WSB: Garrett Gerloff signs one-year contract extension with Yamaha
Garrett Gerloff will remain in the World Superbike Championship for at least another year after agreeing a one-year contract extension with Yamaha Motor Europe.
Since making his WorldSBK debut in 2020 Gerloff has made quite the impression on the paddock and fans. The GRT Yamaha has five podiums to his name, with a best result of second at Estoril (2020) and Donington Park (2021).
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The GRT Yamaha rider had showcased his desire to battle against the very best on the WorldSBK grid and has gone fought with six-time defending champion Jonathan Rea on more than one occasion.
After 12 races of the 2021 season Gerloff finds himself sixth overall in the championship standings, just a point behind factory Ducati rider Michael Ruben Rinaldi. Gerloff is only 24 points adrift of third-placed man Scott Redding.
"I’m really excited to have signed this contract with Yamaha to continue with them next year," Gerloff said. "I’ve had a great time in Europe over the past year and a half, and I’ve been really happy with the progress I’ve seen within myself, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team and the Yamaha R1.
"We’ve made serious steps forward already this season, allowing us to consistently challenge for the podium, but I know there is more to come. We have been so close to that first win, within touching distance at Donington Park, and with the support of Yamaha and the team, I'm confident we can do it before the season is out.”
Gerloff, who is a two-time MotoAmerica Supersport champion and Superbike race winner, had been linked with a move to MotoGP with Petronas Yamaha following his full-time GP debut with the team at Assen earlier this year. Gerloff had replaced the injured Franco Morbidelli, who is expected to be promoted to the Monster Energy Yamaha factory team in 2022.
However, like fellow Yamaha MotoGP target Toprak Razgatlıoğlu, Gerloff has committed his short-term future to WorldSBK. Razgatlıoğlu signed a new two-year deal with the factory Pata Yamaha squad, keeping him tied up contractually until the end of 2023.
Gerloff's new deal doesn't specify which team he'll be racing for next season. It's not beyond the realms of possibility that Gerloff could line-up alongside Razgatlıoğlu, with current rookie Andrea Locatelli heading in the other direction to GRT Yamaha.
“I still remember Magny-Cours in 2019, when Garrett came to visit us and where our journey together started,"Yamaha Motor Europe’s Road Racing Manager, Andrea Dosoli added. "Since then, he has impressed everyone inside the Yamaha family with his motivation and commitment. He has been delivering fantastic results, has shown great speed and is able to quickly adapt to new circuits, confirmed at Donington Park where he was fastest overall on his first day and claimed a very impressive podium on Sunday.
"We’re really happy that we can extend this collaboration for another season, believing that there is more to come from both sides and Garrett can become a title contender in the close future. We have given the possibility to a young, talented rider, who we selected from a national championship and brought him onto the world stage, clearly confirming the strong Yamaha worldwide motorsport involvement.”
Gerloff will be targeting his first WorldSBK victory this weekend when the paddock heads to Assen for the Dutch round of the 2021 season.
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