move up to MotoGP next year with VR46 Ducati alongside Luca Marini.
Autosport also reports that Yamaha has renegotiated its deal with SRT, offering two B-spec M1 race bikes for 2022.