From Italian grassroots to World Championship domination: Locatelli's road to glory

Sunday, 20 September 2020 11:39 GMT

Andrea Locatelli took charge of the 2020 WorldSSP season from day one but his potential was there to see from his early racing days…

After making the switch from Moto2™ to the FIM Supersport World Championship, Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) revealed his potential from the first race of the season at Phillip Island; a resounding victory on debut as he won by seven seconds. From that moment, the Italian rider did not look back and left his rivals in his wake, going on to break numerous records in WorldSSP including most wins in a season and most consecutive wins among many others.

The 23-year-old’s career started in the Italian CIV championship, in the Moto3 class in Italy, where he would show high hopes for his career with fourth in the standings in his first season after claiming one victory and two podiums. A second season in CIV Moto3 in 2013 meant Locatelli was able to fight for the title and won it with four wins and six podiums; holding off the challenge of WorldSBK race winner Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team GOELEVEN) by 18 points with the duo engaging in on-track battles at both Misano and Imola during the season.

Locatelli would also make his Moto3™ World Championship in 2013 onboard Mahindra machinery, competing in two races with a best finish of 22nd. A full-time switch to Moto3™ followed, again onboard Mahindra machinery, including alongside Rinaldi for one event, although Locatelli went without scoring points again.

The Italian stayed in Moto3™ for 2015 but a switch of teams and a switch of machinery, from Mahindra to Honda, brought Locatelli his first points in Moto3™ with Locatelli finishing the Championship in 20th place with 33 points before moving to Leopard Racing and competing alongside now-MotoGP™ stars Fabio Quartararo and Joan Mir. The switched paid off as Locatelli secured his first Moto3™ podium and ninth place in the Championship; finishing ahead of teammate Quartararo although Mir would finish the season in fifth place.

The success of 2016 meant Locatelli earnt a seat in Moto2™ for 2017 and he scored points on three occasions throughout his debut season, before building upon that with 15th place in the Championship in 2018; scoring points in 13 races although a Moto2™ podium eluded him. Locatelli secured his first Moto2™ top six finish in his third season, in 2019, although it only occurred once as he scored fewer points than in 2018 (52 compared to 46) and finished 18th in the Championship.

A new decade meant Locatelli switched championships for 2020 as he jumped aboard a Yamaha YZF R6 for BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team and immediately went straight to the front of the field; winning at Phillip Island on his debut by almost seven seconds and not looking back since. Pole position after pole position, victory after victory and fastest lap after fastest lap followed for Locatelli as he asserted himself in the WorldSSP paddock. The big question now is what is next for Locatelli after such a dominant season?

You can follow the rest of the 2020 WorldSSP season with the WorldSBK VideoPass!