Quartararo and Viñales will be the factory riders for Yamaha in 2021
The 2019 rookie of the year, Fabio Quartararo will replace Valentino Rossi at Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team in 2021 and 2022.
Valentino Rossi and Yamaha agreed that the Italian rider has until midseason to decide what he will do next. Yamaha said that they will provide Rossi with a factory-spec M1 and full factory support if he decides to continue his racing career.
"For reasons dictated by the riders’ market, Yamaha asked me at the beginning of the year to make a decision regarding my future. Consistent with what I said during the last season, I confirmed that I didn't want to rush any decision and needed more time.
"Yamaha has acted accordingly and concluded the ongoing negotiations. It is clear that after the last technical changes and with the arrival of my new crew chief, my first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider also in 2021. Before doing so, I need to have some answers that only the track and the first few races can give me," said Rossi.
“I‘m happy that, should I decide to continue, Yamaha is ready to support me in all respects, giving me a factory-spec bike and a factory contract. In the first tests I will do my best to do a good job together with my team and be ready for the start of the season,” concluded Rossi.
The 20-year old French rider, Quartararo had a great 2019 MotoGP season scoring seven podiums on the satellite Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. He was very close to secure a couple of wins and finished the championship fifth overall. He received the Best Independent Team Rider honour and the Rookie of the Year title.
And the good news for the young rider seems not to stop here. Quartararo will join Maverick Viñales at Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for the 2021 and 2022 seasons.
“We are very pleased that Fabio will be joining the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team line-up for 2021 and 2022. His results in his MotoGP debut year were sensational. His 6 pole positions and the 7 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,” said Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director.
“I‘m delighted about what my management has achieved in the last few months together with YMC. 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,” said Quartararo.