Garrett Gerloff and Federico Caricasulo will step up to the World Superbike championship for 2020 to form the all-new GRT Yamaha rider line-up.
With Marco Melandri retiring and Sandro Cortese splitting from the team, MotoAmerica Superbike star Gerloff moves to the world stage having compete for Yamaha’s factory team in the USA for the past two years.
The 24-year-old Texan is joined by World Supersport title contender Caricasulo who will graduate into the World Superbike class in 2020. The 23-year-old from Ravenna is fighting for the World Supersport title this weekend needing to overhaul an eight-point deficit to Randy Krummenacher at the season finale in Qatar.
“For me this is a dream come true. To have the chance to step up to WorldSBK is already fantastic, but to be given the opportunity to do so with Yamaha and in a team that I know well is just incredible,” Caricasulo said. “I grew up as a racer as part of the GRT Yamaha team, realising my potential on the world stage with them, so I'm excited to go back and start this new adventure.
“But for now, I need to put this to one side and focus on the final race of the season in the Supersport class. I am second in the championship, just eight points off the lead, so it’s still all to play for at the final round.
“Nothing would make me happier than stepping up to WorldSBK as the reigning Supersport World Champion, and that's exactly what we’ll be aiming for in Qatar next week.”
Gerloff becomes the first full-time American rider in WorldSBK since Jake Gagne’s stint at Red Bull Honda which ended last year and he’s naturally relishing the opportunity ahead of him in 2020.
“I want to start out by saying thank you to Yamaha Motor USA for everything that they’ve done for me, for signing me in the first place so many years ago and really having faith in me,” Gerloff said. “I wouldn’t be where I am now in my career without their help. I’m really excited to say that I’ll be continuing in the Yamaha family for 2020, this time with the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team.
“I’m also really looking forward to representing America overseas. It’s something that I’ve always dreamed of doing and something that I’ve been preparing for, and I feel like I’m ready to do. I really appreciate Yamaha Europe giving me the opportunity to be that guy, to be one of the guys, to represent them and try to go get good results.
“I also want to say a big thanks to Ben Spies for really helping me out the past few months and getting my name out there and really pushing for me. I have a lot of goals that I really want to accomplish next year, and I know that with the team’s help and the Yamaha R1 that I’ll have a great opportunity of reaching them.
“I know this isn’t going to be easy, but I never give up. I’m ready to push myself and continue chasing my dream.”