Razlan Razali owns the structure of the Sepang Racing Team which today has teams in the MotoGP World, Moto2 and Moto3. However, the departure of Petronas as main sponsor meant that Petronas had to give up the Moto2 and Moto3 teams in order to secure his place in the premier class of motorcycling.
‘In the months of june, july and august we still assumed a future together with Petronas. Our philosophy was to develop young riders. Then, when Petronas gave up, my goal became to save the two precious MotoGP places next to Dorna, because if you give up on that, you’ll never come back. It became a matter of survival. The question was: how can we keep the MotoGP team running? To save the MotoGP plans, we had to cut with the Moto3 and Moto2 teams’, the official told in a conversation with Speedweek.
Therefore, it was also necessary to change the team’s philosophy regarding the hiring of riders:
– In this sport, MotoGP is a business. I have to follow the wishes of investors and therefore our philosophy in rider’s selection has changed. At the same time, we have an excellent relationship with Yamaha. They want us to develop new talent, but Yamaha managers also understand our new situation with the team’s new sponsor. So we came to an agreement. We hired [Andrea] Dovizioso, which meant a departure from the original philosophy. We also signed Moto3 rider Darryn Binder [Brad Binder’s brother]. That was a big risk.
It should be noted that Razali’s new MotoGP team will leave the name ‘Petronas Yamaha SRT’ and will be the ‘WithU Yamaha RNF MotoGP Team’.