Dosoli: "It’s a strong lineup, the strongest we’ve fielded since returning to the Championship"
Japanese manufacturer Yamaha have four World Champions with five titles between them, as well as a national champion, in their 2023 line-up
Ahead of two days of testing for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship at the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Yamaha have unveiled their six riders across four teams that will compete for the Japanese manufacturer. With four World Champions having five titles to their name, plus a World Cup and a national championship, the line-up has been called Yamaha’s “strongest since returning to the Championship” by Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, Andrea Dosoli.
The Yamaha line-up in 2023 features six riders, four of whom are rookies to the Championship having earned a step up following their success either in the WorldSBK paddock in other Championships, the MotoGP™ paddock or in a national championship. The factory Pata Yamaha WorldSBK team consists of 2021 WorldSBK Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu and 2020 WorldSSP Champion Andrea Locatelli, who start their third season together as teammates.
The GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team has an all-new line-up for 2023 having secured the services of Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner. Aegerter spent two seasons in WorldSSP, winning both titles and is only behind five-time Champion Kenan Sofuoglu in the all-time wins list, while Remy Gardner took the 2021 Moto2™ title and spent 2022 in MotoGP™. Returning for their second season in WorldSBK, the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team have opted for 2022 British champion Bradley Ray, who makes his WorldSBK debut in 2023, with Ray competing in the European rounds this season.
There is also a new Yamaha team on the grid as GMT94 Yamaha make the step up from WorldSSP to WorldSBK for the first time. The French team have secured the services of WorldSSP runner-up Lorenzo Baldassarri for 2023, making it a rider-and-team rookie combination. With four wins to his name in WorldSSP in 2022 as well as winning multiple races in Moto2™, he brings plenty of experience to the team albeit not WorldSBK experience.
Discussing the season ahead and Yamaha’s 2023 line-up, Dosoli said: “For the first time, we will have six riders contracted directly by Yamaha representing our brand in the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship, four of them World Champions and one national champion. It’s a strong rider lineup, the strongest we’ve fielded since returning to the championship in 2016, and our expectations are high going into the new season. In Toprak and Andrea, we have two experienced championship campaigners, while Remy brings with him a wealth of experience from MotoGP. Dominique, Lorenzo, and Bradley are all proof that our unique step-up program, where Yamaha riders who excel at both an international and national level, are given the opportunity to step up to WorldSBK.
“The investment in our riders has also been matched by the investment in development, with the R1 improving in key areas, which was illustrated by the performance of all our riders at the recent Jerez test. We are in a good position to fight once again for the World Championship title, but we know that we need to eliminate the mistakes that robbed us of important points last year and put together a perfect season. Thanks to our riders, and I wish them the best of luck for the coming campaign.”
Watch Yamaha’s progress throughout WorldSBK in 2023 using the WorldSBK VideoPass!