Wednesday, 11th September 2019 – PETRONAS Lubricants International (PLI) personnel received a treat when PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and PETRONAS Sprinta Racing paid a visit to the PETRONAS Research and Technology (R&T) Centre in Turin, Italy, ahead of the San Marino Grand Prix this weekend.

Riders Franco Morbidelli, Fabio Quartararo, John McPhee and Ayumu Sasaki as well as PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team MotoGP Team Manager Wilco Zeelenberg made their first visit to the US$60 million facility as part of their preparations for the thirteenth round of the MotoGP World Championship in Misano.

The Research and Technology Centre is a global hub, established to introduce new technologies, create world-class infrastructure and develop industry-leading talent as PLI diversifies its product portfolio to strengthen its position as among the top 10 leading lubricants manufacturers in the world.

PETRONAS Sprinta, the engine oil that protects the Yamaha PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team YZR-M1 on track, was developed in under a year from PETRONAS proprietary base oil. PETRONAS Sprinta has been uniquely formulated to complement the characteristics of the Yamaha YZR-M1 in order to boost the engine’s performance – through improved fuel efficiency and emissions reduction – and reliability while enabling superior engine cleanliness.

The riders spent the day touring the state-of-the-art facility and meeting their Turin-based colleagues to gain an insight into the technology that underlines their performance on track. The personnel present also had their own questions for the four riders who will be competing at the Misano World Circuit Marco Simoncelli from this Friday.

"We’re truly delighted to welcome PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and PETRONAS Sprinta Racing to this centre-of-excellence for fluid technology and innovation. The development of the PETRONAS Fluid Technology Solutions™ for Formula 1 takes place within these walls and also in Malaysia. We’re thrilled that we are now able to extend the knowledge and experience we’ve gained in Formula 1 into formulating fluids for the highest level of two-wheel motor-racing for some of the fastest bikes in the world. With the team’s impressive performance this season we are excited about the future success that we can achieve together."

Giuseppe D’Arrigo - Managing Director and Goup Chief Executive Officer PLI 

Wilco Zeelenberg, Team Manager, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:

“We’re proud to be able to introduce our team to all our colleagues in Turin and show our gratitude for all their hard work. The development of our engine and gearbox oil took place in a quicker timeframe than anyone could have expected and that has allowed us to be fast and reliable on track, so we owe a lot to everyone here for their hard work and expertise. As a team we enjoy and we can feel the tight connection with PETRONAS which has enabled us to perform at the highest level. Before the start of the season, at our team presentation at the PETRONAS Towers, our targets were set and this moment created a fundamental vision. I believe that everybody interested in motorsport can feel the passion in our team and a large part of this is thanks to the vision of PETRONAS, so a big thank you.”

Franco Morbidelli, rider, PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team:

“It was really impressive to see the R&T centre and understand just how much thought and preparation goes into the fluid technology in our bikes. The Yamaha YZR-M1 is a very complex machine so seeing how the oil for the engine and gearbox is developed is very interesting. There’s a lot of science that goes into this process so seeing this for myself was rewarding. I hope that we can say grazie mille to everyone at PETRONAS in this best way possible this weekend in Misano.”

"It was mind-blowing to see so many people who are working on the lubricant technology for the Yamaha YZR-M1; this is where the magic happens! The R&T Centre is such a big and impressive facility. When we’re at the track as riders we don’t spend much time thinking about the lubricants and fluids in our bike as we rely on the expertise of everyone in Turin and Malaysia to do this hard work for us. They all do a tremendous job so it’s fantastic to meet everyone and see them doing their job so well."

Fabio Quartararo - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team rider

PETRONAS R&D Centre Turin - PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing team