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.
He’s 19th overall ahead of the weekend’s Catalan Grand Prix, after setting 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.
Motorsport.com expects title sponsor Petronas to renew its contract with SRT, while Yamaha will remain the maker of SRT through 2021 – although this has yet to be officially announced and was not a guarantee as Yamaha is in talks with the VR46 team led.
It is likely that current SRT rider Franco Morbidelli will take over the factory machines Rossi is currently driving in 2021.
In an interview with the Spanish-language edition of Motorsport.com, Morbidelli admitted, “I don’t know yet which bike I’ll be riding next year, but I’ll be riding for Petronas.”
While Morbidelli has a contract with SRT for 2022, a source close to the driver told Motorsport.com that the Italian could pull out of that deal should an offer from the works team come in.
“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.
As for the partners, should Rossi retire in 2022, 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 under the Ajo KTM banner in Moto2 – 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 this weekend in Barcelona to discuss the possibility of getting him to SRT for 2022 despite the difficulties of getting him out of his current KTM deal fetch.
Incidentally, Fernandez, along with his current Moto2 teammate Remy Gardner, has been linked with a move to Tech 3 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.