Franco Morbidelli will remain at Yamaha outfit SRT at least until the end of 2022 under a new two-year deal.
Morbidelli moved to the Malaysian team for his second MotoGP season last year, when he qualified on the front row four times and achieved a best finish of fifth, also on four occasions.
The Italian’s signing means that SRT still has one seat open should his compatriot Valentino Rossi choose to continue his career into 2021.
“I’m very pleased to be renewing with Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team as we had such a great season together last year, working with a great drive to achieve success,” said Morbidelli.
“I think it’s important for me to continue with the same team, bike and environment going forward as it feels great to work with them.
“We all work well together and it’s great fun to work with all the Petronas SRT crew.
“I want to thank them for this opportunity that they are giving me as it’s such an honour to ride for them.
“I will be working hard to give them even more and even better results than we achieved in our first year together.
“I’m now looking forward to getting racing again to show our potential and I’m just so happy to have the chance to keep on doing what I love to do with a team I love.”
SRT Director Razlan Razali added, “We are delighted to confirm that Franky will continue with us next year.
“He is an extremely talented rider and a great asset to the team as we look to build on our rookie season.
“Franky was always in our plans for the future so it is beneficial for us and him to be able to confirm that he will ride for us in 2021 and 2022 now.
“Franky has the potential to reach the top step of the podium and this is what we’ll all be working hard to achieve.
“We have absolute faith in Franky even before this season has started.
“We are confident that Franky has what it takes to be competitive from Jerez and know that he will develop and mature in all areas through the years ahead.
“Franky will provide the team with stability and competitiveness and we can’t wait to be back on track.”
Rossi’s right-hand man, Alessio Salucci, suggested in June that the seven-time premier class world champion would come to a decision that month although no announcement has yet been made.
Salucci also declared that, “Vale has the attitude of someone who wants to do everything but quit,” in comments on Italian television.
The 2020 MotoGP season begins at Jerez this Friday, following a test at the Spanish Grand Prix venue on the Wednesday.