W don't known when the 2020 season will start but, at the same time, we have to start thinking about 2021. Most riders have contracts that are due to expire, and the teams have to decide on their plans. Two of the most sought-after motorcycles are the Yamahas branded Petronas, and there's a long list of riders ready to get on them.
The first is definitely Valentino Rossi, to whom Iwata has promised an M1 identical to those of the official team for next year, but on the satellite team, if he decides to continue racing. Then there would be Jorge Lorenzo. We have to use the conditional here, considering the announcement of his retirement, but the rider from Mallorca could change his mind. Last but not least, there's Franco Morbidelli who's already on that bike and would like to continue riding it.
Not an easy choice on paper, but Petronas team manager Razlan Razali seems to have clear ideas: “We want talented young riders. We know that Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo would like to join our team but, as a matter of principle, we want to make young riders grow," he told several Indonesian media.
It's difficult for go from words to deeds, closing the door to two riders of the caliber of Rossi and Lorenzo, but the Petronas team wants to be a junior team, as they say.
“We're watching some riders, including Morbidelli," Razalia added. "If Franco does well this year, we'll keep him. Otherwise, we're keeping an eye on Xavi Vierge, who's racing in our team in the Moto2, and two or three other riders in that category."