WorldSBK rookie Andrea Locatelli and Pata Yamaha have agreed a new deal that will see the Italian remain until the end of 2023. 

Last season’s WorldSSP champion was on a one-year deal that had a second year option (2022), before the new deal was confirmed by Yamaha.

Locatelli has far and away been the standout rookie of 2021 with three podiums so far - hasn’t finished worse than fifth in any of the last 12 races. 

Locatelli has also formed one of the best and most consistent rider line-ups on the grid with Toprak Razgatlioglu, who is currently leading the world championship by seven points of Jonathan Rea. 

The 24 year-old's new deal means only Honda have factory seats left to fill, as MotoGP’ Iker Lecuona and Moto2’ Xavi Vierge are considered the favorites. 

Speaking about his contract extension which was a matter of when not if over the last few weeks, Locatelli added: "I’m really happy to be extending my contract with Yamaha for two more years. For me, it’s a great opportunity. 

"We have a really good group, a good team and a good bike, so I think in the future we can do very well. 

"I’m so excited to be here and to continue to be a part of the Yamaha family. I’d like to say a special thanks to Andrea Dosoli, Eric de Seynes [Yamaha Motor Europe President & CEO], and everyone at Yamaha for giving me this opportunity. 

"Now, we have two more years to try to improve together and achieve the best possible results."

Locatelli is currently in action for round nine of the season in Catalunya and finished yesterday’s opening day third overall.