Valentino Rossi, Petronas SRT Yamaha nearing 2021 MotoGP agreement

Valentino Rossi is close to finalising the deal that will see him compete in Petronas SRT Yamaha colours for the 2021 MotoGP season

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha MotoGP 1200

Petronas SRT Yamaha boss Razlan Razali says his team is nearing the completion of a deal that will see Valentino Rossi join its ranks for the 2021 MotoGP World Championship.

The deal has long been assumed after Rossi intimated it is his intention to continue racing in 2021 after the COVID-19 crisis scuppered his plan to use the opening rounds of 2020 to assess his competitiveness before making a decision on his future.

However, with Yamaha pushing for a decision by the end of June to allow Petronas SRT to make plans for his arrival, a formal announcement is seemingly forthcoming according to Razali.

Speaking with the Malaysian BHOnline publication, Razali says talks have been positive, albeit not easy due to Rossi’s status.

“The talks have so far been positive,” he said. “If both sides agree, then everything will be positive and we are heading towards the final phase.

“However, it has not yet been finalised. We hope this issue can be resolved before the start of next month. Valentino Rossi is not a normal driver, so the discussion is not easy (involving many parties), there is a lot to discuss together.”

“We will have a video conference with Rossi shortly. He wants to know what the team expects from him ... With the current situation we need stability in the team.

“In these different situations, it would be useful for us to hire a driver who can provide stability to the team. It is possible that he retires to our team, it would be an honour."

Though he will race in Petronas SRT colours, Rossi will get full backing from the Yamaha Factory team with a current-specification bike and contribute to development of the M1.