Quartararo to take over Rossi’s factory Yamaha ride

Fabio Quartararo pic: MotoGP.com

Fabio Quartararo has signed a two-year deal to ride for Yamaha Factory Racing, ending Valentino Rossi’s time with the team at the end of this coming season.

CLICK HERE for Valentino Rossi’s comments on the development

Quartararo will move up from the Iwata marque’s satellite team, Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT), to race for the factory squad in 2021 and 2022 alongside the recently re-signed Maverick Viñales.

The call-up follows a sensational rookie season for the Frenchman in which he qualified on pole six times, a figure second only to that of Marc Marquez, and finished on the podium seven times.

Quartararo ultimately finished fifth in the championship with a team also in its first premier class campaign, two positions and 19 points behind Viñales.

The 20-year-old did so on a gradually upgraded ‘B spec’ package but had already been rewarded with confirmation in October last year of a latest, ‘A’ specification M1 bike in 2020.

“We are very pleased that Fabio will be joining the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team line-up for 2021 and 2022,” said Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis.

“His results in his MotoGP debut year were sensational. His six pole positions and the seven 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.”

Quartararo’s initial MotoGP contract was greeted with a level of surprise given he had only one race win to his name in Moto2 and Moto3 combined.

He quickly became a star of the premier class, however, and pushed Marquez all the way in runner-up finishes at Misano and Buriram.

“I’m delighted about what my management has achieved in the last few months together with YMC,” he said.

“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.”

Yamaha’s are the first factory rides to be confirmed for 2021 and 2022.

Rossi’s future is set to fully be decided during the upcoming season.

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