Andrea Locatelli’s 11th win of the season secures Yamaha the Manufacturers’ Championship in WorldSSP
Yamaha sealed the Manufacturers’ Championship for the 2020 FIM Supersport World Championship after Race 1 at the Pirelli French Round as Andrea Locatelli (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) won his 11th race of the season; the result enough to give Yamaha its four consecutive Championship in WorldSSP.
Points in the Manufacturers’ Championship are awarded to the manufacturer on the basis of the highest position for a bike in the race, meaning Yamaha has collected 320 points from a possible 325 the 13 races so far in 2020, with another 50 available from the two remaining races across the Estoril Round.
Yamaha machinery has won all but one race in 2020 with Locatelli taking 11 wins and Andy Verdoïa (bLU cRU WorldSSP by MS Racing) taking a shock win at the Acerbis Catalunya Round as a mid-race rain shower made riders make a difficult decision; Verdoïa opting to stay out on slick tyres and took the lead before the Red Flag was shown.
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Project Leader said: "The fourth title in a row for Yamaha is an incredible result, especially when we consider that this has been achieved by four different riders from three teams. On one side, this further confirms the level of performance and reliability of our Yamaha R6 and its GYTR performance products - the YME “Supported Team” programme - and on the other side, the professionalism of our teams and the high level of our riders.
“Because of them, the Yamaha R6 became the most popular bike on the WorldSSP grid, and therefore I would like to congratulate and thank all the riders, teams and everybody at Yamaha who have been working very hard, we can all be really proud of this achievement. I'd also like to once again congratulate Andrea Locatelli, who maximised the Yamaha R6's performance at every weekend on his way to the title.”
Locatelli’s dominance at the season-opening Australia Round showed the paddock the potential story of the season and the enforced break did not stop Locatelli; the Italian would win the first nine races of the season, with fourth place his lowest finish of the year at the rain-affected Catalunya Round. Verdoïa claimed victory that day before Locatelli returned to winning ways for Race 2 at Catalunya and Race 1 at Magny-Cours. With two races to go, the only race Yamaha has not taken victory at is Race 2 at Magny-Cours, with the Japanese manufacturer finishing in second place behind Kawasaki.
It has been a remarkable season for Yamaha as it claimed all but one victory ahead of the season-ending Estoril Round and will be looking to continue this form into the 2021 WorldSSP season while Kawasaki and Honda will be looking to stop Yamaha making it five Manufacturers’ Championships in a row.
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