Petronas lifeline for MotoGP teams


PETALING JAYA: The MotoGP world championship has been given a lifeline in these troubled times, thanks to Petronas.

The national oil corporation have committed to their racing team sponsorship, where they support a team in each of the three classes.

In the marquee MotoGP, the team have Italian Franco Morbidelli and Frenchman Fabio Quartararo.

Three-time Moto2 podium finisher Xavi Vierge of Spain and Britain’s Jake Dixon form the line-up for the intermediate class.

Malaysia’s Khairul Idham Pawi and John McPhee of Scotland are the riders in the Moto3 set-up.

These are extraordinary times in the sporting world with the Italian and Catalunya rounds, scheduled for June earlier, postponed indefinitely.

The new calendar also cannot be confirmed and securing the well-being of the crew members is the main priority for Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) team principal Datuk Razlan Razali.

Petronas Yamaha SRT are an independent team in MotoGP, unlike factory teams that receive full support.

“The most important thing we cannot do without are our team members. They are our biggest assets. Riders come and go but our pillars are the team members.

“All technical plans have been put on hold to make sure our crew members comprising 22 nationalities are taken care of financially and healthwise.

“This kind of situation is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. Motor racing is basically a form of entertainment and the first areas to be hit will be retail and entertainment,” said Razlan.

“We are getting hit badly. Independent motor teams rely a lot on sponsorship to survive and when there are no races, the sponsors will re-evaluate things.

“Luckily, Petronas are committed to the contract and this will help us survive.

“We do get financial support from the organisers Dorna and it will help us cope until the races can run again.

“The best we can do right now is just wait. The technical people are all at home but the management is keeping busy doing something for sponsors through social media.

“I also reminded the riders to keep going and be prepared to train for the race when they start but it’s hard because they can’t go out.”

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