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It is starting to look more and more likely that we will see Valentino Rossi (Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP) in the colours of Petronas Yamaha SRT in 2021. The rumour mill went into overdrive when The Doctor declared he intends to continue in MotoGP™ in 2021 a couple of weeks ago and, after Yamaha at the start of the year said that the Italian would receive "a Factory-spec YZR-M1 and full Yamaha Motor Co. engineering support" if he decided to continue, all eyes understandably focused on the seat that will be vacated by Fabio Quartararo when he moves to the factory squad.
Now, some media outlets are reporting that a deal has been completed, however, Crash.Net believe that talks are yet to begin between the nine-time World Champion and the satellite Yamaha squad, with talks set to begin this week. It has also been reported though, most notably in La Gazzetta Dello Sport, that the negotiations are at a sticking point due to Rossi's desire to bring with him the team that has accompanied him throughout the majority of premier class career, whilst Petronas Yamaha SRT boss Razali isn't keen on making wholesale changes to his team personnel. One thing that is for certain, though, is that a deal between the pair is edging closer.
Another thing that now looks highly likely is that Rossi will be accompanied in the Petronas Yamaha SRT box by VR46 Academy rider Franco Morbidelli after boss Razlan Razali said how important it was for the team to retain the Italian for 2021. The Malaysian said last week that the deal to extend the former Moto2™ World Champion's contract looks like happening before MotoGP™ hopes to get back underway at Jerez in the middle of July.
As silly season continues to dominate headlines around the world, you can be certain that whenever any official news breaks on the make-up of the 2021 MotoGP™ grid, motogp.com will be across it with exclusive interviews and insight from those at the heart of the story.
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