After a strong WorldSBK debut season in 2019, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team head into 2020 with a new rider line-up to contest their second season in the premier production racing class.
The 2017 season saw an incredible debut year for the 2017 YZF-R6, as GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team managed to complete the clean-sweep of titles in one of the most competitive classes on the planet. 28-year-old French rider Lucas Mahias took on all-comers to become the FIM Supersport World Champion, while his teammate Federico Caricasulo, race-winner in Thailand, finished the season in an encouraging fifth place as he also impressed on the new R6, and meant that GRT lifted the Team title and Yamaha claimed the Manufacturer's crown.
In 2018 Mahias and Caricasulo finished second and fifth in the championship respectively, having racked up eight pole positions, 12 podium finishes and four race wins between them over the course of the season. It was enough to secure GRT Yamaha the Team title for the second consecutive year and the results made a significant contribution to Yamaha again claiming the Manufacturer's crown.
The 2019 season saw a major change as GRT Yamaha stepped up to contest the Superbike World Championship with reigning Supersport World Champion Sandro Cortese and veteran Marco Melandri, yielding two podium finishes for Melandri. With Yamaha Motor Europe retaining full responsibility for racing strategy and technical development for the collaboration, the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team brought in ex-125 and 250 Grand Prix World Championship rider Mirko Giansanti as its Sporting and Technical Director, with Filippo Conti alongside as Team Manager.
For 2020 the team’s name has changed to GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Junior Team in line with their role, acting as a gateway for young Yamaha riders graduating through the bLU cRU program to make the step to WorldSBK. For the new season they will field returnee Supersport rider Federico Caricasulo, stepping up from the WorldSSP grid, alongside double MotoAmerica Supersport champion and Superbike rider Garrett Gerloff, making his debut on the world stage. With YZF-R1 the team are hopeful of a strong second WorldSBK season in what will surely be a hotly-contested championship.