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WithU Yamaha RNF present Dovizioso and Binder

WithU Yamaha RNF unveiled its 2022 satellite MotoGP and MotoE squads at a lavish Verona venue on Monday afternoon.

Initially hit by technical issues delaying the presentation by an hour, the ex-Petronas now independent outfit showcased Andrea Dovizioso and Darryn Binder’s YZR-M1 Yamaha’s via an online launch from the Verona Philharmonic theatre in the north of Italy.

The blue and black livery ties in a raft of sponsors supporting the venture as Razlan Razali heads the slimline team for the new season with Wilco Zeelenberg remaining as MotoGP team manager while GRT Yamaha’s Filippo Conti takes up the reigns for the MotoE effort running Bradley Smith and Niccolò Canepa.


“This is definitely an emotional moment for me and my team,” Razali admitted as the project sets out as an independent entity after three years with the Malaysian sponsor.

“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. 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.
“It’s just incredibly fitting for this launch to be held in his home town and beautiful city of Verona in this magnificent Philharmonic Theatre. For me, this is a new experience and also for the team. We appreciate the setting a lot! These for me are the two main things that are important for this unique team presentation, where we also have the pleasure to announce our MotoE line-up with Bradley Smith and Niccolò Canepa and are able at the same time to unveil our FIM Enel MotoE World Cup colours.
“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.”

“I’m really ready for this season!” Dovizioso confirmed, of his excitement for the upcoming year.

“I’m training a lot in the gym, on my Motocross bike. 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.

“It’s enormous, the jump from Moto3 to MotoGP,” he continued on his teammate’s undertaking. “The first test at Jerez was a little bit of a shock and it’s normal because the track is a little bit too small. I’m happy to help. MotoGP is very different because we’re all very close, we will try to do things step by step, it’s the best way to go forwards and progress continually.”

‘It was a dream come true’ Binder admitted, reflecting on his first experience of the 21-spec Yamaha he will be running for the season, at Jerez last November.

“The colours of my new bike are just beautiful! Once you see the design and how everything is going to look 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!”

Smith will also be back in action for 2022 as part of the MotoE World Cup, competing once again for the WithU-backed team. The Brit, however, was unable to attend the event due to prior eSC coaching commitments, instead sending his support via video message.

“I’m excited to be back in MotoE and excited to be back in the MotoGP paddock after an unexpected year off,” he said. “It feels nice to be back with the same team - although with a little bit different structure - I raced for, to some great results in 2019. I would obviously go one step better this year after getting the silver medal.

“I’ve watched the championship closely the last couple of years. As always, the championship remains very competitive. I’m thrilled for the new format this season, the fact that the Qualifying is a little bit more normal and there is 14 races, which gives us a longer championship and more opportunities. There are plenty of different tracks that I’m excited to race; for example Mugello and also Finland. So, let’s get started.”

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