It is confirmed multiple world champion and fan favourite Valentino Rossi will be joining Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) in 2021. The announcement was made via SRT’s website and Rossi is designated to ride alongside Franco Morbidelli whilst current SRT rider Fabio Quartararo moves up to the Yamaha Factory team.

Rossi has struggled to match the pace of the current crop of MotoGP riders but the 2020 race season saw him take a third place in Jerez at the Andalucian Grand Prix. Rossi is currently placed ninth in the world championship standing with 58 points.

In a note on the SRT website, team principal Datuk Razlan Razali said, “it is an absolute honour to welcome Valentino Rossi – an iconic rider and legend into the team next year. His experience will be a great asset to the team as we move into our third season in MotoGP and we are sure we will be able to learn a lot from Valentino.”

On the MotoGP race calendar this weekend is the Monster Energy Catalunya Grand Prix at the Barcelona Circuit. After today’s time’s in Free Practice 4, Maverick Finales, who won last weekend’s Gran Premio Tissot dell’Emilia Romagna e della Riviera di Rimini, is fastest with a time of 1’40.315.

Second fastest is Pol Espargaro of Red Bull KTM Factory Racing, clocking 1’40.335 while in third is Joan Mir of Team Suzuki Ecstar, who posted a time of 1’40.352. Rossi posted a lap time of 1’40.374 to stand in fourth place ahead of Qualifying and Race day tomorrow.