Petronas Yamaha is targeting a MotoGP title fight with Fabio Quartararo this season, during what should be the Frenchman's final year before stepping up to the official Yamaha team in 2021.

But Sepang team director Razlan Razali has raised the prospect of Quartararo remaining at the satellite team for a further year, should the worst-case scenario occur and the entire 2020 MotoGP season be cancelled.

"We need to discuss what happens if the races don’t happen. We want to make it null and void this year and then continue 2021 like 2020 with the same arrangement," TMCBlog.com quotes Razali as saying. "I think that is something we will fight for."

He added: "The worst-case scenario is no championship [in which case] I would assume that in 2021 everyone will revert to the 2020 arrangement, because we will insist and we will fight for Fabio to be with us in his final year [before joining the factory Yamaha team].

"We are really looking forward to this year - because of what Fabio did last year, we've got him the full spec factory bike like Rossi and Vinales and he's done really well in testing.

"So we know he can fight for the championship. In fact, our target for him is to come [at least] second, with a couple of wins. So we want that for the team and if the racing starts this year that is the target, whether it's a full season or minimum 10-13 races."

Assuming a 2020 season takes place in some shape or form, Razali will need to find a replacement for Quartararo in 2021 and also decide whether to retain team-mate Franco Morbidelli.

"We have a few riders we are eyeing right now," he said. "If Franco Morbidelli does well he could stay with us. If not, we are looking at Xavi Vierge from our Moto2 team to do something special to get himself into our MotoGP team. We also have two-three riders we are monitoring in Moto2."

The biggest story surrounding Petronas for 2021 is whether Valentino Rossi will join the team, having been guaranteed a satellite seat by Yamaha should he decide to continue.

"Our principle still remains that we want young, talented riders," Razali said. "We all know about Valentino Rossi, Lorenzo who want to join the team without formally discussing with us...

"But for us our principle is that we want to develop young riders. We have a couple in mind, including Xavi Vierge."

Quartararo is one of only four riders that have so far signed for 2021, alongside Maverick Vinales (Monster Yamaha), Marc Marquez (Repsol Honda) and Tito Rabat (Avintia Ducati).

There are also rumours those four may now need to 'renegotiate' some of the terms of their contracts with racing budgets set to be slashed in the aftermath of the coronavirus. Those still to sign will likewise be forced to lower their salary expectations...

Latest 2020 MotoGP Calendar (April 2)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

8 March

Qatar (MotoGP cancelled)

Losail

2

3 May

Spain (postponed)

Jerez

3

17 May

France (postponed)

Le Mans

4

31 May

Italy

Mugello

5

7 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

6

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

7

28 June

Netherlands

TT Circuit Assen

8

12 July

Finland

KymiRing (Subject to homologation)

9

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

10

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

11

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

12

13 September

San Marino

Misano

13

27 September

Aragon

Aragon (rescheduled)

14

4 October

Thailand

Buriram (rescheduled)

15

18 October

Japan

Motegi

16

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

17

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

18

15 November

Americas

Circuit of the Americas (rescheduled)

19

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo (rescheduled)

20

29 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo (rescheduled)

 

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