The Sepang International Circuit will still be the scene of the Malaysian Grand Prix for the next few years. The dialogue for the extension until 2026 is active
Dorna Sports has announced the permanence until 2024 of the Sepang international circuit as the venue for the Malaysian Grand Prix; both parties are however working to extend the agreement until 2026, a symptom of the goodness of the negotiations. Additionally, Petronas has been made official as title sponsor of the event, with the latter taking the name of the Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Sepang International Circuit has been a regular presence in the World Championship since 1999, even if the Asian state made its entrance in 1991 with the Shah Alam circuit. Born from the hands of Hermann Tilke and then renovated by Jarno Zaffelli’s Dromo studio in 2016, the racetrack has seen 4 brands triumph over the years in the premier class: Suzuki was the first of these with Kenny Roberts Jr in 500. Honda is the manufacturer with the most success, 7, even if the gap with the other teams is not large: Yamaha is second with 6, Ducati with 5.
Valentino Rossi is the rider to have seen the highest step of the podium several times in the top class: the triumphs obtained were 5, against the 3 of Daniel Pedrosa, second in the roll of honor. Including the small displacements, the current KTM test driver would equalize the accounts with the 9 times world champion thanks to the two victories between 2003 and 2004 in 125 and 250. The last riders to have cut the checkered flag in first position were Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Moto3), Brad Binder (Moto2) and Maverick Viñales (MotoGP) in 2019. The 2020 and 2021 editions of the GP were not held due to the pandemic, although the circuit still hosted part of the pre-season tests, except in 2021.
Azhan Shafriman Hanif, CEO Sepang International Circuit – “I am pleased to inform you that we have concluded my first negotiation as CEO of the Sepang International Circuit for the extension of the contract with Dorna Sports, I want to extend my gratitude to the people who made it possible. With year-on-year attendance records, we can’t wait to welcome fans back to Sepang after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic. In keeping with our #WelcomeHome theme, this year focuses on the international relaunch of motorsport with more unique offerings to fans. “
Datin Anita Azrina Abdul Aziz, Senior General Manager Group Strategic Communications Petronas – “Petronas is extremely proud to be the title sponsor of the Malaysian Grand Prix, widely regarded as the key sporting event in Malaysia and Asia. The sponsorship offers a unique opportunity for Petronas to connect with the massive sports fanbase by showcasing our brands and products. Most importantly, through the strategic agreement with Dorna Sports, we hope to revitalize Malaysia’s sports tourism for the sake of the population and visitors, as the world collectively recovers from the pandemic. “
Carmelo Ezpeleta, CEO Dorna Sports – “We are very happy to confirm that the Malaysian Grand Prix will remain on the calendar at least until the end of 2024. Malaysia represents a vital market for MotoGP, it is a pleasure to race in Sepang and to witness the incredible passion of the fans who fill the stands. After proving we can return to Malaysia for this year’s preseason testing, we couldn’t be more eager to get back to racing. We are all looking forward to the Malaysian Grand Prix and seeing our Malaysian fans for many more years. We are also very proud to join forces in this partnership with Petronas, a brand that stands for excellence and success, a fantastic ambassador for Malaysia on a global scale. As the title sponsor of the Malaysian Grand Prix, there is no better brand than one of the most iconic names in motorsport. We can’t wait to see this iconic brand gain maximum prominence at the event. “
Cover image: Facebook / Sepang Circuit