Razlan Razali has announced the new main sponsor WithU for the next MotoGP season. But he has talked about the divorce from Petronas for the first time, in a very clearly way. The partnership with the Malaysian oil giant seemed untouchable and instead ended suddenly, like no one could predict, in the beginning of the summer. The first news was leaked in early August, but in previous month the rumors started. The time frame for the renewal of the contract was tight and from Malaysia they made it known that they did not want to reduce the budget. “ They wanted to give us less money. I replied: 'We can't do it for less money.' I asked for a slight budget increase in June. Looking back now, I should have accepted this offer from June “.
The talks were initially postponed, then the meeting with the marketing manager was a cold shower. “I was counting on two possibilities. Or they said 'There is no other offer. This is what we pay. ' Or they would have continued the negotiations, ”Razlan Razali adds to Speedweek.com. “ Instead, they chose to withdraw. They didn't give us the opportunity to discuss again “. Through the new CEO of the Sepang Circuit, a meeting has been set with the Petronas top management, but nothing to do. The Covid emergency forced to review investments. This was at least the official version.
The MotoGP satellite team had to take the blow. But the accounts don't add up, because the involvement in Formula 1 with Mercedes costs a lot more money. “ Exactly. We said exactly the same thing. We started very well with our MotoGP team. When Petronas joined Mercedes in 2010, it took a few years to see successes ”. Instead the team formed by Franco Morbidelli and Fabio Quartararo immediately brought great results. " We received less than 5% of what they paid in Formula 1 ", continued Razali, who does not hide some internal differences ...
Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, Petronas' head of strategic communications, did not get along with Razlan. “ Then that person left Petronas. In 2018 two new women came to Petronas as my interlocutors “. Things were proceeding in the best way, young Malaysian riders were becoming familiar with the World Championship, see Syahrin and Khairuddin. Petronas has entered into branding deals with Dorna. " Everything was pure happiness, it looked great ". In the summer a strange coincidence ... “ The two women who arrived in 2018 left Petronas, and the same lady I was arguing with is back ... boom! ".