Malays buy MotoGP team from Jorge Martinez Aspar and sign a contract with Yamaha from 2019 until 2021. It took a long time, but it was officially announced that Yamaha should have a new satellite team.
SIC (Sepang International Circuit) is the Malaysian team that has been competing for Moto3 and Moto2 for years, and for which year it is planning to join the MotoGP class. Plans were accelerated at the moment when Tech 3 announced that at the end of this season it would cease to cooperate with Yamaha and begin an adventure with KTM. In addition, Malaysian giant Petronas decided to withdraw from Formula 1 next year, so they released funds to be the main sponsor of this new team.
The case also wanted Jorge Martinez Aspar to fall into financial trouble. His MotoGP team, which this year changed his name to Angel Nieto Team, has been struggling to end the race for some time, especially after Jorge Martinez Aspar was involved in the dubious organization of the Formula 1 race in Valencia. Moreover, a recent action against possible financial malpractice has been initiated against Malaysians and has opened up the opportunity to buy Aspar’s MotoGP team and two places on the starting grid for the next season. Jorge Martinez Aspar will have the role of a sports adviser, which is actually just an opportunity for a good retreat.
It seems as if the negotiations with Yamaha are getting more difficult. Lin Jarvis has claimed from the start that they do not want to have a satellite MotoGP team at all costs, but that the factory support will depend directly on how much the other party is willing to pay. The cheaper scenario implies that the Malaysian team has one year old motorcycles available, while at least one driver in the bundle of packages had at their disposal M1 similar to those run by Rossi and Vinales. This would also help Yamaha himself to work more precisely with more information collected on further development.
The motorcycle specifications were largely dependent on whether Dani Pedrosa would join the team or retire. Although his announcement of the upcoming race in Sachsenring to announce the final decision coincides with this Yamaha – SIC-Aspar announcement, we still give at least 50% chance that Pedrosa will nevertheless decide on retirement. In that case, the biggest chance to take his place at Petronas Yamaha is Alvaro Bautista and Bradley Smith. It is almost certain that another driver will be Rossi’s protege and current Moto2 champion Franco Morbidelli, whose team Marc VDS next season probably retires from the MotoGP class.
But nothing related to the whole story has yet to be written in the stone. Namely, the Yamaha announcement does not mention that SIC has signed a contract with the team, but only a motorcycle rental memorandum for 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the Angel Nieto Team (Aspar) team uses a word agreement in its statement rather than a term contract. So each of the three sides can still retreat from all this and then the whole story falls into the water. However, it is more likely that next season we will have a new MotoGP team. The problem is that the Aspar, and probably the Marc VDS, will no longer be there, which means that on the start grid will be 22 instead of 24 motorcycles.
It is interesting that Malaysian driver Hafizh Syahrin, who in his rookie MotoGP season not only that he drive for Yamaha’s satellite team Tech 3,but the owner of SIC is also a personal manager of him, for now will not driving in that Malaysian team at least for at the begining. Namely, the story of Petronas Yamaha was too long in the air, so they decided to play safely with Syahrin and previously extended the contract with the Tech 3 team for the next season, which means they will drive the KTM MotoGP team.