Garrett Gerloff will ride a factory specification Yamaha R1 in the 2021 WorldSBK Championship after the manufacturer confirmed he has re-signed for the GRT Junior outfit but been upgraded in machinery.
The Texan joined the WorldSBK ranks after making a name for himself in his domestic MotoAmerica series and has proven something of an unsung hero as he grappled with unfamiliar Pirelli tyres and circuits, leading to a surprise first podium in Barcelona recently.
Lifting him into contention for the available factory Pata Yamaha seat next season, though Gerloff lost out to Andrea Locatelli, he will still ride a 2021 specification Yamaha R1 at GRT again.
“I’m just super excited to be staying with the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team for the 2021 season. This year has been incredible; the people I work with on the team are exceptional, really positive and awesome people, so to be able to continue with them is fantastic.
“It’s going to be nice to hopefully have more of a normal year and to have some consistency in the team will be great for me.
“I’m really excited to be getting the new Yamaha R1 as well. Hopefully it will give us even more performance to take the fight to the current frontrunners in the championship. Thank you so much to Yamaha for continuing with me and giving me another opportunity to improve and show what I can do.
“!I owe them and my team manager Filippo Conti everything. I think that we can do some great things next year and I’m more focused and determined than ever.”
On the other side of the garage, Gerloff will be joined by Kohta Nozane, a Yamaha MotoGP test rider – and starter of 5 MotoGP races – who is currently leading the All-Japan Superbike series.
“I’ve felt WorldSBK would be the best place for me to keep growing as a rider, so I’m really happy to get a chance to race on the world stage again and I can’t thank Yamaha enough for the opportunity. I’ll be up against the best riders in the world on different tyres to what I use now, and almost all the circuits will be totally new to me, so I know it’s going to be a massive challenge.
“But, I take pride in being one of Japan’s top riders, so to live up to the expectations of Japanese fans as well as gain the respect of race fans around the world, I want to make my mark right from the start, so I’ll be doing all I can to be ready to race.
“I’ll be joining the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team and Garrett Gerloff has finished on the podium with them in his rookie season, so I know they’re strong and I can’t wait to work and grow with them next year.
“We’re in the middle of this year’s All Japan Road Race Championship and I’m leading in the points, so the goal is to come into WorldSBK as the All Japan JSB1000 Champion. My focus from here is on doing my best in the last two rounds of the season to take the title.”