Razlan Razali, principal of the Sepang Racing Team and founder of the replacement 'RNF' satellite Yamaha MotoGP team, has released the following statement apologising for any offence caused to Petronas by articles written from an interview he gave to Speedweek.com.

Although Razali notably does not name Petronas at any stage, the articles in question concern 'the discontinuation of PSRT’s title partner' for 2022.

It is not clear which parts of the articles caused offence to Petronas, requiring the official 'response', but they included the suggestion that a personality clash between Razali and a returning senior figure at Petronas might have been a factor in the split.

Sepang Circuit CEO Azhan Shafriman Hanif adds: "The said articles do not express the views or opinions of SIC as the [SRT] team owner... We respect Petronas’ decision to conclude the title partnership and stand firmly that the separation was mutual and importantly, amicably agreed."

MEDIA STATEMENT

FROM RAZLAN RAZALI, TEAM PRINCIPAL OF PETRONAS SEPANG RACING TEAM (PSRT) ON SPEEDWEEK.COM ARTICLE

RAZLAN RAZALI, TEAM PRINCIPAL OF PETRONAS SEPANG RACING TEAM

In reference to several online news article published in regards to the discontinuation of PSRT’s title partner, Razlan Razali, Team Principal of the PETRONAS Sepang Racing Team responded.

“I sincerely regret on the outcome of how the articles were written and the impact they have received. It was never my intention to create any friction between myself and the parties involved. With that, I apologise if the parties mentioned by these journalists are offended in any way. We have mutually agreed that the partnership have reached its purpose and objectives and given the economic situation globally due to the pandemic, I respect the decision made by the title partner to discontinue with the team. The team together with its title partner have achieved and accomplished so much in the three years of our collaboration and I thank our partner for the commitment and support given as we concluded on a positive note at the last race in Valencia.”

AZHAN SHAFRIMAN HANIF, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF SEPANG INTERNATIONAL CIRCUIT (SIC)

“The said articles do not express the views or opinions of SIC as the team owner, and neither are shared, supported or endorsed in any manner. We respect Petronas’ decision to conclude the title partnership and stand firmly that the separation was mutual and importantly, amicably agreed. We would like to thank Petronas for their constant support throughout the partnership.”

It was a major surprise when Petronas announced in August that it would not renew its initial three-year SRT title sponsorship deal, which had been instrumental in forming the new MotoGP team for 2019.

The withdrawal immediately spelt the end of the SRT Moto2 and Moto3 teams for 2022, while the premier-class project was initially due to be rebranded under the same management.

However, a split between Razali and SRT director Johan Stigefelt saw the Malaysian form the new RNF team on his own, acquiring the SRT grid places from Dorna and securing machinery from Yamaha.

The new team will run Andrea Dovizioso and rookie Darryn Binder in MotoGP next season, with title sponsorship from WithU.

After poles and podiums in SRT's debut MotoGP season, Razali left his role as Sepang Circuit CEO to focus full-time on SRT for 2020, when the squad went on to make history with the first satellite Yamaha MotoGP race wins.

SRT took six victories divided equally between Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli, the Frenchman leading for much of the world championship and the Italian eventually finishing runner-up to Suzuki's Joan Mir.

The Malaysian team couldn't replicate that scorching success in 2021, when MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi swapped places with Quartararo, the team managing just one podium with Morbidelli before the Italian was forced to undergo knee surgery.