Petronas SRT boss Razlan Razali has confirmed to Autosport that talks have been held with Yamaha about signing Valentino Rossi for the 2021 MotoGP season.
Seven-time MotoGP world champion Rossi is out of contract at the end of this year and has lost his place at the factory Yamaha squad to Fabio Quartararo for 2021.
Yamaha had asked Rossi to decide his future at the start of the year, but his insistence on waiting to evaluate his performance in the opening races of the now-delayed 2020 season forced the Japanese marque's hand to make a move for the sought-after Quartararo.
- 2020 MOTOGP RIDER MARKET
- What unique Marquez deal says about his and Honda's ambition
- Rossi will decide future before 2020 racing begins
- How COVID-19 has thrown 2020's silly season wide open
- Rins secures two-year Suzuki contract extension
- Ducati considering five riders for 2021 seats
- Vinales gets new Yamaha deal to end of 2022
- How Rossi's Petronas Yamaha deal is drawing closer
- Suzuki completes 2021 line-up with Mir
Rossi has been guaranteed full works support from Yamaha should he choose to stay for 2021 with SRT, which he indicated last month is now likely owing to the current situation surrounding the 2020 season.
In an exclusive interview with Autosport, Razali confirmed talks have been had with Yamaha about a 2021 Rossi deal, though the finer details now need to be worked out.
"We met with Yamaha and we already know their proposal," Razali said.
"But now we have to sit down with all the parts and begin to deal with the details.
"That has not been done yet. So far we have been analysing technical issues.
"We must not forget that Valentino should be matched with our sponsors.
"We have to balance the disbursement of hiring him for a single year and see what we can get in return, be it performance on track or results.
"It is clear that it would benefit us in terms of exposure, and that having Valentino is a great value.
"At the moment, everything looks good, but we have to start analysing the details."
Razali (above) says one of the main points that has to be ironed out is who Rossi is able to bring with him from the works Yamaha squad, while not 'dismantling' the current technical structure at SRT.
"Normally, when a rider arrives at a factory he takes with him the pieces of equipment with which he is most comfortable," Razali added.
"We are in favour of that, because we also do not want to deny his chief mechanics and technicians that he chooses the possibility of signing for a factory and of being in a position to fight for the title.
"We made it clear to Yamaha that at Petronas we have our technical teams and we prefer not to dismantle that structure.
"Surely only two or three of Rossi's technicians would join him, but we still have to talk to him."
Of Rossi's core crew, new crew chief David Munoz and long-time mechanic Alex Briggs are the most likely to step over to SRT with him.
Rossi will likely be paired with protege Franco Morbidelli (below) at SRT next year, after Razali confirmed to Autosport that it was looking to re-sign the 2017 Moto2 world champion.
This has effectively ended hopes of Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo forming an SRT dream team next year, as had been rumoured over the winter.