Following yesterday's news that, although not officially signed, Valentino Rossi is 99% certain he will continue in MotoGP by moving to Petronas Yamaha next season, the Italian has expanded on the 1% still to be 'fixed'.

As suspected, it's largely down to how many of Rossi's existing factory team members he can take with him, which is in turn related to how many of Fabio Quartararo's current Sepang crew move with the Frenchman to Monster Yamaha.

Quartararo was signed as Rossi's 2021 replacement back in January, when the 41-year-old was unable to give Yamaha a clear decision on his racing future.

The nine-time world champion hoped to test his competitiveness in the opening rounds before deciding whether to accept Yamaha's offer of a satellite place, but the coronavirus delay meant the decision was made ahead of this weekend's revised season opener.

"I speak a lot with Yamaha and I want to continue. I want to be part of the game also next year," said Rossi. "We are already agreed with Yamaha and I spoke already with Petronas and everything is almost fixed.

"I don’t sign the contract yet because it's still not ready, because also we have to build the team. It depends very much… I think a lot of people will move from one team to the other because me and Fabio switch the positions.

"But I think we will fix it as soon as possible."

Although Rossi has a new crew chief in the form of David Munoz this season, some of his mechanics have been with him since he joined the premier-class in 2000.

Fortunately for Rossi, Quartararo - who stunned the paddock with seven podiums during a dream rookie season for Petronas - is also keen to take 'a lot of people' with him next year.

"Of course, I would like to take quite a lot of people from the team and soon we will take a decision about who I can and who I can't bring to the factory team," said the Frenchman.

But while Rossi and Quartararo want to keep their respective crews, the Sepang team may be cautious about making major changes to its structure after such an impressive debut season.

In a message to local Malaysian media, team principal Razlan Razali reiterated the contract with Rossi "has not been signed" and that they are yet to reach agreement "in terms of the technical staff that he wants to bring."

Razali expects to have further meetings with Yamaha and Rossi next week and hopes that "an official announcement will be made soon."

 

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