PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team ready for the MotoGP dream2018-11-19 09:53
Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo set for a new and exciting era, as Malaysian outfit makes history, with first steps in the premier-class tomorrow at Valencia.
The big moment has arrived for the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, as it prepares to become the first Malaysian team ever to contest the MotoGP World Championship, with the first test of the 2019 preseason tomorrow (Tuesday). It is sure to be an unforgettable day for the new team and for Malaysian Motorsport, who will witness the first steps of one of their most exciting projects.
Italian rider Franco Morbidelli, fresh from being crowned as the 2018 MotoGP Rookie of the Year in Valencia, and Frenchman Fabio Quartararo, who himself makes the step up as a rookie after an impressive year in Moto2, make up an exciting partnership that will take to the Yamaha YZR-M1 machines for the first preparations for the 2019 season at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit, where the final round of the season took place yesterday.
With two days of tests ahead, the first objective for both riders will be to adapt gradually to their new team. It is a huge and exciting dream come true for Malaysia and the team that has grown from Moto3 in 2015, to span over all three classes, with the addition of Moto2 in 2018.
The newly formed satellite team will make its debut into MotoGP, at the first official winter test, with the track opening on Tuesday morning from 10am-5pm GMT +1.
Razlan Razali - Team Principal
“This is a historic moment for Malaysian Motorsports and especially for the Sepang International Circuit. We have come a long way to establish our own team in MotoGP, and we are very excited to see this project come to fruition, starting with some positive tests at Valencia and Jerez. The moment the first wheel turns on the tarmac will be a historic one for the Sepang International Circuit, for the Malaysian fans and for fans across South Asia. To be the only Asian-owned team on the grid gives us great pride.”
Johan Stigefelt - Team Director
“It is an incredible feeling to start this new project, this dream we have had for a few years now, and to do it alongside PETRONAS and Yamaha is something special. Over the last six months we have been working non-stop and it has been very tough but finally we have a great team and great people on board. The relationship with Yamaha is very good and the riders are incredible - Franco [Morbidelli] has a year of experience now in MotoGP after finishing as the Rookie of the Year, whilst Fabio [Quartararo] has an exciting debut season ahead.
I am really looking forward to getting started; we all have to learn step by step to achieve our objectives and that’s exactly what we will be doing at the Valencia and Jerez tests. Thank you to everybody that has made this possible. Let’s get started!”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Team Manager
“I am really excited about this new project, we have all worked very hard to turn this dream into a reality. On the technical side, I think we have the two best bikes a satellite team could have, and that makes it so much more easy for me to take the decision to join this new adventure. We have a group with a lot of experience and we are very motivated to do a good job in 2019.”
#21 Franco Morbidelli
“I am very excited! It is fantastic to be here today to see how they set up the bikes and how the team works. It’s an incredible feeling and I just can’t wait to try out the bike tomorrow. What I’ve done so far is have my measurements taken for the Yamaha, although it’s not yet possible to imagine how the bike will feel to ride; to really know that we’ll have to wait for the first laps tomorrow. The objective for this test is to learn as much as possible with the YZR-M1 and to understand the potential of the bike, and to adapt myself to the team while trying to be as fast as possible on track.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo
“I am thrilled to begin a new chapter in MotoGP. Tomorrow we will finally be able to get on the bike and I can’t wait to be on the Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time to see how it is and, above all, enjoy the experience and learn. Let’s just hope the conditions are good for us and that it doesn’t rain, as everything will be new for me: the power, the brakes, the electronics and the tyres. To be able to get the most out of the package it would help for it to be dry. We have already had some meetings with the team; so far I can say that they seem like great people and I’m really looking forward to working with them all.”
Ricardo Tormo Circuit
Right corners: 5
Left corners: 9
Longest straight: 876m
Fastest Lap: 1:29.401
(Jorge Lorenzo 2016)
Circuit Record: 1:31.171
(Jorge Lorenzo 2016)
Source: SIC Racing Team
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