MotoAmerica: Garrett Gerloff Steps Up to Superbike
Garrett Gerloff Gets His Superbike Shot
2017 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff will move up to the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Superbike team in 2018, taking the place of veteran four-time champion, Josh Hayes.
Gerloff has been eyeing the Superbike ride for some time, and with two consecutive Supersport titles under his belt, feels 2018 is the right time to step up.
“Last year was a dream season for me,” commented Garrett. “I accomplished a lot of things on my list of goals. So, for me, I was ready for the next step. I have wanted to ride a superbike for such a long time now, so, for it to finally happen is amazing. I have some big shoes to fill. Taking the ‘Josh Hayes spot’ isn’t something I take lightly…it is an honor. If I can accomplish just a fraction of what he has, then I will be doing pretty well. Luckily, I’ve been able to ride the R1 Superbike a couple times already, and all I can say is that it is an animal! It’s so fast, but also smooth and agile. I couldn’t ask for a better machine with which to attack the 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. I already feel right at home on the bike and with all of the amazing people on the team. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, but I’m more than ready for a challenge! And, with the whole package together, I know I can’t fail! I’m looking forward to an exciting 2018 aboard my #31 R1 Superbike!”
Meanwhile, Josh Hayes will be taking an ambassador role within the factory Yamaha organization in 2018. Hayes will also be the team’s official test rider, and in a statement released by Yamaha Motorsports, it’s clear the veteran rider is somewhat reluctant to hand over the reins to Gerloff.
“This is not a retirement announcement,” Hayes said. “I feel like ‘retirement’ is a choice you make. I never intended to stop racing, but with Yamaha’s vision and goals, it became time to move in a new direction with the young talent that’s been dominating the MotoAmerica Supersport class. I’m thankful to Yamaha, Keith (McCarty), and the team for giving me the opportunity to accomplish what I was able to in Superbike, and I’m proud that they want me to continue with them, beyond just racing their motorcycles. I’m looking forward to sharing my knowledge and experience with the younger riders moving up.”