Petronas team manager Johan Stigefelt had told us yesterday during our Live session that we would soon be hearing something about Franco Morbidelli. The Swede was as good as his word because today the official press release of the Italian rider’s renewal has arrived. The deal was sealed on a two-year contract, so Morbidelli will remain with the Malaysian team also in 2021 and 2022.
In the last few months, both the team’s managers and Yamaha had expressed confidence in Franco and have now made good on their word.
Now all that remains is to wait to know who his teammate will be. Of course, it will be Valentino Rossi, but it will probably take some time for an official announcement.
“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,” declared 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.”
Team Principal 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!”