The big headlines away from those confirmed, who is still standing as the music begins to fade out?
The 2023 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship season has concluded, as the sun has set on what has been a fantastic season. After a thrilling end to the year, all eyes are already turning on 2024 and some riders, even at this late stage, are still looking for a seat. For a full look at the main silly season story – including confirmations, rumours, latest news and more, click here!
LORIS BAZ (Bonovo Action BMW): no room at the BMW Inn
Not for the first time, Loris Baz is looking for work in WorldSBK; BMW’s shock signing of Toprak Razgatlioglu meant that the four currently-contracted riders were now jockeying for position. Ahead of Aragon, it was confirmed that Michael van der Mark (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) would be Razgatlioglu’s teammate in the factory team, whilst current teammate Scott Redding would move to the Bonovo Action BMW team alongside Garrett Gerloff. Baz confirmed that he “expected” the news but that won’t be any comfort. With Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing) moving to KRT, maybe Baz could find refuge at Motocorsa Racing, whilst Christophe Guyot, team principal of the GMT94 Yamaha outfit, publicly stated he’s keen to have a French rider in WorldSBK for the French team, although Baz was coy when asked.
LORENZO BALDASSARRI (GMT94 Yamaha): a rookie who has struggled in 2023
Reigning World Supersport runner-up from 2022 Lorenzo Baldassarri was touted as being one to watch in 2023, with his big frame and long limbs seemingly fitting the WorldSBK style of riding like a glove. However, as he’s graduated to the class and GMT94 Yamaha returned for the first time since 2008, it hasn’t been plain sailing. ‘Iron Balda’ is one of the riders in a precarious position right now, after Guyot’s comments during a pitlane interview in WorldSBK left him disappointed with the Italian’s performances, whilst also saying he’s considering “all riders” who contact him. Baldassarri’s options are limited after a first year in World Superbike hasn’t yet yielded a top ten but he’s keen to stay in the paddock and he’s in contact with “other brands” too.
BRADLEY RAY (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team): is no news good news?
It’s been a relatively quiet few months for Bradley Ray, with the reigning British Superbike champion not yet back in the points following a shoulder surgery before the August break. However, before that, he was in the top six at Imola on his first time at the track, showcasing his ability. He’s also been quiet in terms of 2024 but you can guarantee that his manager, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, will be looking to keep him on competitive machinery.
2023 is in the history books but 2024 is upon us already: enjoy everything using the WorldSBK VideoPass!