MotoGP: WithU Yamaha RNF Racing unveil 2022 livery
The new WithU Yamaha RNF Racing team has unveiled its first-ever MotoGP livery ahead of the 2022 season.
The team has taken over as Yamaha’s satellite squad following the departure of the Sepang Racing Team (Petronas Yamaha) at the end of 2021. That project, including Moto2 and Moto3, was ended shortly after Petronas announced that it would withdraw its title sponsorship at the end of 2021.
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Razlan Razali remains as Team Principal, whilst Wilco Zeelenberg continues as team manager. The 2022 livery was revealed via a broadcast on YouTube and Facebook. The presentation was presented from the Philharmonic Theatre in Verona, Italy.
The design is primarily black, but does include the blue of Yamaha and a dash of orange for title sponsors WithU. The green, white and red of the Italian flag is also visible, alongside a red banner towards the bottom of the bike for team sponsor, Barracuda.
Razali has signed veteran Andrea Dovizioso and premier class rookie Darryn Binder for his new team’s maiden season.
“This presentation in this beautiful backdrop settings of Verona signifies a number of things for the team; firstly, we are rebuilding, rebranding and with the riders, that we have engaged for this year, Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder, the target is to become competitive, surprise everybody and do the best we can in achieving our goals,” Razali said. “Secondly, for the first time, WithU is the title partner for a MotoGP team. WithU has been with us since 2019 and we appreciate their continued commitment, Matteo Ballarin’s support, trust, and confidence in us in this new journey for the next three years.
“For this 2022 season, we aim to be amongst the best of the Independent Teams at least. We want to fight for the Rookie of the Year, although we know it’s a huge challenge with five rookies in 2022 and Darryn being the only one of them to jump from Moto3 to MotoGP. For Andrea, he has a lot to prove coming back after more than six months of sabbatical. He definitely wants to prove not only himself, but everybody, that he still has the motivation, the experience and the drive to fight for the World Championship.”
Dovizioso made his return to MotoGP at Misano last season, joining Valentino Rossi at Petronas Yamaha following Franco Morbidelli’s promotion to the factory team. The Italian, a three-time premier class runner-up competed in the final five races of the season on a 2019 A-Spec M1.
The Italian left Ducati left Ducati at the end of 2020 and decided to take a sabbatical from the sport. However, he completed some tests for Aprilia and was initially linked with a move to the manufacturer for 2022.
“I’m really ready for this season! I’m training a lot in the gym, on my Motocross bike,” Dovizioso said. “I removed the plate on my collarbone early December in order to feel better for this year. Everything is going well. I’m so happy to start this full season after five races of testing last year, which was very important to start early with the Yamaha, which is different to what I used the last eight seasons.
“I’m convinced that this will help me a lot to approach the tests and the races in 2022 in a better way. I know more about the bike, about the engineers and the team in general. The new colours are adding to the amazing overall picture and I’m looking forward to the test in Malaysia. The last two years we couldn’t ride there, so I’m really happy to go to Sepang.”
Dovizioso spent a single season with Yamaha in 2012, finishing fourth overall with six podiums onboard the satellite Tech3 Yamaha M1.
Binder, brother of two-time MotoGP race winner Brad Binder, makes the jump from Moto3 after a season with the old Petronas squad. The South African bis just the second rider to ever move directly from Moto3 to the premier class, following in Jack Miller’s footsteps.
“The colours of my new bike are just beautiful,” Binder commented. “Once you see the design and how everything is going to look like for the season, it just makes you so excited to get out and actually ride with the new livery and then you know the 2022 season is officially starting once the team launch has happened. I definitely can’t wait!
“It’s going to be so awesome, I’m very, very excited for my first season in MotoGP! Our goal is just to take it step by step. Obviously, it’s a big jump from Moto3 to MotoGP and I only want to take it gradually and build up as high as I can. I don’t want to do anything too crazy, but rather take one step at a time and go up slowly, but surely. I’m really excited, now I can’t wait for the Sepang test to get everything going!”
The team will also compete in MotoE with Bradley Smith and Niccolò Canepa. The MotoE livery is slightly different to its MotoGP counterpart. The MotoE design includes a dash of purple alongside the black, blue, and orange. The yellow and red of DHL is also visible in place of the Barracuda sponsorship seen on the MotoGP bike.