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Sandro Cortese

Date of birth: 06-01-1990
Place of birth: Ochsenhausen, Germany
Nationality: German

Sandro Cortese steps up to the FIM Superbike World Championship with the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team in 2019 as the reigning Supersport World Champion, having dominated the series in his debut season campaigning a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the colours of Kallio Racing.

Cortese made his debut on the world stage in 2005, racing in the 125cc World Championship for the next seven seasons. He took his first Grand Prix win in 2011, the final year of the two-stroke GP machines as the championship switched to four-stroke Moto3 machines for the 2012 season. The switch proved positive for the German, who racked up five wins and 15 podiums about the 250cc, single-cylinder four-stroke machine to be crowned as the inaugural Moto3 World Champion at season's end. A step up to the Moto2 World Championship followed in 2014, with Cortese establishing himself as a regular points scoring finisher in the intermediate Grand Prix class.

In 2018 the 28-year-old made the switch to production racing, joining up with the Kallio Racing Team to contest the FIM Supersport World Championship aboard a Yamaha YZF-R6. Cortese made an immediate mark on the series, securing the first of eight podium finishes with third place in the opening round of the season in Phillip Island. With race wins in Aragon and Donington Park, Cortese was crowned as the 2018 Supersport World Champion at the final round of the season in Qatar, where he finished second in the race to fellow Yamaha rider, Lucas Mahias.


2019: GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK Team, FIM WorldSBK Championship

2018: WorldSSP World Champion, Kallio Racing

2017: 18th - Moto2 World Championship

2016: 15th - Moto2 World Championship

2015: 11th - Moto2 World Championship

2014: 9th - Moto2 World Championship

2013: 20th - Moto2 World Championship

2012: Moto3 World Champion

2011: 4th - 125cc World Championship

2010: 7th - 125cc World Championship

2009: 6th - 125cc World Championship

2008: 8th - 125cc World Championship

2007: 14th - 125cc World Championship

2006: 17th - 125cc World Championship

2005: 26th - 125cc World Championship

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Marco Melandri

Date of birth: 07-08-1982
Place of birth: Ravenna, Italy
Nationality: Italian

A former 250cc World Champion and MotoGP race winner, Marco returns to the Yamaha fold for the 2019 season, his seventh in the FIM Superbike World Championship, riding for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team alongside Sandro Cortese.

Melandri made his debut in WorldSBK aboard a Yamaha YZF-R1 in 2011, following a successful career in the Grand Prix paddock, during which he won races in all three classes and was crowned as the 250cc World Champion in 2002.

The Italian hit the ground running, taking 15 podium finishes and four race victories in his debut WorldSBK season aboard the YZF-R1 to end the year second in the championship standings, his best result to date.

The 36-year-old from Ravenna is now one of the most experienced and successful WorldSBK riders on the grid, with 72 podium finishes and 22 race wins to his name. Melandri has finished top five in the championship standings in every season he's contested.

2019: GRT Yamaha Supported WorldSBK Team, FIM WorldSBK Championship

2018: 5th - World Superbike Championship

2017: 4th - World Superbike Championship

2015: MotoGP World Championship

2014: 4th - World Superbike Championship

2013: 4th - World Superbike Championship

2012: 3rd - World Superbike Championship

2011: 2nd - Yamaha World Superbike Team, World Superbike Championship

2010: 10th – MotoGP World Championship

2009: 10th – MotoGP World Championship

2008: 17th – MotoGP World Championship

2007: 5th – MotoGP World Championship

2006: 4th – MotoGP World Championship

2005: 2nd – MotoGP World Championship

2004: 12th – MotoGP World Championship

2003: 15th – MotoGP World Championship

2002: 250cc World Champion

2001: 3th - 250cc World Championship

2000: 5th - 250cc World Championship

1999: 2nd - 125cc World Championship

1998: 3rd - 125cc World Championship

1997: 125cc World Championship

WorldSBK - Yamaha YZF-R1

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The Yamaha YZF-R1 has proved itself on and off the track, claiming victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race alongside the British and American Superbike Championship titles during the first year of its triumphant return to motorsports in 2015. The R1 has since gone on to make it four consecutive victories at Suzuka (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), plus also won the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship in the hands of the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team. In 2018 the YZF-R1 secured three race wins in the FIM Superbike World Championship in the hands of Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes.

Championship competition by removing road-safety aspects such as headlights and wing-mirrors, replacing bodywork with racing items and allowing modifications to engine management, exhaust systems, suspension, brakes and a number of engine parts. Current regulations stipulate the bike must weigh a minimum of 168kg, with power ranging between 750cc and 1200cc, depending on the number of cylinders the engine contains, while the tuning of race machines is now subject to more limitations than in previous years due to the restriction of technical modifications.

Now in their fourth year back in the FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha has been showing the competition what makes them one of the most well respected and timeless names in motorsport. With consistent results and year on year improvements to form, the YZF-R1 earned six podiums in 2017 for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team's Alex Lowes (4) and Michael van der Mark (2), establishing them as regular podium contenders by the end of the season.

A program of continual development saw the YZF-R1 even more competitive in 2018, securing 14 podium finishes, with the Yamaha riders claiming their first WorldSBK race wins during the season.

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GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team

The 2019 season sees Yamaha Motor Europe increase its presence in the FIM Superbike World Championship, with additional support provided to the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team as they step up from WorldSSP to contest the premier production racing class for the first time. Former Moto3 and reigning Supersport World Champion, Sandro Cortese and former 250cc World Champion, Marc Melandri, will campaign YZF-R1 machines in GRT Yamaha colours in 2019.

The 2017 season saw an incredible debut year for the 2017 YZF-R6, as GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team managed to complete the clean-sweep of titles in one of the most competitive classes on the planet. 28-year-old French rider Lucas Mahias took on all-comers to become the FIM Supersport World Champion, while his teammate Federico Caricasulo, race-winner in Thailand, finished the season in an encouraging fifth place as he also impressed on the new R6, and meant that GRT lifted the Team title and Yamaha claimed the Manufacturer's crown.

In 2018 Mahias and Caricasulo finished second and fifth in the championship respectively, having racked up eight pole positions, 12 podium finishes and four race wins between them over the course of the season. It was enough to secure GRT Yamaha the Team title for the second consecutive year and the results made a significant contribution to Yamaha again claiming the Manufacturer's crown.

The 2019 seasons sees a major change as GRT Yamaha step up to contest the Superbike World Championship with Cortese and Melandri. Despite this being their debut season in the premier production class, the team can call upon a raft of experience. The GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team boasts ex-125 and 250 Grand Prix World Championship rider Mirko Giansanti as its Sporting and Technical Director, with Filippo Conti alongside as Team Manager. Based in Central Italy just outside Terni, the team have progressed through national and European championships in recent years before their debut in WorldSSP in 2016.

Yamaha Motor Europe will continue to retain full responsibility for racing strategy and technical development for 2019's collaboration, with GRT Yamaha's experienced and dedicated, technical racing personnel running the team's operation at each of the championship rounds.

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