Nine-time world champion Rossi is in his 26th Grand Prix season but is currently in the middle of his worst season after scoring just 15 points in the first six races.
This puts him in 19th place overall ahead of the Catalan Grand Prix this weekend, having set a best time of 10 in an accident-riddled Italian GP last weekend.
Rossi has been making it clear for some time that he will decide his MotoGP future after the first half of the 2021 season, while it is known that there are performance criteria in his current Yamaha contract that he must meet before discussions about 2022 can be.
Due to Rossi’s stature, the SRT officials have remained silent about their future in 2022 but have looked for potential replacements.
Autosport expects Petronas to extend its renewal as SRT’s title sponsor, while Yamaha will remain manufacturer of SRT beyond 2021 – although this has yet to be officially announced and there has been no guarantee as Yamaha entered talks with the VR46 team .
It is likely that current SRT rider Franco Morbidelli will take over the factory machines Rossi will be driving in 2021.
In an interview with Motorsport.com’s Spanish-language sister edition of Autosport, Morbidelli admitted, “I still don’t know which bike I’ll be riding next year, but I’ll be racing for Petronas.”
While Morbidelli has a contract with SRT for 2022, a source close to the driver told Autosport that the Italian could pull out of the deal if an offer came from the works team.
“There is a clause in Franco’s contract that allows him to leave his team in the event of an offer from an official team,” the source said.
To date this has not happened yet.
Anyone who could work with him in 2022 should Rossi retire, a source close to SRT confirmed that race winner Moto2 rookie Raul Fernandez is the first choice.
Raul Fernandez, Red Bull KTM Ajo
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
However, they stated: “The first choice is Raul Fernandez, but getting him is almost impossible.”
Fernandez has close ties with KTM – with whom he rides in Moto2 under the Ajo KTM banner – with the Austrian brand that introduces financial penalty clauses into contracts to prevent riders from fleeing.
SRT boss Razlan Razali and Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis met with Fernandez’s entourage in Barcelona this weekend to have the opportunity to bring him to SRT for 2022 despite the difficulties of pulling him out of his current KTM deal .
Incidentally, Fernandez, along with his current Moto2 teammate Remy Gardner, has been associated with a move to Tech3 in MotoGP.
Other names associated with SRT from Moto2 are Joe Roberts – who turned down an Aprilia race for 2021 – and SRT Moto2 rider Xavi Vierge.
His fellow Moto2 rider Jake Dixon has also been linked, although the relationship between the two parties has been strained lately.