Petronas pulls SRT Yamaha MotoGP backing, drops Moto2 and Moto3 teams

Petronas withdraws its backing from the Sepang Racing Team for the 2022 MotoGP season, forcing the folding of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams

Petronas pulls SRT Yamaha MotoGP backing, drops Moto2 and Moto3 teams

Malaysian oil giants Petronas have confirmed it will withdraw its title backing of the Sepang Racing Team at the end of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship season.

One of the most recognised sponsors in motorsport, Petronas has players an integral role in allowing the SRT outfit to hit the ground running competitively when it stepped up to MotoGP in 2019 as the official Yamaha satellite concern.

However, after only three years Petronas has decided to end its involvement, a blow for the team that has been felt immediately with the confirmation the associated Moto2 and Moto3 will fold at the end of the season.

“SIC wishes to thank Petronas for the unwavering support during the partnership and a remarkable journey together," said Sepang International Circuit (SIC) Chief Executive Officer Azhan Shafriman Hanif.

"We respect Petronas’ decision, and mutually agreed that this partnership has accomplished its purpose and objectives. We have enjoyed a meaningful partnership, with great achievements and memorable moments with the team. I believe this is not the end of our collaboration in motorsports as we continue our quest in nurturing Malaysia’s motorsports talents.”

“SIC is proud to have been involved in the formation and early development of the team that had surpassed expectations in its performance. We wish the team all the best in the next phase of its evolution under a new entity.”

Sepang Racing Team forced to scale down for 2022 MotoGP

Replacing KTM-bound Tech 3 Racing as Yamaha’s official satellite entry, Petronas SRT has made a huge impact in little more than two years in MotoGP.

Making its debut with a rider line-up of Franco Morbidelli and then little-known rookie Fabio Quartararo, the latter emerged as a revelation in his maiden season, while both riders would go on to win three races each during the 2020 MotoGP season.

However, with team manager Razlan Razali advertising Petronas SRT Yamaha as a proving ground for the next generation, the forced placement of Valentino Rossi for 2021 not only disputes this but has also led to a slump in form.

Rumour has it SRT and Yamaha’s relationship has become strained, leading the former to consider alternative machinery, including deals with Suzuki and VR46.

Petronas’ exit leaves a team already thought to be facing some financial difficulties take a huge fiscal blow, so it is no surprise to see the Moto2 and Moto3 teams - known as Sprinta Racing - folding.

This spells bad news for two of the three full-time British riders on the grand prix entry lists, with Jake Dixon and John McPhee both now looking for new employment in 2022.