Yamaha: We need to fight at the front, not fight each other

With GRT stepping up to World Superbikes alognside the Pata Yamaha squad, Andrea Dosoli says “we need to fight at the front rather than fight with each other.”
Yamaha: We need to fight at the front, not fight each other

Yamaha Racing Manager Andrea Dosoli says expanding the manufacturer’s efforts in World Superbikes must improve its development pace to catch the front-runners and has warned the teams “we need to fight at the front rather than fight with each other.”

GRT has secured a deal with Yamaha to run factory-supported YZF-R1s on the 2019 World Superbike grid with Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese as riders for next season. The Italian team will compete alongside the Pata Yamaha team, run by Crescent Racing, effectively doubling the brand’s factory efforts.

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Dosoli says Yamaha is taking steps over the winter to bulk its programme to support both teams, with Pata Yamaha remaining the premier squad in its hierarchy, and explains the expansion will work two-fold by fortifying its rider development programme along with its own bike work.

“We will have to readjust our organisation because we have had to hire extra people to support a second team,” Dosoli said in Jerez. “We don't want to add GRT and compromise the reference team at Crescent. I believe that having four riders will speed up the development of the R1 and help all of the riders.

“We wanted to have a second team so that we could finalise the path from the BluCru programme in Supersport 300, and then into Supersport and then Superbike. In 2018 we couldn't offer Lucas Mahias a ride on a Superbike after winning the title but now we can offer a structure for progressing from the class to a Superbike.

“It's fundamental for Yamaha because we respect the sport and want to show that if you work hard, have good results that you will have a chance to step up. We wanted to have Lucas and Cortese on the bike to reward them for their successes but Lucas wanted to go a different route.”

But with Mahias denied a shot in World Superbike in 2018 as reigning World Supersport champion, remaining part of the GRT squad this year in the 600 class, the French rider has left the Yamaha fold for 2019 – opening the door to Ducati exile Melandri alongside new World Supersport champion Cortese.

“We will have Marco on the bike instead and we believe that having an expert and a rookie is the best opportunity for us,” Dosoli explained. “Marco has experience and will help the team develop and he will help Sandro to develop as well.

“Having Marco has also been a key factor for us closing the finances of the team too. He has helped us finalise sponsorship for next year and that's why it took time to confirm everything.”

With the ultimate goal of increasing Yamaha’s efforts in World Superbikes, Dosoli has underlined the need for a collaborative effort rather than having GRT become direct competition with the Cresecent-run squad.

“We have signed a two-year contract with GRT, a one plus one deal, and we believe that two years is the minimum for a relationship,” he said. “Crescent will continue as the reference team and deliver the performance.

“The teams will share their data throughout a race weekend and after rounds. I don't care if Sandro finds something new to help Alex or Michael. We need to fight at the front rather than fight with each other.”

Pata Yamaha had to share electronics engineers Michele Gadda midway through this season as the Japanese manufacturer looked to the Italian's help with its Movistar Yamaha MotoGP squad.

Gadda is set to split his efforts between MotoGP and World Superbikes this winter but with his priority shifting to the prototype racing championship.

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