Yamaha assures Valentino Rossi will join Petronas SRT for 2021 MotoGP

Yamaha's Lin Jarvis says complicated legal processes are behind the delay to confirming Valentino Rossi on the Petronas SRT Yamaha for 2021 MotoGP

Valentino Rossi - Yamaha MotoGP

Yamaha MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis has played down the protracted silence over Valentino Rossi’s anticipated switch to the Petronas SRT Yamaha squad for the 2021 MotoGP season, putting the delay down to legal discussions.

Rossi’s swap to the satellite outfit has been expected ever since he confirmed his intentions during the lockdown to race on in 2021 despite Yamaha replacing him in the Factory outfit by Fabio Quartararo.

However, things have gone very quiet since racing got underway with Rossi dropping the odd soundbite that suggests a deal is all but done, even if no public confirmation has been made.

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Jarvis reveals a complicated legal process is to blame for the hold up, one that combines the lawyers of Yamaha and the Petronas oil giants that bankroll the PSRT outfit, plus Rossi himself with his own personal endorsements.

“It's all right,” Jarvis assured to Moto.it. “Things are going smoothly and there is no reason to doubt that Valentino Rossi will be a Yamaha Petronas SRT rider next season. But it’s taking time because there are so many issues on the table and all of them must be considered, without being rushed.

“There's Yamaha with its legal team in Japan, there's Petronas with its legal team in Malaysia and there's the rider with his legal team.

The delay has given rise to expectation that a deal will be finalised and revealed fittingly as Rossi’s home event at Misano, of which there will be two back-to-back rounds beginning on September 11. However, Jarvis says this is no guaranteed timeline.

“In Italy, among other things at a time when people tend to prefer different instruments to physical encounters. Also, on Saturday I sent an email relating to Rossi's contract. Everything is fine, there are no hitches, but, I repeat, it takes time and I don't know if we will be able to be ready for Misano.”

“There are our sponsors, those of Petronas and those of Valentino there are various formalities that require work to be carried out.”

Why so many complications between Rossi and Petronas SRT?

If anything, moving a rider from a factory team to a satellite outfit is more complicated than swapping to a new manufacturer sometimes, even before you consider the ties that inevitably come with a rider as Rossi.

Naturally, the man himself will be keen to get the best machinery possible, which will surely have been a condition of the decision to swap him out for Quartararo. Indeed, Yamaha had to move fast in January when the deal was first announced after rivals began to make enquiries as to the Frenchman’s commitments beyond 2020.

Trouble is, while Petronas SRT Yamaha will be delighted to have such an iconic figure within its ranks, it’s reasonable to assume the oil giant will look to make the most of its fresh asset commercially.

On the ground though, it has been rumoured Rossi wants to bring his whole team with him, which doesn’t appear to be the preferred solution for a Petronas SRT Yamaha has achieved huge success in a short space of time with its well-oiled set-up already.

In short, Petronas SRT Yamaha doesn’t need anyone coming in to destabilise it – Rossi or anyone – which perhaps explains why this final deal is likely to be a very complex one.