Indonesian Galang Hendra Pratama promoted to 2020 WorldSSP grid

Indonesian youngster Galang Hendra Pratama and Andy Verdoia will step up to the 2020 WorldSSP Championship with Yamaha's new bLU cRU team

Galang Hendra Pratama - Yamaha

The factory Yamaha set up will extend its bLU cRU young rider programme to the WorldSSP Championship next season by promoting up-and-comers Galang Hendra Pratama and teenager Andy Verdoia to the middle-weight class.

Pratama has been a major standout of the burgeoning WorldSSP 300 series, scoring two wins in 2017 and 2018 before finishing a career-best seventh overall in 2019.

Those consistently strong results have thus earned him a spot in Yamaha’s new bLU cRU WorldSSP team for 2020, where he will be joined by 17-year old Verdoia, who finished fourth overall and grabbed the headlines at Donington Park by finishing second from the back of the grid, passing 26 bikes on lap one.

Though Yamaha is certainly well represented on the 2020 WorldSSP grid having largely dominated for the last five years, Pratama is arguably the rider it is hoping will ultimately become a talisman for the bLU cRU young rider programme.

"I am very pleased that we are finally able to announce the formation of the bLU cRU Yamaha WorldSSP Team for the 2020 season, as it completes the path within our racing pyramid from national level competition to the premier WorldSBK class," said Yamaha WorldSBK boss Andrea Dosoli.

“Initially we looked at placing Galang Hendra and Andy in established WorldSSP teams, but we've seen in WorldSSP300 this year that our bLU cRU riders learn from each other and gain confidence from sharing their experiences.

“This would have been difficult for them to do if we'd separated them for the 2020 season but, more importantly, by placing them together in a team where development rather than results is the priority, we are making clear our intentions for the bLU cRU project and the team's role within that structure.

Why Galang Hendra Pratama is so important for Yamaha?

Indonesia is a huge motorcycle market, one that is hugely profitable for both WorldSBK and Yamaha, but – unlike Malaysia and to a lesser extent Thailand – has struggled to produce high-profile racing stars. It is hoped Pratama has a bright future at this level, not least with a new WorldSBK event in Indonesia in the pipeline from 2021.

"I have every confidence that, in Galang Hendra and Andy we have two riders who have the talent to be competitive in WorldSSP in the future and now we must focus all our efforts on helping them to realise their full potential. It will be a challenge, but one that we at Yamaha are definitely looking forward to, and I think the same is true of the two riders!"