2019 was an exciting year for Malaysian sport on the world stage with a new force taking the fight to the very best in the Motorcycle World Championship, the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team is owned by the world-renowned Sepang International Circuit and is supported by PETRONAS and Yamaha.
To say the team made an impact in its first season would be an understatement. In only its fourth race, team riders, Frenchman Fabio Quartararo and Italian/Brazilian Franco Morbidelli lined-up in first and second on the grid in Jerez for the Spanish Grand Prix, before Fabio took the team’s first podium just two races later in Barcelona.
By the end of the year, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team had secured:
• Top Independent Team in MotoGP
• Top Independent Rider in MotoGP – Fabio Quartararo – who was also fifth in the overall standings
• Rookie of the Year in MotoGP – Fabio Quartararo
• Six MotoGP Pole Positions in a total of 17 front-row starts.
• Seven MotoGP Podiums
• Two fastest race laps
• Fourth position in the overall team standings.
PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team sits alongside its sister squads in Moto2 and Moto3, racing under the PETRONAS Sprinta Racing moniker. In Moto3, Scotsman John McPhee finished fifth in the rider standings after securing two pole positions and three podiums – one of which was on the top step as John secured the squad’s first race win in Le Mans.
The team also nurtured local talent with Khairul Idham Pawi and Adam Norrodin racing in Moto2. For Khairul, it was a year of frustration after injury side-lined his undoubted talent from early in the season whilst for Adam it was an unexpected opportunity to compete on the world stage and learn against the very best in the world.
For 2020, expect more of the same. PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team retains their riders, with both Franco and Fabio using equal A-Spec Yamaha YZR-M1 bikes, whilst in Moto2 the squad is expanded to two bikes with Spaniard Xavi Vierge and Brit Jake Dixon joining the fold. John McPhee continues in Moto3, where he is joined by Khairul Idham Pawi, who returns to the category where he has enjoyed previous podium success.
Expect to see the Malaysian flag on podiums around the world once more in 2020.