Franco Morbidelli will remain with the SIC Racing MotoGP outfit until at least the end of 2022, the team announced this morning.
Morbidelli will start his second campaign with the Petronas-backed squad this weekend at Jerez having managed tenth overall riding one of the team’s satellite Yamaha M1’s last year, becoming the first man confirmed at the Sepang International Circuit-owned outfit for next season.
The ’18 Moto2 world champion will continue to ride a current-spec M1, and will hope to secure his first podium finish this year after managing a best of fifth across ’19.
SIC Racing team principle Razlan Razali says that retaining Morbidelli beyond this season “was always in our plans” and that he is a “great asset” to the Malaysian team.
“We are delighted to confirm that Franky will continue with us next year,” said Razali.
“He is an extremely talented rider and a great asset to the team as we look to build on our rookie season.
“Franky (Morbidelli) was always in our plans for the future so it is beneficial for us and him to be able to confirm that he will ride for us in 2021 and 2022 now.
“We are confident that Franky has what it takes to be competitive from Jerez and know that he will develop and mature in all areas through the years ahead.
“Franky will provide the team with stability and competitiveness and we can’t wait to be back on track!”
Morbidelli meanwhile is thrilled with the opportunity to extend his stay with the team he has competed with since it made its premier class debut last year, and to “keep doing what I love with a team I love.”
“I’m very pleased to be renewing with PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team as we had such a great season together last year, working with a great drive to achieve success,” added Morbidelli.
“I think it’s important for me to continue with the same team, bike and environment going forward as it feels great to work with them.
“We all work well together and it’s great fun to work with all the PETRONAS SRT crew.
“I want to thank them for this opportunity that they are giving me as it’s such an honour to ride for them.
“I will be working hard to give them even more and even better results than we achieved in our first year together.
“I’m now looking forward to getting racing again to show our potential and I’m just so happy to have the chance to keep on doing what I love to do with a team I love.”
Morbidelli will want to establish himself as the main man within the SIC team after struggling to match rookie team-mate Fabio Quartararo-who sealed a switch to the factory Yamaha squad earlier this year-in ’19, the Frenchman managing seven rostrums on his way to an impressive fifth overall in the standings.
He looks set to be joined at SIC by the ride-less Valentino Rossi after he was displaced by Quartararo at Yamaha, with Razali having said earlier this year “it can provide a great story” should both parties collaborate-likely with a full-factory set-up for the seven time premier class champion.