SRT boss convinced Rossi can still deliver

PETALING JAYA: Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team boss Datuk Razlan Razali is convinced Italian veteran Valentino Rossi (pic) will still be a force to be reckoned with in MotoGP.

Rossi scored his 199th premier class podium in the Andalusian Grand Prix two weeks ago when he finished third and Razlan believed there will be more to come.

It is believed that the nine-time world champion, whose last podium finish was in Austin, Texas in 2019, is set to join the satellite Yamaha squad with full factory support in 2021.

Rossi’s third placing in Jerez was a big turnaround from a disappointing opening Spanish Grand Prix weekend where he was 14 seconds off eventual winner Fabio Quartararo of Petronas before his bike broke down.

“Honestly, I had my doubts after the first race. I kept telling myself that ‘the Doctor’ would come back and he did,” said Razlan.

“He impressed me a lot considering the extreme conditions in which we raced.

“It makes everything easier. We are Petronas SRT and we make choices based on business but on the other hand, we cannot ignore the fans who perhaps would like a local rider.

“It is not a forced choice but he is not a normal rider.”

Razali stressed that he does not want the outfit to be known just for having the 41-year-old Italian in their ranks.

“We don’t want our team to be famous for Valentino. We want anyone who runs with us to make results.”

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