MotoGP

Petronas SRT Yamaha haven’t discussed taking on Valentino Rossi

Petronas SRT Yamaha boss Razlan Razali says no talks have taken place yet about the prospect of taking on Valentino Rossi for the 2021 MotoGP season

Petronas SRT Yamaha boss Razlan Razali has revealed no talks have yet taken place between his team and the Valentino Rossi over the prospect of running the Italian in the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

The Italian legend, a seven-time 500GP/MotoGP World Championship winner, is confirmed to be on his way out of the Yamaha Factory team for 2021 after the manufacturer opted to retain Maverick Vinales and promote Fabio Quartararo from the satellite outfit.

As part of the announcement, Yamaha revealed it would wait on Rossi to make a decision as to whether he wants to call time on his career or race on in 2021, highlighting the Petronas SRT team as his assured destination.

However, perhaps unusually, Razali says Yamaha has never held discussions about the prospect of taking on Rossi next season if he does race on, saying he doesn’t want to speculate on the specifics of any deal before it happens.

“It's an interesting proposition. But we don't know anything as yet because we did not sit down at all to discuss anything," he said.

"Whether it's good for the team, whether it's good for Valentino Rossi or not is yet to be seen.

"There's a lot talk between Valentino Rossi and Yamaha but it's never included us, so we do not want to speculate until there is a formal meeting between the two parties - then we will understand exactly the details."

Does Valentino Rossi fit into Petronas SRT’s future?

Given Yamaha was so quick to assure that Rossi would join Petronas SRT next season if he decided to continue next season, one could imagine the Malaysian-backed outfit would have been involved in the negotiations, so these words from Razali are perhaps a surprise two months on.

While it doesn’t suggest Petronas SRT wouldn’t happily accommodate Rossi next season – especially if Yamaha is ultimately going to be bankrolling it anyway - it’s interesting for Razali to suggest they haven’t ultimately been part of the conversation.

It raises the question of what Petronas SRT wants its team to be in the future. It has already proven itself to be a contender for race wins and, much as it has done with Quartararo, become a fantastic proving ground for burgeoning talent.

In short, Petronas SRT Yamaha’s stock is high enough to give it flexibility on what it wants to achieve in MotoGP and Rossi – as legendary as he is – doesn’t necessarily fit those plans.

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