New RNF Yamaha Team Principal, Razlan Razali, believes signing MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi while the team was still branded as Petronas was the wrong move.

The 2021 season, Rossi’s last as a MotoGP rider, was the nine-time World Champion’s worst of his career as he failed to score a podium finish - the first and only season that’s happened since he became a Grand Prix rider in 1996. 

And while signs were there in 2020 that Rossi was unable to consistently challenge for top five finishes, Razali decided to go ahead with signing the Italian, despite being ‘sceptical’. reported the news which included Razali saying; "To be honest: I shouldn’t have taken Valentino. Personally, I was sceptical until Valentino was third on the podium alongside Fabio [Quartararo] and Vinales at the second Jerez GP in July 2020. My mind went: ‘Okay, maybe this guy can do it’." []

Another rider who changed teams in 2021 and endured a difficult season - albeit it was a move to completely different machinery unlike Rossi, was Pol Espargaro. The Spaniard moved to Honda after five years with KTM. 

And although results picked up during the second half of the year, which includes a pole position at Silverstone and podium at Misano (2), it was a year that left Espargaro disappointed and one where staying with KTM ‘would have been more convenient’. [] 

Finally in this week’s MotoGP news, 2021 world champion Fabio Quartararo is the subject of early 2023 contract offers as reported by Spanish publication

Yamaha are desperate to retain the Frenchman and would like to do so before any track action has taken place in 2022. 

However, Marca are reporting that Quartararo wants to first see the evolution of the bike and won’t sign before the Malaysia test at the very earliest; "I don't want to sign anything before Malaysia , at least. I want to see the evolution of our bike.” [] 

"I think it's normal. I don't think it's normal to sign for 2023 without starting 2022, so I think I know what I want. 

"I will wait. a bit to see how Yamaha is doing, especially to see the evolution or not of the new bike in Sepang . I'm asking for very important things."