RNF explains MotoGP management reshuffle for 2022

RNF Racing owner Razlan Razali says the decision to split with long-time Petronas SRT team director Johan Stigefelt was by “mutual agreement” ahead of the MotoGP team’s rebranding.

RNF explains MotoGP management reshuffle for 2022

The Sepang Racing Team will withdraw from all three classes of the MotoGP world championship at the end of the 2021 season and will be rebranded as RNF Racing.

RNF will continue to operate in just the MotoGP class only, with Razali and current SRT team manager Wilco Zeelenberg at the helm.

It is understood a rift between Stigefelt and Razali had developed in recent weeks, with RNF’s official team announcement last weekend during the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix making no mention of Stigefelt.

When asked by Autosport during the Misano weekend what the situation was with Stigefelt, Razali said: “Well, I mean the last three years we are a team of more than 60 people.

“So, of course with the changes of the team we could not continue with Moto3 and Moto2, so our crew has reduced to nearly half.

“I think we’re looking at 29 team members for next year.

“Primarily Johan’s role was to look after the Moto2 and Moto3, so next year with just being MotoGP I made the decision that we can manage with myself and Wilco.

“Hence, we had a mutual agreement with Johan to go in a different direction.”

It is understood the alleged rift between both parties could impact Darryn Binder coming up from Moto3 to join RNF next year, with the South African having done the deal with Stigefelt.

However, Yamaha and RNF announced last week that Binder would be coming to the team alongside factory-backed Andrea Dovizioso – with rookie Binder, younger brother of KTM rider Brad, getting a 2021-spec M1.

Darryn Binder, Andrea Dovizioso, RNF Racing, Razlan Razali, founder and team principal, RNF Racing, Matteo Ballarin, president of Europe Energy Group

Darryn Binder, Andrea Dovizioso, RNF Racing, Razlan Razali, founder and team principal, RNF Racing, Matteo Ballarin, president of Europe Energy Group

Photo by: RNF Racing

Yamaha also announced just a one-year deal with SRT for 2022, with an option there to extend at least two more years.

Razali says this offer was “not to our expectation”, but explained that it was down to trade compliance issues stemming from RNF being an entity established just a few weeks ago.

“With the situation of the team, I had to incorporate a new entity in the UK,” Razali explained.

“And for Yamaha, [with us] being a new company we needed to comply with the Security Trade Group.

“It’s all about compliance with Yamaha being a big Japanese company.

“Because of the lack of track record with the new entity, etc, etc, because of all this corporate governance compliance issue they could only give us a one-year deal with an extension for the following years.

“We will look at by mid-June for them to confirm to continue with us for the following year and so on.

“The offer is not to our expectation, but I respect their decision due to the compliance issues.”

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