Brad Ray to miss Most for shoulder surgery, Tamburini steps in

Friday, 21 July 2023 10:30 GMT

After taking a top-six finish at Imola, Ray will miss out on a trip to Most as he undergoes surgery; the team have opted to bring in Roberto Tamburini for the Czech Round

After a season’s best P6 at Imola last time out, Brad Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) will miss the Acerbis Czech Round at the Autodrom Most to have surgery on an ongoing shoulder issue. The British rookie had his best weekend of the season last time out and has stated he’d like to go into the remainder of the season as fit as possible and in the best shape. He’ll undergo the surgery on July 26th in the United Kingdom.

Talking about the surgery and the decision to miss the round, Ray commented: “After such an amazing weekend at Imola, I’ve decided, in agreement with Yamaha and my team, to have an operation to definitively fix an ongoing issue that I’ve been having with my right shoulder, something I’ve been suffering with for a while. Even if it’s not debilitating, it often hinders my performance. Having been able to show at Imola, but also during previous rounds, that I deserve to be here in the Superbike World Championship, I want to tackle the second half of the season stronger than ever.

“I’m obviously really sorry I can’t go to the Czech Republic and the Most circuit, but I’ll now have a lot of time to fully recovery and, once the surgery is done, I’ll be aiming to score even better results. I’d like to personally thank Andrea Dosoli, the entire Yamaha Motor Europe team and the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team of course for their understanding. I can’t wait to see you all again after the summer break!”

Ray’s rookie season features just the European rounds, meaning he started at Assen, unable to score points. However, in Barcelona, he was more competitive and took a best finish of 12th in Race 1. Misano and Donington Park both promised so much but a technical problem in the former and being taken out at Turn 1 on Lap 1 in Race 1 in the latter cast clouds over the weekend. However, a P6 on the grid before a fine P6 in Race 2 at Imola – his and the team’s first time there – showed their capabilities as a package.

The team have opted to draft in Roberto Tamburini, who raced for them last season, to replace Ray. At the Autodrom Most in 2022, the Italian secured one of his best results of the season with 11th, with his best a 10th in Race 2 in Barcelona. He stepped in for the PETRONAS MIE Racing Honda Team last time out at Imola, finishing ahead of teammate Eric Granado in all three races; with the caveat that Granado crashed out of Race 1.

Discussing his return to the team, Tamburini said: “I’m really pleased to be back with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team and to be able to work with Sandro Carusi and his team, as I spent a great 2022 season with them. I’m sure that the bike is updated and improved compared to what I used last year, and I’m interested to get out on track to know it better. We’ll need to make the most of practice in order to do well in the races. It won’t be easy as the level in WorldSBK is increasingly high, but I’ll give it my all. I like the Most track and I scored one of my best results at this track last year. I want to thank Sandro Carusi, Andrea Dosoli and the entire Yamaha team for offering me this opportunity and putting their faith in me.”

Team Principal Sandro Carusi supported Ray’s decision to miss Most and explained why they opted for Tamburini as his replacement: “I’m really sorry that Bradley has to take this enforced break, just as some strong results were coming. We’ve decided to stop now in order to give him the time to recovery and then aim for the best possible final part of the season. We’ve decided to replace Bradley Ray with Roberto Tamburini because we’ve long had a good relationship with him and scored some strong results together last season. He feels at home as part of our team and it’s always a pleasure to work with him.”

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