Quartararo to join factory Yamaha lineup in 2021, replacing Rossi

Yamaha have announced that Fabio Quartararo will join Maverick Vinales in their factory MotoGP team in 2021, meaning Valentino Rossi will leave the team at the end of the season.

Quartararo has signed a two-year-deal with the team, mirroring Vinales’ new contract for 2021 and 2022 which was announced yesterday. The 20-year-old Frenchmen massively impressed in his rookie season, finishing fifth in the standings with seven podiums.

Yamaha confirmed that if Rossi remains in MotoGP in 2021 they will give him a factory-spec bike with full factory support, presumably at the Petronas Yamaha SRT squad Quartararo currently rides for. The Italian will make a decision on his future in ‘mid-2020’ as originally planned.

The announcement marks the end of 15 years for Rossi in the main Yamaha team, spread across two stints from 2004-2010 and 2013-2020. The 40-year-old has taken four of his seven MotoGP titles with the team (2004, 2005, 2008, 2009).

“For reasons dictated by the riders’ market, Yamaha asked me at the beginning of the year to make a decision regarding my future. I confirmed that I didn’t want to rush my decision and needed more time. My first goal is to be competitive this year and to continue my career as a MotoGP rider in 2021. I’m happy that Yamaha is ready to support me in all respects, giving me a factory-spec bike and a factory contract.”

Valentino Rossi

“These days, with six motorcycle manufacturers in the MotoGP class, fast young talents are greatly in demand, and consequently the riders’ market begins even earlier. It’s a weird sensation to start a season knowing Vale will not be in the factory team in 2021, but Yamaha will still be there for Valentino, whatever he may decide for the future.”

Lin Jarvis, Yamaha MotoGP Team Boss

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