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Gerloff doesn't want MotoGP shot just "because I have a good passport"

Autosport logo Autosport 15/10/2021 Lewis Duncan
Garrett Gerloff, Petronas Yamaha SRT © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Garrett Gerloff, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Gerloff has been one of the breakout stars to have emerged from the MotoAmerica paddock in recent years and has been touted as a future MotoGP rider by many within the paddock.

Having impressed Yamaha when he replaced Valentino Rossi for practice in Valencia last season, Gerloff made his race debut at Assen earlier this year with Pertonas SRT as a replacement for the injured Franco Morbidelli.

Hindered by the lacklustre two-year-old M1, Gerloff was only 17th in the Assen race, but still had a desire after that weekend to race in MotoGP full-time.

That opportunity likely won’t come for 2022 after he committed to Yamaha in WSBK – though internal disarray within the soon-to-rebranded RNF Racing camp may well open the door again for him.

Should he get a full-time shot, Gerloff will be the first American to race a full MotoGP season since the late Nicky Hayden in 2015.

But Gerloff says he wants to earn his place on the MotoGP grid and not be given a ride purely as a token gesture because of his nationality.

“Yeah, I think for the US it would be really nice,” Gerloff told Autosport when asked how important it would be for an American to race full-time in MotoGP again.

“It is surprising that there hasn't been one for so long but I would love to be that guy one day.

“But I wanna figure out everything here and try to keep improving, because I really want to earn the ride and I don't want to go to MotoGP because I have a good passport.

“I want to go because they want me there for my speed, talent, whatever. We'll see.”

Garrett Gerloff, Petronas Yamaha SRT © Autosport.com Garrett Gerloff, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Garrett Gerloff, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Dorna

He added: “I definitely would like to go to MotoGP. It's an amazing championship and the bikes are incredible.

“The professionalism of everybody and the attention to detail there is, is just next level.

“For sure I would love to race with the best guys in the world and to try to make myself proud and my country and everything too.

“Which is the same thinking that I'm trying to do here [in WSBK] and these guys here also are the best in the world.

“But to have the best bike in the world and the best guys, is another step. But for sure the guys here [in WSBK] are no joke obviously.”

From 2022 SRT will be known as RNF Racing, with Andrea Dovizioso joining the squad on a factory Yamaha after signing directly with the Japanese manufacturer.

Darryn Binder looked likely to be promoted straight from Moto3 onto a B-spec Yamaha alongside Dovizioso, but a rift has reportedly formed between team boss Razlan Razali and team director Johan Stigefelt, with it thought Binder’s contract was with the latter.

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