Yamaha Motor Racing Signs Quartararo to 2021-2022 Rider Line-Up, Hints at Rossi's Future Plans
As Quartararo signs his Factory Yamaha contract for 2021-2022, we’ll be curious to see what the future has in store for Valentino Rossi.
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YAMAHA FACTORY RACING MOTOGP TEAM ADD QUARTARARO TO 2021-2022 RIDER LINE-UP
It is with great pleasure that Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces the signing of Fabio Quartararo with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for the 2021 and 2022 season.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 29th January 2020 – The Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team are delighted to welcome Fabio Quartararo to their line-up for the 2021 and 2022 season.
Last year‘s results showed that Quartararo is a unique talent and a rider with a bright future in MotoGP. The 20-year old from Nice, France, scored seven podiums (5x second place and 2x third place) in his debut season with PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, which at the time was a brand-new Yamaha satellite team. He came tantalizingly close to his first premier class win on a number of occasions. Though it wasn‘t to be, his exceptional performances impressed many in 2019. Ultimately, he secured fifth place in the overall MotoGP standings, earning him the Best Independent Team Rider honour by 27 points, as well as the Rookie of the Year title with a 100-point margin to the runner-up.
In 2020 Quartararo will again be a PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider, completing the second year of his current two-year agreement. However, this season he will be riding the factory-spec YZR-M1. Moreover, he will enjoy Yamaha’s full support throughout the upcoming season, as well as when he moves up to the Factory Team in 2021.
In 2021 and 2022, Quartararo will partner Maverick Viñales, whose two-year contract extension with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team was announced yesterday.
“We are very pleased that Fabio will be joining the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team line-up for 2021 and 2022. His results in his MotoGP debut year were sensational. His 6 pole positions and the 7 podiums in the 2019 season were a clear sign of his brilliance and exceptional riding skills. Inviting him to move up to the Yamaha Factory Racing Team after he completes his contract with PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team was a logical next step.
“For the upcoming season he will be provided with a factory-spec YZR-M1 and he will receive full support from Yamaha.
“Fabio is only 20 years old, but he is already showing great maturity on and off the bike, and we are excited to have him join us in 2021. Fabio and Maverick will provide a big stimulus to all of us in the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team to continue to develop the YZR-M1 and leave no stone unturned in our quest for MotoGP World Championship victories.” – LIN JARVIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING
“I‘m delighted about what my management has achieved in the last few months together with YMC. It was not simple to establish, but now I have a clear plan for the next three years and I‘m really happy.
“I will work hard, like I did last year, and I‘m extremely motivated to achieve great performances.
“I feel like the winter period is too long – I‘m really excited to go to the Sepang test next week to ride my new YZR-M1 and meet and work with my crew again.
“I want to thank YMC and PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, who have given me the opportunity to enter the MotoGP class in 2019. I will give my all to do them proud again this year.” – FABIO QUARTARARO, PETRONAS YAMAHA SEPANG RACING TEAM RIDER
YAMAHA AND VALENTINO ROSSI AGREE TO TAKE TIME TO DECIDE FUTURE PLANS
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi will ride his last full season as a Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team rider in 2020. Following discussions together, Yamaha and Rossi have mutually agreed that the personal decision whether the Italian will remain an active rider in the MotoGP World Championship in 2021 will be taken mid-2020.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 29th January 2020 – Grand Prix racing legend Valentino Rossi will complete his astounding 15-year run with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team at the end of the 2020 season.
Following discussions between Yamaha and Rossi, the Italian will take until mid-2020 to make the final call whether he will remain an active rider in the MotoGP World Championship in 2021. This time frame was requested by Rossi to evaluate his competitive speed compared to the MotoGP grid only after completing the first seven or eight races of 2020.
Should Rossi decide to continue as a MotoGP rider in 2021, Yamaha assures Rossi of the availability of a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike and full Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. engineering support.
Irrespective of the decisions for the future, Yamaha will provide full support and total focus for the 2020 season as Rossi commences his 25th motorcycle Grand Prix racing World Championship, his 21st season in the premier class, and his 15th year with Yamaha.
“The totally understandable decision of Valentino to assess his competitiveness in 2020 before making any decision about 2021 was something that Yamaha respects and also wholeheartedly agrees to. While we have total respect for and confidence in Valentino‘s abilities and speed for the 2020 championship – at the same time Yamaha also have to plan for the future. These days, with six motorcycle manufacturers in the MotoGP class, fast young talents are greatly in demand, and consequently the riders‘ market begins ever earlier. So, it‘s a weird sensation to start a season knowing that Vale will not be in the Factory Team in 2021, but Yamaha will still be there for Valentino, whatever he may decide for the future. If he feels confident and continues to race, we will provide a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike and full engineering support. If he decides to retire, we will continue and expand our collaborations off track with the young riders‘ training programmes of the Riders Academy and the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, and with him as a Yamaha brand ambassador. Anyway, that is all speculation – right now we have a full season ahead of us and I can assure the fans that Valentino will have our 100% support every day until he eventually one day decides to hang up his leathers!” – LIN JARVIS, MANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING
“For reasons dictated by the riders‘ market, Yamaha asked me at the beginning of the year to make a decision regarding my future. Consistent with what I said during the last season, I confirmed that I didn’t want to rush any decision and needed more time. Yamaha has acted accordingly and concluded the ongoing negotiations. It is clear that after the last technical changes and with the arrival of my new crew chief, my first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider also in 2021. Before doing so, I need to have some answers that only the track and the first few races can give me. I‘m happy that, should I decide to continue, Yamaha is ready to support me in all respects, giving me a factory-spec bike and a factory contract. In the first tests I will do my best to do a good job together with my team and be ready for the start of the season.” – VALENTINO ROSSI, YAMAHA FACTORY RACING MOTOGP RIDER