In spite of not getting the results they were seeking at the Pramac Generac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2019, the Petronas SRT Yamaha team heads to its ‘home’ event in Malaysia with hopes of a win.
While rookie sensation Fabio Quartararo was out of the MotoGP™ race at the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit after a crash at the second corner and Franco Morbidelli was well off the win in 11th place, team boss Johan Stigefelt still expects a huge reception in Kuala Lumpur, the home of major sponsor Petronas.
The demands on the teams and its star riders, in all three classes, mean that there are big demands on the riders in the build-up to the race.
“No we believe that we cannot keep up with everything!” said Stigefelt. “In Malaysia, MotoGP™ is very big and of course, this is a Malaysian team. We are all nationalities but the team is owned by Malaysians. When we are in Malaysia the reception is fantastic.
“The riders, when we arrive there, it is amazing. They are on every channel on the television, it is very big.”
Last year the KL authorities even closed one of the city’s major attractions Jalan Alor, or ‘Food Street’, which is usually packed with tourists.
It is more than just a sponsorship deal, with the technical input from Petronas, which also backs the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1® team, assisting with the power of the team’s Yamaha M1 MotoGP™ racers.
“We cannot do this without Petronas, and they are pushing in many, many areas,” said Stigefelt. “They help us to race with our oil, and with their experience in Formula One, they have made a big push for us."