It's official, the Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will be no more for the 2022 MotoGP season. In its place, Yamaha Factory Racing has signed a contract with RNF and WithU to form the WithU Yamaha RNF Racing Team. The new satellite racing team will get its first dose of action starting in the 2022 season, with the possibility of extending through to the 2023 and 2024 seasons.
Leading the racing team is none other than Razlan Razali, former CEO of Sepang International Circuit. He will now be serving as team principal for the WithU Yamaha RNF Racing Team. The new team has signed a five-year contract with the IRTA, the association responsible for all racing teams competing in the MotoGP. Under the contract, the WithU Yamaha RNF team is set to participate as an independent team in MotoGP until 2026.
As far as rider are concerned, Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder will be piloting Yamaha racing machines, hopefully to a stellar performance in the 2022 season. Commenting on the officiation of the new team, Dovizioso expressed his excitement for next year's season stating, "“I’m really happy that finally the new WITHU YAMAHA RNF MotoGP team is official. It’s a team made up of three really professional parties and I’m really looking forward to start working with them for 2022."
Meanwhile, Darryn Binder had similar enthusiastic sentiments, "I am extremely grateful for this opportunity, as it has been a lifelong dream to race in the MotoGP category. I definitely didn’t expect to make the jump straight from Moto3 to the highest class, but I do believe I am up for the challenge and I’m ready to put in all the hard work for 2022." The South African rider will be racing a premiere-class machine for the first time in 2022. The rookie rider is making a huge leap forward, going straight to MotoGP from Moto3. Both Binder and Dovizioso will be racing aboard the Yamaha YZR-M1 race-spec bikes, optimized for the 2022 season.
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing had this to say regarding the new satellite team: "“We are delighted to extend our partnership with the now rebranded RNF MotoGP Team. When Razlan Razali and the Sepang Racing Team embarked on their MotoGP adventure at the end of 2018 and the start of 2019, nobody could have expected how they would take the premier class by storm. The impressive 2019 season and exceptional 2020 season results underline the professionalism and quality of this team that will soon be renamed RNF MotoGP Team."
Sources: MotoGP, Motociclismo