Yamaha hat die Weichen für die Zukunft des MotoGP-Werksteams gestellt. Maverick Vinales hat seinen Vertrag zwei weitere Jahre bis Ende 2022 verlängert. Fabio Quatararo fährt heuer eine weitere Saison im Sepang-Petronas-Team und wechselt dann für 2021 und 2022 an die Seite von Vinales ins offizielle Yamaha Factory Team. Valentino Rossi wird im Laufe der Saison 2020 entscheiden, ob er seine Karriere 2021 fortsetzt oder nicht. Aber jeden Fall ist ihm von Yamaha eine Werks-YZR-M1 und volle Factory-Unterstützung zugesagt, nicht nur in diesem Jahr, sondern auch weiterhin, sollte sein Entscheid positiv ausfallen. In welchem Team es für Rossi dann weitergehen könnte, ist vorerst offen. Und schließlich kehrt Jorge Lorenzo nach seinem Rücktritt als MotoGP-Testfahrer zu Yamaha zurück und wird bereits bei Testfahrten in diesem Frühjahr mit von der Partie sein. Ob Wildcard-Renneinsätze für Lorenzo in Frage kommen, ist vorerst offen, wird aber zumindest von Yamaha-Seite aus nicht ausgeschlossen.
Hier die Stimmen der Fahrer im originalen Wort, und auch von Yamaha-MotoGP-Manager Lynn Jarvis:
Maverick Vinales: »I‘m extremely happy because I feel like I get to keep ’my own team‘. This will be the second year with my current crew, and after this I have two more years to look forward to. I‘m so excited! I think that if we keep working really hard we are heading the right way. For me, it was very important to make this announcement before the season started, because I‘m highly motivated and want to be able to fully concentrate on the 2020 season. I don‘t want to spend too much time thinking about the future. There were no reasons not to stay with Yamaha, because they feel like family. Yamaha is giving me a lot of support and, as I said, I have ’my own team‘, which is something I really need. We need to keep working and be very strong. Our main objective is, as always, to be World Champion and try to bring Yamaha the number one honour again. I will try my best. For sure, I will give everything I have to make our team proud too. I would like to say ’Thank you‘ to Yamaha for their faith in me. They are giving me a lot of confidence, and I really have trust in our partnership. I think we will both be growing very fast and we will keep pushing.«
Fabio Quartararo: »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 threeyears 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.
Valentino Rossi: »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. 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.
Jorge Lorenzo: »I‘m very happy with the decision to join the Yamaha Factory Test Team. I was always planning on staying involved in MotoGP and returning to the paddock, and I think this is a suitable role for me. I know the team and the M1 well. The Yamaha really suited my riding style, and it will be very interesting to ’meet up with my old bike again‘. Returning to Yamaha brings with it some good memories. We secured many podiums and victories, and three titles together, so we know where our strengths lie. I want to thank Yamaha for this opportunity, because this allows me to do what I love – riding motorbikes and pushing the limit – whilst enjoying a slightly calmer lifestyle than I did in previous years. I‘m very motivated to get to work and can‘t wait to start riding. I want to do my best for Yamaha‘s future, and I hope my riding experience will be helpful to Yamaha‘s engineers and riders to bring the title back to Yamaha.«
Lynn Jarvis: »We brought Maverick into the Factory team in 2017, knowing he is a special talent. He is highly motivated and dedicates himself to being physically strong and is always ready to give his maximum and extract the best from his YZR-M1. In his first three seasons with us, he has given Yamaha 6 wins, 19 podiums, and 100% of his commitment. Now, as the YZR-M1 is improving race by race, we foresee a very bright future for him at Yamaha. Maverick‘s decision to sign with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team for two further years so early shows the strength of our mutual appreciation and underlines the shared conviction that together we can challenge for the MotoGP World Championship Title.«
»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.«
»The totally understandable decision of Valentino to assess his competitiveness in 2020 before making any decision about 2021 was something that Yamaha respects and also wholeheartedly agrees to. While we have total respect for and confidence in Valentino‘s abilities and speed for the 2020 championship – at the same time Yamaha also have to plan for the future. These days, with six motorcycle manufacturers in the MotoGP class, fast young talents are greatly in demand, and consequently the riders‘ market begins ever earlier. So, it‘s a weird sensation to start a season knowing that Vale will not be in the Factory Team in 2021, but Yamaha will still be there for Valentino, whatever he may decide for the future. If he feels confident and continues to race, we will provide a Factory-spec YZR-M1 bike and full engineering support. If he decides to retire, we will continue and expand our collaborations off track with the young riders‘ training programmes of the Riders Academy and the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, and with him as a Yamaha brand ambassador. Anyway, that is all speculation – right now we have a full season ahead of us and I can assure the fans that Valentino will have our 100% support every day until he eventually one day decides to hang up his leathers!«
»Of course, we are delighted to welcome Jorge back at Yamaha. When we knew that Jorge would stop his active racing career, we immediately started to consider making a proposal for him to join us. The statistics of his achievements with us in those nine years together speak for themselves. He is a vastly experienced MotoGP rider, who is closely familiar with the M1 and the people at Yamaha. We have come to know Jorge as a very precise and motivated rider, with flawless consistency and good technical insight: all the qualities you need in a test rider at this high level. Combining Jorge‘s experience, knowledge, and riding speed with experienced Crew Chief Silvano Galbusera is an important element in Yamaha‘s strategy to strengthen the Test Team, which aims to bridge the gap between the engineers and test riders in Japan and the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team.«
Fotos: Yamaha, Dorna Sport