Petronas wants to keep Quartararo if ’20 season abandoned

Petronas Yamaha team principal Razlan Razali says he will “strive” to keep Fabio Quartararo for 2021 should the 2020 season be cancelled outright by the coronavirus pandemic.

The opening eight rounds of the 2020 MotoGP season have been either postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it is still uncertain when racing will resume.

Quartararo is due to step up to the works Yamaha squad next year alongside Maverick Vinales, after signing a two-year deal with the Iwata marque at the start of the year.

However, Razali told Indonesian outlet that he is looking to defer Quartararo’s current deal by a year should no racing take place in 2020. 

“We had a discussion with Dorna [Sports, MotoGP promoter] about what happens if there is no racing [in 2020],” Razali, who has stood down from his role as Sepang Circuit CEO after 11 years to focus on his Petronas SRT commitments, said. 

“So, what happens if there is no racing, we want to continue in 2021 like 2020 with the same agreement. This is something we will strive for, because we saw last year with a good bike, a good rider, we want to win with them. 

“At least one or two wins is enough. But, in theory, we can fight to win this championship.

“I assume that in 2021 [should there be no racing in 2020] everyone will maintain their 2020 agreements.”

Yamaha team manager Massimo Meregalli however gave short shrift to Razali’s argument when speaking to Sky Italia.

“I read [Razali’s comments],” said Meregalli. “I don’t mean to say it’s a totally senseless idea, but even if the 2020 season ends this way [with no races], 2021 will begin as it was intended.”

Asked if this was a reference to Quartararo’s contract, he added: “Exactly.”

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