The grid for the 2021 FIM Supersport World Championship continues to take shape during the off-season, with a star-rookie coming over from the Moto2™ World Championship. 21-year-old Dutchman Bo Bendsneyder will join the Dutch EAB Racing Team for next season on Yamaha R6 machinery, with the past Moto3™ podium finisher eager to rekindle strong results after three difficult seasons in the Moto2™ class.
With 82 starts across the Moto3™ and Moto2™ classes, Bendsneyder has experience coming to WorldSSP. He started competing in the Moriwaki Junior Cup in 2011 and 2012, taking the crown in both seasons with his natural talent clear for all to see. 2013 saw him on the podium in the German national series as well as winning in the European Junior Cup before moving to the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2014, taking a victory and ninth overall in the standings. In 2015, he was Champion in the class, beating the likes of GP star Fabio Di Giannantonio. 2016 saw him move to Moto3™ World Championship action and partner Brad Binder in the Championship-winning Ajo KTM squad; he took two podiums before staying in the class for 2017, although without the same success. Moto2™ called from 2018 onwards but yet to crack the top ten despite strong showings on the NTS chassis, Bendsneyder is keen to get back on the podium as he heads for World Supersport in 2021. Speaking about the move for the new season, Bendsneyder said: “I’m very happy that I will ride next year for the EAB Racing Team in WorldSSP and I’m very motivated after my recent successes in Moto2™, with points finishes in the last three races of 2020. I can’t wait to test the EAB Racing Team Yamaha YZF-R6 for the first time. The R6 is not a completely new bike for me, so that’s a big benefit after all my years in the MotoGP™ paddock. Many thanks to Ferry Schoenmakers and my sponsors who gave me this great opportunity and I will do everything I can to make it a success!” The team have two STK600 Championships and now, team owner Ferry Schoenmakers is ready for more success in the not-too-distant future: “We are very happy to welcome Bo to our team and I think we are at the beginning of a successful partnership. Bo has showed many times that he is a very good racer and I think the Yamaha YZF-R6 will suit him well. We have a number of tests planned in the run-up to the start of 2021 to be ready for the first race.”
Bendsneyder is not the first big name to move over from the Moto2™ World Championship however, with the last three Champions (Andrea Locatelli in 2020, Randy Krummenacher in 2019 and Sandro Cortese in 2018) all moving to WorldSSP from Moto2™ – Cortese and Locatelli taking the title in their rookie season. In 2020, Philipp Oettl and Steven Odendaal both had strong results, the former taking podiums and third in the title. After a year in Moto2™ in 2011, Kenan Sofuoglu was able to return to WorldSSP in 2012, taking his third title whilst 2013 Champion Sam Lowes fought for the title in Moto2™ this year. If the history of moves from one paddock to another, Bendsneyder may well be competitive from the start.