PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team Unveils New Look for Historic Season
January 29, 2019 – The PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team yesterday afternoon presented their ambitious project for 2019 at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, unveiling the stunning new colour scheme that will adorn their riders in MotoGP – Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo – and their 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1 machines. This historic moment in Malaysian motorsport took place in the Dewan Filharmonik PETRONAS Foyer.
This special occasion also served as a statement of intent from the parent PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team, who for the first time ever in Southeast Asia will have a presence in all three categories of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. Indeed, it was an unforgettable day for the whole of the PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team and the country in general – demonstrated by the presence of some of Malaysia’s dignitaries – as well as the many partners who have made this dream a reality.
The headline news of the event was the official unveiling of the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team line-up in MotoGP, which will feature 2018 Rookie of the Year Franco Morbidelli and the man who will look to relieve him of the title, Fabio Quartararo, who makes the step up from Moto2. The team will be Yamaha’s only satellite representation on the grid, receiving top level material and factory support thanks to the magnificent working relationship between the team and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
The first track appearance for the new-look PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will take place from February 6th to 8th at the first Official MotoGP Test of 2019 at Sepang International Circuit.
Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider
“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! 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. We all have a lot of work ahead so I am looking forward to getting back on the bike and joining up with the team to continue our progress and preparation for the start of the season in Qatar.”
Fabio Quartararo – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider
“I am very excited to have unveiled the new design of the bike and to have presented the whole team here at home, in Malaysia. I love it! Now I am really excited to get back on the bike at the Sepang International Circuit in the three-day test we have ahead. I am happy to be starting the new season there because it is one of my favourite tracks. We will try to give our best to learn as much as possible. We have six days of tests before the first race in Qatar, so I will do everything possible to be ready for the opening Grand Prix. The goal for any rider moving up from Moto2 is to become Rookie of the Year, so we will work hard to achieve it.”
Razlan Razali – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Team Principal
“The launch of the team marks our intention as a serious contender in the new 2019 MotoGP season. It has been an unbelievable journey so far and the excitement continues. This launch is for all Malaysian fans whom have been supporting Malaysian MotoGP since 1991. We have come a long way and evolved to this point because of the success of Malaysia MotoGP. The journey so far marked the hard work of the team, PETRONAS and Yamaha. We worked tirelessly to get everything ready for today and for the first test at Sepang International Circuit in February. We know there’s a lot more work ahead but today, lets enjoy this team presentation and be proud to what we have achieved so far.”
Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin – PETRONAS President and Group Chief Executive Officer
“PETRONAS is proud to finally unveil PETRONAS Yamaha SRT livery. This marks a historical moment for PETRONAS and the Malaysian motorsports industry as a whole. Through this project, not only does PETRONAS have another platform to showcase its brand amongst MotoGP fans worldwide, but it also gives us the opportunity to develop talents within the team in technical and commercial fields. Ultimately the main objective is to leverage on MotoGP to innovate the development of motorcycle lubricants through the company’s Fluid Technology Solutions, emulating the Winning Formula success we have in Formula One.”
Johan Stigefelt – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Team Director
“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 united structure. I also want to take the opportunity to thank all of the partners who have made it possible for this project to move forward.
“We will be back to work on track very soon, at our home circuit, the Sepang International Circuit. We will start with the MotoGP riders, who will be able to enjoy their new bikes and new material from Yamaha. We have planned an extensive programme of tests, even though the riders already have a little experience on the Yamaha. The conditions will be demanding at Sepang and we have a lot of work to do, so it will be a big challenge for Franco [Morbidelli] and Franco [Quartararo].”
Wilco Zeelenberg – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, Team Manager
“It has been a real privilege for us to present the team here at the incredible PETRONAS Twin Towers and display our bikes with the definitive liveries for 2019. I am very proud of the look of the project and the work we have done over the last couple of months. The team is incredible and we are all very much looking forward to starting the first test in Malaysia. Our objective for the test will be to pick up where we left off at Jerez - we have new bikes for the riders and we are hoping they can build on the knowledge they acquired in November. After the winter break the first thing will be to get used to the Yamaha and its speed again, and to continue improving the feeling with the bike. We will also have to make a lot of technical adjustments, taking into account the fact that it will be three tough days because of the heat and with eight hours of available track time. We are very excited to get started and begin our preparations for the first race of the new season in Qatar.”