It is a huge day for Southeast Asia in terms of motorsports after PETRONAS unveiled the first team from the region to have a representation in all three tiers of Grand Prix motorcycle racing – MotoGP, Moto2, and Moto3.
There will be a new team on the tracks from next season as PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team was officially unveiled. The team will have a presence in all three tiers of Grand Prix Motorsports and have already announced their line-up.
Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo will represent the team in MotoGP, while Malaysia’s very own Khairul Idham Pawi will ride in Moto2 under the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing banner. Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee are the ones chosen for Moto3.
Johan Stigefelt, team director for PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team expressed his delight at this opportunity:
“I am really happy to be able to present the team and riders today alongside PETRONAS, and it is a great feeling to show everybody our new colours. I am proud that the riders in all three categories will have the same look, which was the objective for us – that everybody sees us as a unified team. I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of the partners who have made it possible for this project to move forward.”
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The latest addition to the world of Motorsports have also brought on board some exciting young riders to represent them across the three tiers. For the top tier, Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo were picked to fill the spots, and the former had this to say about this opportunity:
“This is my second team presentation as a MotoGP rider and my first with this ambitious team. To be honest, it has been really impressive, everybody is very excited and committed to the team. I came to KLCC before but it never fails to impress. To make the presentation here, to see the colours on my Yamaha for the first time and to enjoy the moment with the people of Malaysia has been fantastic.
This is a great day for PETRONAS Yamaha SRT!”
Morbidelli, who was also named the 2018 MotoGP rookie of the year, was full of praise for his bike’s look as well:
“I love how the bike has turned out and the whole look with the leathers and helmet. I am looking forward to debuting it next week in the first test at the Sepang International Circuit.”
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Meanwhile, there will also be a local representation in the PETRONAS Yamaha SRT team, as Malaysia’s Khairul Idham Pawi was chosen as the team’s rider for Moto2.
“It has been a dream presentation; for me it is something incredible to unveil the team’s new colours in Kuala Lumpur, my home, because I have never done anything like this here before. To see so many people together at the PETRONAS Twin Towers was very exciting. I love the new bike that the team have put together for the 2019 season and I am very much looking forward to getting back into action soon,” said Khairul.
The new team will make its debut during the first official MotoGP Test os 2019 at the Sepang International Circuit from February 6-8.