Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team receives huge boost ahead of Premier Class debut
Last Update: 03/11/2018
SEPANG, Nov 3 (Bernama) -- Malaysia’s first ever MotoGP team, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team has received a huge boost as Yamaha has pledged maximum support ahead of their debut in the Premier Class next season.
Yamaha Factory Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis said the three-year contract signed by Yamaha and Sepang International Circuit (SIC) today would benefit the team’s preparation as two of Yamaha’s key staff – Ramon Forcado and Wilco Zeelenberg – will also be on board.
Zeelenberg was appointed as team manager, while Forcado, who currently the crew chief for Maverick Vinales of Movistar Yamaha Racing Team, will be the crew chief for Franco Morbidelli in the new team.
“We will be doing our maximum to help the team especially in the initial phase because it’s a team that has begun from a blank sheet of paper...so it’s going to be a very challenging initial phase.
“I think with experience they (Forcado and Zeelenberg) have, and with the full support of Yamaha, they (the team) can do well,” he said.
He was speaking to reporters at a press conference after signing the collaboration between SIC and Yamaha Motor Company which was witnessed by Youth and Sports Minister, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.
The new MotoGP outfit officially confirmed the signing of MotoGP rookie Franco Morbidelli of Italy and Moto2 rider Fabio Quartararo of France.
Meanwhile, SIC chief executive officer Datuk Razlan Razali already has a vision and target for both riders.
“In terms of performance, Fabio Quartararo for sure aspires to become rookie of the year, and that's what we want for him as well. For Franco Morbedilli we would like (him) to achieve maybe the best independent rider for next year,” he said.
In the meantime, Syed Saddiq sees the collaboration as an opportunity for the development of the motorsports scene in the country.
“It’s an exciting time for the development of motorsports in Malaysia. It indicates great interest by the government to develop motorsports in Malaysia so that in the future we can become a motorsports city or hub in Asia, or at the very least, in ASEAN,” he said.