Rossi for SRT? Not so fast, says team boss


PETALING JAYA: The Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) could have the biggest name in motor racing with Italian legend Valentino Rossi (pic) expressing his interest in joining the MotoGP satellite team recently. But the team are not too excited.

Rossi is in his last season with the factory Yamaha team and will be replaced by rising French star Franco Quartararo, who is now with SRT, for 2021. Rossi, in turn, could replace Quartararo.

SRT team principal Datuk Razlan Razali, however, is downplaying the possibility of the nine-time world champion rider prolonging his MotoGP career with the Malaysian-owned team.

Razlan said nothing has been discussed yet with the 2020 season suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the team are sticking to developing young riders.

“It’s interesting but there has been no official talk. Our principle remains that we want young and talented riders. We all know about Valentino Rossi who wants to join the team without formally discussing with us.

“But for us, our principle is that we want to develop young riders. We have a couple in mind, including Xavi Vierge,” said Razlan.

Vierge is already riding for the Petronas team in Moto2 championship.

Rossi was recently quoted as saying the SRT team was his best option.

“Their situation is very good. They have a young team, have the money and are serious.

“It is also important to continue with the YZR-M1 (bike),” said the 41-year-old Rossi.

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