SRT considering Yamaha 2022 offer after addressing conflicts

Franco Morbidelli

SRT is hopeful of re-signing with Yamaha for the 2022 MotoGP season and beyond after resolving a number of conflicts with the Japanese manufacturer.

The Malaysian-owned team joined the premier class in 2019 and became Yamaha’s new satellite team as Tech3 switched to KTM hardware.

SRT’s current agreement expires at the end of the upcoming campaign, consistent with there being a new participation cycle taking effect in 2022.

There had also been reports of tensions between it and Yamaha, making this year a logical break point in the relationship.

Speaking at SRT’s season launch, team principal Razlan Razali confirmed that relations with the Iwata marque were strained.

He claimed that his operation felt more “upset” than Yamaha about losing out on the riders’ and constructors’ championships, and that it was being treated merely as a “customer” rather than a “partner”.

However, those issues have now been dealt with and a new deal between SRT and Yamaha could well be signed in coming months.

“We have addressed that situation during our end-of-year briefing with Yamaha, in December, where at the same time they have given us a proposal for the next five years,” said Razali.

“We have addressed how we felt we were just a paying customer and not a partner. We felt that it’s us that want to do more than the other.

“We were very, very upset when we lost the [riders’] championship and Yamaha lost the constructors’ in Valencia 1. It seemed that we were more upset than them.

“But we addressed all that and I’m pleased to know that they recognised that fact and their proposal beyond 2022 is for more [support] than happened in the last three years.”

On a timeline for renewal, Razali said, “We hope that come May and June we can finalise this new collaboration with Yamaha, and [you] can stop calling us Independent Team or satellite team.

“I just hate those terms.”

The partnership is said to include closer integration of SRT’s Moto2 and Moto3 programmes, and beyond, into Yamaha’s talent ladder.

SRT has clearly stated its desire to field young, up-and-coming riders in MotoGP, although it made an exception in partnering Valentino Rossi with Franco Morbidelli for 2021.

Ironically, Rossi’s own Team VR46 operation could potentially join MotoGP as a fully fledged entrant next year, creating the prospect of a contest between the Italian and SRT for Yamaha’s agreement.

Razali stated about that, “With regards to the potential new team by Valentino, I would not really want to comment on that.

“We are just focused on our plans, and the intention is to continue our collaboration with Yamaha, because we work very well.

“I also understand the fact that Vale has been with Yamaha for the longest time, but I would not want to comment any further than that.”

He also did not dismiss the possibility of an alliance with VR46, but stated that the wishes of major sponsor Petronas will heavily influence SRT’s decision-making.

“We will not close the doors on any opportunities, but the most important thing is the direction and strategy of Petronas,” explained Razali.

“They will determine what we want to do moving forward.”

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