MotoGP: Petronas Sepang Racing announce withdrawl, new team to be announced

The Petronas Sepang Racing Team will cease operations at the end of 2021. A new team is to be announced.

It has been announced that following the withdrawal of the Petronas sponsor from all three classes, the Petronas Sepang Racing Team will not continue racing into 2022. Instead a new team will be formed with a new title partner, said partner is rumoured to be Italian company ‘WithU’.

The team has exhibited a lot of success over the past few years winning races in Moto3, scoring a podium in Moto2 and battling for the 2020 MotoGP championship with riders Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo, becoming the best performing independent team with both riders racking up three wins apiece.

Razlan Razali and Johan Stigefelt will take up new roles in 2022 as team owners of a brand new team, running 2022 ‘B’ spec Yamaha M1’s in the MotoGP world championship and reportedly a new line up of riders with Franco Morbidelli rumoured to be moving to the factory Yamaha team next to ex-teammate Fabio Quartararo.

The new team will be announced on September 16th at Misano.

Razlan Razali: We have experienced a remarkable voyage over the past years. From a small start in 2015 there was a great step for us in 2018 when we secured an entry to the premier class of MotoGP and built a MotoGP squad from scratch. In 2019 we were on the grid and just four races into our rookie season we were on the front row. By the seventh race we were on the podium. In 2020 we secured the first race win for a satellite Yamaha MotoGP team in over 20 years and finished second in the overall team and rider championships. In 2021 we raced with the Greatest Of All Time rider, Valentino Rossi. This is an incredible story.

The team will race its final race in Valencia and we thank all our crew, riders, fans and partners for their support. In particular, we thank PETRONAS, with whom none of this would have been possible. Together we pushed the PETRONAS brand and Malaysian expertise to the forefront of the grid and captured unprecedented brand exposure and coverage, exponentially surpassing all expectations.

Our final season has not reached its conclusion yet and we continue to strive for the very best results possible across all three classes. Thank you all.

Johan Stigefelt:  Thank you to PETRONAS for the opportunity given over the past three years and everything we have achieved together. I am sad we were not able to continue this project as we established a great team across all three categories of MotoGP in such a short time and our vision was for this to be a long term project. We have worked with incredible personnel, fantastic riders and enjoyed the support of great partners and wonderful fans and we offer our heartfelt gratitude to them all.

Thank you also to Sepang International Circuit with whom the relationship goes back to 2015. Together we grew from a small two-rider Moto3 squad to one of the biggest teams to have ever existed in the MotoGP paddock. I am proud to have been part of this journey together and without Sepang International Circuit this would not have been possible.

As a squad, we achieved our first win, in Moto3, at Le Mans with John McPhee in 2019 and we had already taken our first pole position in MotoGP at the Spanish GP with Fabio Quartararo in Jerez that same year. We enjoyed six MotoGP race wins between Fabio and Franco Morbidelli in 2020. We have fabulous memories of the last three years, but now we look to the rest of this season to end the year in the best way possible.

In particular, I really want to thank everyone in the Moto2 and Moto3 squads who are not only colleagues but have become true friends over the past years. It is very hard for me to say goodbye to all these people especially as they have all been crucial contributors to our success and the structure we’ve built together over these years. I want to thank them all in particular.

For the future we have a new and exciting project. We remain in the paddock in MotoGP with new shirts to wear. But more of that later; for now we have the remaining races of the 2021 season to race as hard as possible. Thank you all.

Featured image – Petronas SRT