Vierge rejects MotoGP debut offer from SRT at Aragon

Moto2 racer Xavi Vierge has turned down the offer to make his MotoGP debut with Petronas SRT at next weekend’s Aragon Grand Prix, Autosport has learned.

Xavi Vierge, Petronas Sprinta Racing

Vierge competes for SRT in the Moto2 class and was offered the chance to replace the injured Franco Morbidelli on the 2019-spec M1 at Aragon.

The Spaniard’s team-mate Jake Dixon did so last weekend at the British Grand Prix, after SRT’s original stand-in Cal Crutchlow was drafted into the factory Yamaha squad to replace the ousted Maverick Vinales.

Dixon made steady improvements throughout the Silverstone weekend, but was left “really annoyed” with his race debut after an apparent tyre issue left him over 50 seconds off race-winner Fabio Quartararo in last.

During the Austrian double-header, Yamaha test rider Crutchlow – who retired from racing at the end of 2020 and hadn’t ridden his M1 since April – struggled to 17th in both Red Bull Ring races on the old ‘A-spec’ Yamaha.

Given the issues both Crutchlow and Dixon have faced on Morbidelli’s bike, Vierge has elected to turn down the offer to ride the machine at Aragon.

Autosport understands that Vierge believes taking up the offer would do more damage to his career than good, especially as it looks there is no option for him to step up to MotoGP with the team in 2022.

Yamaha has already confirmed Crutchlow will remain on the factory Yamaha for the Aragon GP, opening the door for Dixon to get another MotoGP shot with SRT.

Jake Dixon, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Jake Dixon, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

During the British GP weekend, SRT announced it would be quitting MotoGP outright at the end of 2021, with a new outfit headed by current Sepang Racing Team management to be announced during the San Marino GP weekend.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis confirmed on Sunday at Silverstone that Morbidelli will step up to the factory squad from Misano onwards and into 2022, while Andrea Dovizioso will make his MotoGP return in Morbidelli’s place at SRT.

It is thought the new team to be born out of SRT will have title sponsorship from Italian company WithU – with Dovizioso set to get a factory-supported bike in 2022 from Yamaha.

Ahead of this latest twist, SRT was looking likely to only have ‘B-spec’ M1s in 2022.

It is thought Dovizioso’s team-mate will be Darryn Binder, who will step directly up from SRT’s Moto3 team to MotoGP.

Vierge’s future remains uncertain, with it thought the Spaniard has been offered a deal to return to Intact GP in Moto2 or step over to World Superbikes with Honda.

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