Yamaha signs new deal with Andrea Locatelli

The announcement follows the news that Locatelli’s team-mate and 2021 champion Toprak Razgatlioglu will leave Yamaha at the end of the current season to join rival marque BMW.

A replacement for Razgatlioglu is yet to be revealed, but a new two-year deal with Locatelli means Yamaha will have at least one rider with experience of the R1 for the 2024 WSBK season.

“My objective was to continue with Yamaha, so I’m very happy to have signed for another two years,” said Locatelli. 

“One of the best things about Yamaha is the people who believe in me, starting with Eric de Seynes, Paolo Pavesio and Andrea Dosoli, but also Riccardo Tisci and all the engineers and technicians who work so hard to give me the best bike possible. 

“The same is true of the team. Since I arrived in WorldSBK I have enjoyed incredible support from Paul Denning and Andrew Pitt, and everyone involved in the project. 

“All together we have achieved some good results but, more importantly, we have walked side-by-side on a path that has allowed me to feel more and more confident. 

“We still have room for improvement in many areas, but I truly believe that with such a good relationship we will grow stronger together. If consistency is key as they say, then I think that with this extension we’ve laid the groundwork for a bright future.”

Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Andrea Locatelli, Pata Yamaha WorldSBK

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

Locatelli moved up to WSBK with Yamaha in 2021 after winning the previous year’s World Supersport title, achieving four podiums in his rookie season en route to fourth in the title standings.

He slipped to fifth in the championship last year but again showed remarkable consistency, with podiums in Assen and Mandalika being the highlights of his season.

Although yet to score a race win, the Italian has upped his speed this year and currently sits a strong third in the standings, even outscoring Kawasaki’s six-time WSBK champion Jonathan Rea in the opening four rounds of the season.

His results mean Yamaha sits just eight points adrift of Ducati in the teams’ standings, despite Alvaro Bautista winning 11 out of the first 12 races on the factory Panigale V4 R.

“It gives me great pleasure to announce that we will continue for two more years with Andrea Locatelli, in line with Yamaha’s vision of nurturing talent and forging a long-term relationship with our riders,” said Yamaha team manager Andrea Dosoli.

“Our journey with Andrea started in 2020 when he dominated WorldSSP aboard our R6, but his performance in 2021 when we moved him up to WorldSBK was equally impressive, finishing the season fourth and as rookie of the year. 

“We have seen Andrea mature as a rider, continually progressing to the point where he is now one of the strongest in the series. 

“He has shown himself to be capable of making informed technical decisions during testing, while his determination in the short races is matched by his intelligent management of the longer feature races. 

“These are all good signs, and this is what convinced us that, together, we can make further steps and secure even better results in the future. On behalf of Yamaha, but also from me personally, I would like to thank Andrea for the trust he has shown in us.”

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