PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team unveils new look for historic season
The first ever Malaysian team in MotoGP, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team, and the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing line-ups for Moto2 and Moto3, were officially presented today at the PETRONAS Twin Towers (Malaysia), with high hopes for a promising 2019 MotoGP season.
The PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team this afternoon presented their ambitious project for 2019 at the PETRONAS Twin Towers, unveiling the stunning new colour scheme that will adorn the team’s five riders and their machines across the three categories of the MotoGP World Championship this year. The new PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team riders in MotoGP – Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo – and their 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1 machines lined up alongside PETRONAS Sprinta Racing riders Khairul Idham Pawi (Moto2), Ayumu Sasaki and John McPhee (Moto3) were the stars of the ceremony. 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 team, who for the first time ever in Southeast Asia will have a presence in all three categories of Grand Prix motorcycle racing – MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. 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.
In the intermediate category, the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing outfit heads into its second season with a new face on board – Malaysia’s two-time Grand Prix winner Khairul Idham Pawi. Meanwhile in Moto3, Ayumu Sasaki welcomes a new team-mate in John McPhee, forming a new pairing ready to fight for the positions of honour at the front of the pack.
#21 Franco Morbidelli – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP 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.”
#20 Fabio Quartararo – PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP 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.”
#89 Khairul Idham Pawi – PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto2 Rider
“It has been a dream presentation; for me it is something incredible to unveil the team’s new colours in Kuala Lumpur, my home, because I have never done anything like this here before. To see so many people together at the PETRONAS Twin Towers was very exciting. I love the new bike that the team have put together for the 2019 season and I am very much looking forward to getting back into action soon.”
#71 Ayumu Sasaki – PETRONAS Sprinta Racing Moto3 Rider
“It was an incredible day. It was very nice to have all five of the team’s riders here – it has been very exciting. I also love how the bikes look, so now I want to see what they’re like on track! I am very keen to get back on the bike, meet up again with my technical staff and complete some laps at the Sepang International Circuit. I hope to understand the bike as soon as possible and come back to my riding style after almost three months without riding. I’m really looking forward to Sepang and also the Jerez Test. Our target for this season will be really high. McPhee will be the best team-mate I can ask for and together we will try to be as fast as possible and fight for the podium when we can.”