As it waits for Valentino Rossi's decision, Yamaha has a couple of things to do for the near future. In fact, the man from Pesaro's exit will leave it desperate for two new riders, wherever it wants to place them. And if the logical decision would be to promote Morbidelli in the Factory team, reuniting Franco in Quartararo, the Petronas team will find itself with two places to fill.
One of the logical choices, with Toprak Razgatlioglu leading the World Superbike championship, could be to move Garrett Gerloff into MotoGP. After all, the American replaced Rossi (only on Friday) once in 2020 and then Morbidelli in Assen, getting along fairly well.
It is true, he did not produce a miracle, but it was also the first time he had ridden at Assen and in his favour he has the right colour passport, which goes down well with Dorna desperately seeking British or American riders.
Gerloff has twice won the MotoAmerica Supersport championship, in 2016 and 2017 and could occupy one of the free places. Andrea Locatelli and Kohta Nozane, the other two Yamaha SBK riders, on the other hand, would remain in their place.
"Locatelli is showing what we expected from him - Andrea Dosoli said of the Supersport world champion to Speedweek - Step by step his feeling with the bike, the team and the class is improving. He is one of those riders who needs a bit more time. But once he reaches a certain level, he will be able to keep it. I expect him to improve more and more in the second half of the season. At Estoril he finished fifth and was fighting with much more experienced riders. This was a bit unexpected. He has enough time to improve with the bike. If he continues to make progress, then we will continue with him. "
Locatelli has finished in the top ten eight times in the first twelve races of the season, and is currently eleventh overall with 51 points.
Kohta Nozane, the 2020 Japanese Superbike champion, is still not at that level. He had to skip Donington Park due to injury, but in the previous three events he managed to finish in the points in every race. With 17 points, the 25-year-old is 16th as they head into Assen.
For Dosoli, Nozane is also a rider to support.
“It's been a long time since a Japanese rider has done as well as him - underlined Dosoli - Everything is new for him: the tracks, the tires and the culture in Europe. It is difficult for a young Japanese to live in Europe, he faces many challenges. At Misano we saw that he can compete with more experienced riders. But he needs to work on his pace in the second half of the race. We want to continue with him also in 2022. We will help him develop his skills and understand the championship better ”.
The second place in the Petronas team, therefore, would still remain free, but for whom? The market for young riders is dominated by KTM (READ HERE) so Yamaha would only have to follow the current trend and look for a rider already under contract. Unless someone in the meantime (Alex Rins?) decides they have had enough thus freeing up a seat in Suzuki.
Another solution, looking at Moto2, could be to look for someone in the VR46 nursery, perhaps Bezzecchi who until now has always been thought of as going to the Ducati VR46 team.