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Malaysian Grand Prix motorcycle team shows empathy to sponsors for now

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA - FEBRUARY 07: Fabio Quartararo of France and Petronas Yamaha SRT speaks and Franco Morbidelli of Italy and Petronas Yamaha SRT (R) looks on during the media event of Petronas Yamaha SRT team in paddock during the MotoGP Tests In Sepang at Sepang Circuit on February 07, 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (Photo by Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images)

The Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team are giving their smaller sponsors flexibility but say future contracts may offer less latitude.

Team principal Datuk Razlan Razali said his team had a few small technical sponsors in Europe involved in the retail sector and due to the Covid-19 pandemic they had been forced to close their businesses for a month.

“Some of them have asked for flexibility to delay their progress payments, which is fine by us,” Razlan tells the New Straits Times.  “At the moment, none of our sponsors have pulled out and we are grateful that they are still with us,” he added.

SportBusiness reported earlier that Dorna Sports, the commercial rights-holder to motorcycling’s MotoGP series, is to provide its teams with advance payments as the financial effects of the Covid-19 pandemic continue to take hold.

Razlan commended the Dorna move saying: “It is good that Dorna have given this to teams in advance even when there are no races. It shows that they understand and are reactive to the situation.”

Referring to his own team’s sponsorship deals, he believes there are lessons to be learnt from the situation and that in future contracts may need to specify what is the definition of force majeure.