After a strong rookie campaign, the 2020 WorldSSP Champion will remain with Yamaha Motor Europe until the end of 2023
On a run of 12 races scoring top-five finishes including his first three MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship podiums, Andrea Locatelli will remain with Yamaha Motor Europe for the 2022 and 2023 campaigns with the WorldSBK rookie continuing to impress as the 2021 season continues at a rapid rate, including 12 consecutive top-five finishes.
Locatelli moved over to the WorldSBK paddock in 2020 as he linked up with the Evan Bros. WorldSSP Yamaha team in the FIM Supersport World Championship and took WorldSSP by storm as he convincingly won the title, claiming 12 victories out of a possible 15, 13 podiums in total and seven out of the eight pole positions available to him from Tissot Superpole. The two times he did not stand on the podium in WorldSSP were in a rain-affected race at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, where he was fourth, and in Race 2 at Magny-Cours.
His dominance led to a promotion to WorldSBK and he was thrown straight into the factory Yamaha outfit, alongside Championship leader Toprak Razgatlioglu. In the first four rounds of the season, the WorldSBK rookie was consistently fighting for a top ten finish but a breakthrough weekend at the TT Circuit Assen started a run of 12 races inside the top five, 11 of which have been in fourth or third position. Assen was also the track where Locatelli claimed his first WorldSBK podium with third in Race 2, and he has continued that form ever since, earning himself a new contract with Yamaha for at least the next two campaigns.
Commenting on his new two-year contract with Yamaha, Locatelli said: “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.”
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe, Road Racing Manager said: “We are delighted to confirm that Andrea will remain with the Yamaha family until at least the end of the 2023 WorldSBK season. He has been an integral part of Yamaha’s step-up program and has demonstrated what our vision has been over the last few years. We expected that ‘Loka’ would be fast this year, but very few anticipated that he would already be challenging for podiums at such an early stage in his WorldSBK career. We want to secure him for the future and help guide him towards even greater success, and this new contract will give us the best opportunity to help him achieve that.”
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