SRT: Rossi won't have less pressure as satellite MotoGP rider

Petronas SRT team director Johan Stigefelt doesn't believe nine-time grand prix world champion Valentino Rossi will have less pressure on him as a satellite MotoGP rider in 2021

SRT: Rossi won't have less pressure as satellite MotoGP rider

For the first time in his career, Rossi will not race a Yamaha in its factory colours after agreeing a one-year deal with SRT for 2021, but he remains on a works contract.

Rossi hasn't won a grand prix since the 2017 Dutch TT and only scored one podium in 2021 - marking the first time this has happened since his first year with Ducati in 2011.

Speaking after SRT's 2021 launch event, Stigefelt feels Rossi approaches his new team with the same mindset of trying to be a regular podium finisher.

"I think he will not have less pressure, he really wants to perform," Stigefelt said.

"And he's coming to the team with the mindset to try to be on the podium and try to win a race again and to win races.

"We know it's very hard, but I think for everybody sometimes it is good to change their environment.

"And coming into a new team but with some of his staff coming with him, the combination of our mechanics, young mechanics and his staff, his crew chief David [Munoz] is very young, he has a very good approach, he's very open-minded. I think the combination will be great and I think the riders feel this.

"You see that with how Franco [Morbidelli] and Fabio [Quartararo] adapted to the team and how they liked the team to work because the most important thing for me as the director of the team is to take care of the people.

"When we have happy mechanics, we have happy riders, and happy riders perform."

SRT team boss Razlan Razali believes Rossi will bring "stability" to the team in 2021, noting the way the COVID-19 pandemic affected MotoGP last year made the Italian a "more attractive" prospect than signing a rookie talent.

"Because of the pandemic, the proposition of having Vale in the team got much more viable and feasible," Razali said when Autosport asked him how Rossi would enhance the team.

"Because if it was a normal year we would have looked at Valentino and other riders as well.

"But because of what happened last year, the option of Valentino became more attractive rather than selecting a rookie rider amidst this pandemic.

"We want to continue our performance on the track, we know we have a good rider in Franco, a young rider, but we also believe Valentino can bring stability and performance.

"When he is relaxed and happy with the bike he can deliver that performance.

"So, it was more for the stability of the team and we make that great exception this year only with Valentino."

Razali also revealed Rossi has a performance criteria to meet in his Yamaha contract before any discussions about 2022 can take place, while noting the rider himself will have his own "self-evaluation" to consider for his plans post-2021.

"We will have to look at it race-by-race with Valentino," he added.

"And of course, like any other rider, I think the first six to seven races are crucial to see where he's at.

"And Valentino being such an experienced rider, he will have a self-evaluation of his performance in the first six or seven races before he decides what to do.

"We are aware in his contract with Yamaha there are certain targets he needs to achieve before any talks about continuation next year."

shares
comments
SRT "seemed more upset" than Yamaha at 2020 MotoGP title loss
Previous article

SRT "seemed more upset" than Yamaha at 2020 MotoGP title loss

Next article

Morbidelli/Rossi relationship won’t change as MotoGP team-mates

Morbidelli/Rossi relationship won’t change as MotoGP team-mates
Load comments
How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race Plus

How Ducati has drawn first blood in the 2022 MotoGP title race

The 2021 MotoGP season may have only just ended but preparations for 2022 are well underway following a two-day test at Jerez this week. Ducati has hit the ground running while a lack of progress dominated Yamaha’s and world champion Fabio Quartararo’s test. While no battle lines have been drawn yet for 2022, it appears Ducati has already drawn first blood...

MotoGP
Nov 20, 2021
Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late Plus

Why Suzuki's quest for a new MotoGP boss may be too late

Suzuki is on the search for a new team manager after its decision not to replace Davide Brivio at the start of 2021 was backed up by its unsuccessful bid to help Joan Mir defend his 2020 MotoGP world title. But whoever Shinichi Sahara appoints next, it may have already come too late to convince Mir to stick with the project

MotoGP
Nov 19, 2021
How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career Plus

How Rossi got the perfect send-off to his MotoGP career

The greatest chapter in MotoGP history came to a close at the Valencia Grand Prix as Valentino Rossi bid farewell after 26 seasons of grand prix racing. While his run to a strong 10th was a pleasing end to his time in MotoGP, it was what happened at the front of the grid that capped the Italian's ideal send-off

MotoGP
Nov 15, 2021
Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove Plus

Why MotoGP's under-fire graduate has a point to prove

OPINION: MotoGP-bound Darryn Binder was already under the microscope as his jump from Moto3 to join RNF's new top-class team was announced. But his crash with title hopeful Dennis Foggia caused significant consternation among the ranks - with many current riders suggesting the top level should be harder to break into as a result

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2021
How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence Plus

How Portugal exposed the biggest threat to Quartararo’s MotoGP title defence

Fabio Quartararo’s first DNF of his title-winning 2021 MotoGP season couldn’t have come at a better time. But the events of the Yamaha rider’s Algarve Grand Prix exposed the M1’s well-known major weakness, which could threaten his championship defence given the increasingly Ducati-heavy makeup of the grid heading into 2022

MotoGP
Nov 8, 2021
The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression Plus

The financial implications fuelling junior bike racing's dangerous aggression

The pressure shouldered by young riders is at the root of the increased on-track aggression seen in lower categories of late, which motorcycling's governing bodies want to curb with new rules. But will stopping under-18s from racing in the world championship and capping grid sizes prevent the often desperate acts of youths pursuing their MotoGP dreams?

MotoGP
Nov 2, 2021
The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano Plus

The three factors that crowned MotoGP’s newest champion at Misano

The prospect of Fabio Quartararo clinching the 2021 MotoGP world championship title at Misano appeared small after struggling to 15th in qualifying, while main rival Francesco Bagnaia took pole. Here's how the Yamaha rider turned it around, with help from an ill-fated Bagnaia tyre choice, to secure the crown with two races to spare

MotoGP
Oct 25, 2021
Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on Plus

Marco Simoncelli: Remembering MotoGP's ultimate maverick 10 years on

Saturday 23 October marks the 10th anniversary of Marco Simoncelli's death. The one-time 250cc world champion and double MotoGP podium finisher was the ultimate maverick character with big hair, a big personality and an even bigger talent. Autosport pays tribute to a much-missed figure, a decade on

MotoGP
Oct 23, 2021