News 22 Oct 2019

GRT Yamaha signs Caricasulo and Gerloff for 2020 WorldSBK season

All-new line-up for the Yamaha-supported operation.

Image: Supplied.

GRT Yamaha has signed Italian Federico Caricasulo and American Garrett Gerloff for the 2020 Motul FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK).

Caricasulo is already familiar with the GRT Yamaha squad, having contested the WorldSSP category with them in 2017 and 2018, while he’s currently ranked second in the championship standings with one round remaining aboard the YZF-R6.

“For me this is a dream come true,” said Caricasulo. “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.

“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.”

24-year-old Gerloff was the MotoAmerica Supersport champion in 2016 and 2017 before joining the Yamaha Factory Superbike Team in 2018 and 2019, most recently finishing third in the championship standings.

“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 explained. “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.”

Current GRT Yamaha rider Marco Melandri will retire at the conclusion of the season, while Sandro Cortese’s future remains uncertain.

Related