The Sepang Racing team that runs the Petronas SRT Yamaha MotoGP squad is facing a considerable financial hurdle in the coming months, with Petronas withdrawing its title backing for 2022 according to The Race’s sources.
That has already led to team members being informed that SRT’s successful Moto2 and Moto3 squads will be shut down for next season.
There have been persistent rumours in the MotoGP paddock for some months about funding issues at the team, with staff believed to have not received their full financial remuneration for the 2020 season amid talks of ‘austerity measures’ from team principal Razlan Razali.
It’s also been hinted that the reason that SRT has been struggling to secure riders to replace the departing Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi for next year is the nature of the financial offers made to riders like Toprak Razgatlioglu and Garrett Gerloff, both of whom elected to remain in World Superbikes rather than joining the team.
According to The Race’s contacts, the Moto2 and Moto3 team staff, some of whom have been with the squad since it made its debut in 2014 under the Caterham name with Johann Zarco and Josh Herrin on AirAsia-branded bikes, have been informed that they will have to find new jobs for next season.
However, the MotoGP team looks set to continue under a new title sponsor, with Darryn Binder set to be named as one of the team’s riders.
But it will no longer have the latest factory Yamaha machinery and will run two B-spec bikes next year.
Having started with two older-spec bikes for its sensational debut season in 2019, it had the latest machinery for Fabio Quartararo last year and then Valentino Rossi this season, with Franco Morbidelli remaining on older kit throughout.
A frontrunner for SRT in the Moto3 class this year, he had already been linked with a move to Moto2 for next year – but it seems that the team will instead amend the South African’s contract so that he joins brother Brad (who rides for KTM) in the premier class.
The team declined to comment when asked by The Race.