It's proving to be a week of Superbike announcements at EICMA. Following confirmation of the agreement between Tom Sykes and BMW, now the Yamaha GRT team unveils its plans for 2019. The team, headed up by Mirko Giansanti, will make its Superbike debut, with riders Marco Melandri and Sandro Cortese on board for next year's championship.
The German rider's move up to the reigning class was practically a sure thing, even more so after he scored the Supersport title. As for the Italian, things have only been worked out in the last weeks, the team losing Lucas Mahias to Kawasaki.
Melandri had been looking for a ride and in the end the road has led to GRT. The riders will climb on board the R1 for the first time during testing at Jerez on 26-27 November.
Team manager Filippo Conti is more than satisfied with the plans: “It is a dream come true for us to finally be in Superbike – he comments - we can count on two very experienced riders. Melandri is a top-level rider while Cortese will debut in Superbike having secured the Supersport title. Our aim is to be competitive in Superbike just as we have been in Supersport. Perhaps we won't achieve this in our first season, but this is the goal we will work towards.”