The RNF squad was renamed from Petronas Sepang Racing Team for 2022 after title sponsor Petronas decided to leave SRT at the end of 2021.
The Sepang-led team also eventually opted to leave MotoGP for 2022, leaving current team boss Razlan Razali to take over the team and rename it RNF Racing.
RNF Racing will receive title sponsorship from Italian utility WithU and will field 15-time MotoGP race winner Andrea Dovizioso and Moto3 graduate Darryn Binder on Yamaha machines in 2022.
“For this 2022 season, we want to at least be among the best independent teams,” said Razali.
“We want to fight for Rookie of the Year although we know it’s a big challenge with five rookies in 2022 and Darryn is the only one of them jumping from Moto3 to MotoGP.
“He has a lot to prove for Andrea when he comes back after a sabbatical of more than six months. He definitely wants to prove not just to himself but to everyone that he still has the motivation, the experience and the drive to fight for the World Championship.”
Dovizioso returns to full-time competition in MotoGP after contesting the final five rounds of 2021 with Petronas SRT on Franco Morbidelli’s two-year-old Yamaha after the latter switched to the factory Yamaha squad in place of the ousted Maverick Vinales.
After losing his ride with Ducati in late 2020, three-time Championship runner-up Dovizioso ran a testing program with Aprilia while on sabbatical last year before the SRT option became available.
He picked up points in four of the five races he competed in last year and achieved his best result of 12th place at the season finale in Valencia.
Dovizioso will ride a factory-spec Yamaha in 2022, having signed directly with the Japanese brand.
New teammate Darryn Binder – younger brother of two-time MotoGP race winner Brad Binder – is the first rider to jump straight from Moto3 into MotoGP since Jack Miller in 2015.
Binder will pilot a 2021 M1 for RNF Racing, having previously spent seven seasons in Moto3, the last of which last year with SRT.
A one-time Moto3 winner, Binder’s rise to MotoGP has come under fire after a controversial collision with Dennis Foggia in Portugal last year helped decide the Moto3 crown in favor of Pedro Acosta, who again spotlighted the South African’s riding standards moved.
Binder’s promotion to the RNF is believed to come as a result of bringing much-needed support to the squad after a disappointing 2021 as SRT, having claimed seven podiums in his debut season with Fabio Quartararo in 2019 and second in 2020 with Franco Morbidelli was ranked as both he and Quartararo won six races between them.
RNF has signed a deal with Dorna Sports to compete in MotoGP alongside all current teams until the end of 2026.
Currently, however, there is only a one-year contract with Yamaha with an option to extend.
Razali explained last year that this was because RNF had been incorporated as an entity just weeks before signing the deal with Yamaha – an established company – and RNF had to comply with various trade regulations.
The birth of RNF also coincided with an alleged rift that developed between Razali and team director Johan Stigefelt.
But Razali insisted both himself and Stigefelt had reached an amicable agreement to part ways due to the closure of the Moto2 and Moto3 teams – which was Stigefelt’s main goal – which led to a major downsizing.