By the time the MotoGP World Championship returns to Silverstone in 2020, Petronas team principal Razlan Razali hopes they will have made history by claiming the first race victory for a satellite Yamaha.

Last weekend's British Grand Prix marked only the one-year anniversary since the Sepang team announced plans to join MotoGP, from 2019.

The opening twelve races have gone beyond their wildest expectations. Rookie star Fabio Quartararo has celebrated three podiums and three pole positions, with Franco Morbidelli adding two front-row starts and a trio of career-best fifth places.

"There’s no way we expected to be in this fantastic position after only twelve rounds of the 2019 season," Razali said.

"We were hoping for Franky to deliver top six performances and for Fabio to target rookie of the year. We didn’t expect both of them to do what they're doing and we’re extremely happy and satisfied with them."

"Without a doubt the biggest surprise has come from Fabio," Razali added. "When we announced him as our second rider, a lot of people told us we made the wrong choice - but now everyone agrees we made the right decision!

"He’s delivered the biggest surprise of the year, with a series of podiums, pole positions, top fives and top tens. He’s been fabulous, and he’s truly talented. Having pole position and second place at only the first European round in Jerez was exceptional."

But such success means the team's ambitions will be even greater for 2020.

"For next year we’ve certainly set a benchmark standard for a new team, so there’s more pressure for us in the second year," Razali admitted. "Of course, we want to do even better, and I’m sure both riders will continue to do well.

"I hope that by the time we arrive at this point in the 2020 season my ambition is to have at least one MotoGP win.

"Once you have a taste of success like a podium, a pole position or even a win, you crave for more. But no matter what we achieve, our goals remain the same and it’s important for us to maintain our focus and our objective.

"I’m really looking for a win and a podium at the Malaysian Grand Prix though!"

Quartararo was denied another podium challenge by his turn one highside at Silverstone, but then fastest on both days of last week's Misano test (when Morbidelli was also in the top three), meaning Petronas look set for plenty more podium opportunities leading up to their home round.

The following table shows the closest that satellite Yamaha riders have so far come to victory in MotoGP.

Closest to victory: Satellite Yamaha riders in MotoGP (2002 onwards)

+0.251s Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha, 2nd) Argentina 2018

+0.337s Johann Zarco (Tech3 Yamaha, 2nd) Valencia 2017

+1.360s Colin Edwards (Tech3 Yamaha, 2nd) Donington Park 2009

+1.559s Cal Crutchlow (Tech3 Yamaha, 2nd) Sachsenring 2013

+2.660s Fabio Quartararo (Petronas Yamaha, 2nd) Barcelona 2019

(The closest of the second places by a satellite Yamaha).

Sepang will field an unchanged MotoGP rider line-up in 2020, although Quartararo's brilliant form means he will surely be upgraded to join Morbidelli on factory spec machinery.

Also staying put is John McPhee, who handed the team its first grand prix win, in the Moto3 class this season. That leaves McPhee's future Moto3 team-mate, plus the Sepang Moto2 riders as still to be confirmed.

"For MotoGP, we’re continuing with Franco and Fabio and this should be an amazing combination for the team’s second season," Razali said.

"For Moto2, we have some time to confirm our plans, whilst for Moto3 we announced John at his home race so half the line-up is in the public domain.

"Watch this space, we should have further news soon…"



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