The #55’s first season with Ducati machinery has been rewarded with five podiums and he will stay with the same team for a second season
Another piece of the 2024 FIM Supersport World Championship rider market has fallen into place. After securing five rostrums in his first season with the Barni Spark Racing Team, Yari Montella will stay with the outfit for a second year after inking a new deal. The one-time WorldSSP race winner will enter his third full season next year as he looks to build on the rapid pace that he’s shown this season to fight for podiums more consistently and to be in contention for race victories.
2023 has been a rollercoaster season for Montella. He was involved in a crash with Adrian Huertas (MTM Kawasaki) at the season-opening Australian Round in Race 1, which meant he missed Race 2 and all the action in Indonesia a week later. He returned at the TT Circuit Assen where he recorded eighth in Race 1 and a DNF in Race 2 after an opening-corner crash with former teammate Can Oncu (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). Barcelona proved tricky with a best of 11th but the #55 has shown impressive speed ever since his first home round at Misano.
Fifth in Race 1 was backed up with his first two podiums of the year when the Championship hit the historic Donington Park venue, with Montella third in Race 1 and second in Race 2. He was back on the rostrum at Imola in Race 2 with third, but it would take until Aragon before he was back there, again he took third before following that up a week later with another P3 at the rollercoaster Portimao venue. Currently, the 23-year-old is eighth in the Championship; only 13 points away from Bahattin Sofuoglu (MV Agusta Reparto Corse) in fifth.
Montella’s WorldSSP debut came in 2021 when he made an appearance as a substitute rider for GMT94 Yamaha. For 2022, the Italian linked up with Kawasaki Puccetti Racing and Turkish star Oncu, winning Race 1 at Phillip Island to end his first full campaign on a high. Before this, he competed in Moto2™ in 2021 although didn’t score points; this came off the back of his dominant 2020 FIM CEV Moto2™ European Championship, when he beat now WorldSSP rival Niki Tuuli (PTR Triumph) to the title.
Explaining his thoughts on his renewal, Montella said: “We have worked hard to be competitive and get good results, so I am very happy to be able to continue the path I started with the same team. I feel the esteem from Barni, and I have great confidence in my squad, I think this is the most important pillar. I want to round out the season in the best possible way in the last two races at Jerez, then we will immediately start planning for 2024.”
Team Principal Marco Barnabo added: “I strongly wanted to confirm the two riders both in WorldSBK and WorldSSP to give continuity to the positive work we have done this season. In Supersport, Montella's growth has been clearly noticeable, but if we can be more consistent in races we can improve even more. I have great faith in him, and I believe that next season we can take great satisfaction from him.”
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