Sepang Racing Team confirm Franco Morbidelli in Sepang 8 Hours team
Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP rider Franco Morbidelli will make his FIM Endurance World Championship (EWC) debut on December 13-15 by joining Sepang Racing Team’s squad for the inaugural Sepang 8 Hours.
“I’m curious to see how an endurance race format suits me, and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a different thing, it’s something nice, and when Razlan asked me to do it I thought ‘sure, why not?’ The combination of Yamaha and Sepang Racing Team means it should be a strong package, and it’ll be nice to race with a production bike again. Riding bikes is always good for staying in shape, so it’s nice to be able to race in December. I’ve trained with a YZF-R1 before so I’ve got an idea of what to expect, but I’m sure the endurance superbike will be very different. I might make the most of the trip and use it to enjoy a holiday in Malaysia as well.”
Morbidelli will join four-time Suzuka 8 Hour winner Michael van der Mark and local superstar Hafizh Syahrin in a squad with the backing of former Endurance World Champions YART Yamaha EWC using Yamaha YZF-R1 machinery.
Michael van der Mark
“When I first saw there would be an EWC round at Sepang in December I knew it would be cool to race it so I’m really proud that the team asked me – plus how can you say no to such a great team and race at their home track? Sepang is hot and humid and it will be really hard work – but that’s also the part of the challenge of endurance racing and I really enjoy it. I will do everything to help the team with the bit of endurance experience I have because we want to fight for the victory! We’ve got a really strong squad but we have to be smart and consistent, because for sure our goal will be to win the team’s home race!”
“I’m really looking forward to taking part in the first EWC race in Malaysia. It’s not my first endurance race as I’ve ridden at the Suzuka 8 Hours before, but it’ll be very different riding in front of our home fans! It’s a really good opportunity for me to test my physical endurance because it’ll be a very long and hot race, and the most important thing will be how we work as a team. We’ll try our best to do a good job, but we’ve got a great team and some very strong team-mates. I’m really excited to share a bike with Franky and Michael, because they’re good riders and Michael has a lot of experience with the Yamaha. I can’t wait to get going!”
Razlan Razali – Team Principal
“We’re very excited to have a Sepang Racing Team entry in the first Sepang 8 Hours. There’s no better way to support Tourism Malaysia’s Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign than this event and our international line-up of riders competing in it. The weekend will be exceptional as it’s the EWC alongside the WTCR – with the worlds of two and four-wheel motorsport sharing the same track on the same weekend. These Races of Malaysia will provide an incredible spectacle of truly international appeal. We have faith that Franco, Michael, Hafizh and YART will deliver and we’re targeting the very top step of the podium.”
The race will take place under the brand-new state-of-the-art floodlights at the Sepang International Circuit as part of a ground-breaking fusion of the worlds of two-and-four-wheel motorsport under the headline, Races of Malaysia.
As well as hosting the FIM Endurance World Championship race, the event will also see the FIA World Touring Car Cup (WTCR) take place alongside.