Some hot gossips have been travelling around the internet last night regarding who will be the second MotoGP rider in the Petronas Yamaha SRT squad for 2021. While a lot of signs have indicated that this will be taken by the nine-time world champion, Valentino Rossi, he has yet to sign on the dotted line nor has he made any official announcements.
This significant delay has caused some folks to think that that team principal, Dato’ Razlan Razali, is considering other options. One of them is current Malaysia’s Moto2 rider, Hafizh Syahrin. This is no new news as there have been discussions between Dato’ Razlan Razali and Hafizh Syahrin regarding a spot for the rider in the team for the 2021 season.
There is, however, a huge catch. Hafizh Syahrin needs to finish in the 2020 Moto2 championship fifth or better in order to earn his spot, possibly in MotoGP. This will be a hard task to accomplish as he’s currently in P16 with 17 points, a good 48 points from the fifth rider in the championship, Marco Bezzecchi (Sky Racing Team VR46).
As for Valentino Rossi, he has made it clear that he wants to continue racing in 2021. Many have stated that he was ‘shaken’ after the horrific incident two weeks ago between Franco Morbidelli (Petronas Yamaha SRT) and Johann Zarco (Esponsorama Racing). The two collided at the fastest part of the track and their runaway bikes almost collided with Rossi and his teammate, Maverick Vinales.
There are definitely a lot of factors that still need to be ironed out on who will take up the second seat in the Petronas Yamaha SRT squad. Both riders have experience in piloting the Yamaha M1 (Rossi obviously more so than Hafizh). Rossi has also proven that he’s still very competitive on the Yamaha machinery and if there’s ever a place to make his announcement, it should be next month in Misano, Italy.