In a surprise turn of events, MotoGP’s young star Fabio Quartararo will race for the factory Yamaha team in 2021. With Maverick Vinales already signing a new deal, it means that the future of Valentino Rossi is in doubt. The 40-year old, basically has two choices on his plate, either face retirement or switch to the satellite Petronas squad.
In a statement, Yamaha revealed that they mutually agreed that Rossi will make the decision during the 2020 MotoGP season. The Japanese team also expressed their delight in roping in a young rising talent in the form of Quartararo.
Yamaha managing director, Lin Jarvis told the media, “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.”
After impressive performances in the Moto3 and Moto2 classes, Quartararo was promoted to MotoGP in 2019. The French rider joined the new Petronas Yamaha team and proceeded to set the track alight.
Although the 20-year-old missed out on victory on a few occasions, seven podiums and six pole positions speaks for itself. In addition to that, he even made reigning champion, Marc Marquez, sweat a lot. This included taking the victory battle to the final lap on two occasions.
With the factory Yamaha bikes often struggling for pace, the satellite team picked up the slack. Fabio Quartararo led the charge during the second half of 2019. With this, it seemed like the factory team would be begging to recruit him for 2021, and the prediction has come true.
When Vinales penned a new contract, it looked like Quartararo would have to settle for another year in the satellie team. However, the factory Yamaha team, have now confirmed that Quartararo will be a vital cog in Yamaha’s MotoGP future.
“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 three years and I‘m really happy,” Quartararo said.