Garrett Gerloff was confirmed this morning in the Superbike World Championship with the GRT Yamaha for the 2022 season, just like a few weeks ago with Toprak Razgatlioglu on the Pata Yamaha. Then two of Yamaha’s possible MotoGP alternatives are out in its ranks if a spot or two remain to be filled.
With the departure of Maverick Viñales from Monster Energy Yamaha, the Iwata designer has a free place in his MotoGP factory team. The most plausible candidate is Franco Morbidelli of Petronas Yamaha SRT Satellite, but the move is far from certain and Yamaha’s bet on the Italian – who has the least developed YZR-M1 among the four in the current roster, was world runner-up in 2020 Anyway, Yamaha would have found at least one talented young man to join the Malaysian structure. And since Valentino Rossi may be on his way to retirement after 2021, there could even be two seats.
Razgatlioglu and Gerloff would be the most logical options for Yamaha to put on the Petronas Yamaha SRT once their potential is known, but now that they have been confirmed in the WSBK in 2022, they are no longer options. Of course, despite the existing relationship, it is not absolutely necessary for Yamaha to put riders in the SRT – Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli came into Razlan Razali’s team without the manufacturer imposing or suggesting it.
For this reason, and if Morbidelli is Yamaha’s option for the place left by Viñales, the “problem” of staffing could well be on SRT’s side. And then opportunities could be created for his Moto2 and Moto3 riders: Jake Dixon, Xavi Vierge, Darryn Binder and John McPhee.
A few weeks ago there were also rumors of a move from Álex Rins to Petronas Yamaha SRT, which did not have much development, but this would contradict the logic of the Malaysian team to promote young people with potential. However, Rossi’s attitude shows that this would not be an insurmountable obstacle.