Yamaha has officially joined fellow manufacturers KTM, Ducati and Honda in committing to MotoGP for the next five-year contract cycle with Dorna, from 2022-2026.
“Yamaha this year is celebrating its 60th year in grand prix competition,” said Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis.
“We started in 1961, which was just five or six years after the company was born. So we are definitely committed to the sport of MotoGP and road racing in general.
“Yamaha has signed an agreement with Dorna for 2022-2026. I’m very happy for that and that’s a sign of our intention.”
While the agreement comes as no surprise, with remaining factories Suzuki and Aprilia also expected to renew, the question of Yamaha’s future satellite team is less clear.
Petronas is currently Yamaha’s satellite partner, making history with the first ‘Independent’ M1 race wins last season, leading much of the world championship with Fabio Quartararo and eventually finishing second in the standings with Franco Morbidelli.
But like all the Independent teams, the Petronas-Yamaha contract is up for renewal at the end of this season.
While extending may seem the obvious choice for both parties, Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis also expects the VR46 team to be a ‘candidate’ should they take up an option to enter the premier-class.
“In terms of 2022, it’s true that we had a three year agreement with the Petronas team, which expires at the end of this year,” Jarvis said.
“So this year will be a period of renegotiation with the satellite teams in general.
“I believe it’s not only Yamaha that will be in the middle of negotiations, there is talk from what I understand of maybe Aprilia will change and have a Factory team [own grid places] in the championship.
“Then also Suzuki, will they enter or not a satellite team? Will Ducati maintain two satellite teams? And what will Yamaha and Honda do, for instance? KTM seems to be the only one that’s clear at the moment with their solid commitment together with Tech3.
“In our situation, definitely the Petronas Yamaha team have done extremely well since we started with them two years ago. Last year they won six races and their rider finished second in the championship.
“So there’s no question in terms of their capabilities and capacity as a team.
“Will VR46 enter or not? From what I understand they have an option, which expires at some time, and I believe they are seriously considering to enter.
“So Yamaha, we will discuss with the candidates that are available, which will surely be Petronas and – if they enter – VR46, because of our long term relationship also with the company and Valentino.
“Nothing has started yet. There are no negotiations shall we say on the table at this moment, but that definitely begin in April and May.”