With double Champion Jeffrey Buis moving to KTM for next year, MTM Kawasaki were quick to secure the services of four-time race winner Mirko Gennai alongside Loris Veneman
Just days after completing the Autodromo Internacional do Algarve double, Mirko Gennai has more to celebrate. The Italian will remain in the FIM Supersport 300 World Championship next year as he switches to MTM Kawasaki for a title challenge on the Kawasaki Ninja 400. He will be joined by 2023’s stand-out rookie, Loris Veneman, as the team keep some continuity heading into next season despite the departure of newly-crowned 2023 Champion Jeffrey Buis.
A NEW FACE FOR MTM: Gennai switches from BrCorse
Buis’ move to the Freudenberg KTM – Paligo Racing team was made public back in September as the Dutchman searches for more WorldSSP300 history. The team acted quickly to bring in his replacement, with Mirko Gennai switching from Team BrCorse for next season. The Italian has 60 WorldSSP300 races under his belt and finished third in this year’s Championship fight, behind only Buis and Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez (Accolade Smrz Racing BGR).
Gennai’s WorldSSP300 career started back in 2020 with a best result of 11th coming in the final race of the season, one of only two-points scoring rides for the Firenze-born star. He was 30th in the Championship but climbed all the way to 15th in 2021 as he became a top-ten contender, taking a best result of sixth on two occasions. 2022 would be his breakthrough year as he took four podiums, including his first win at Portimao to end the season. A year later and he stood on the top step another three times, including twice at Portimao, with six rostrums to his name.
VENEMAN REMAINS: young Dutchman impressed in his rookie season
For 2024, the 20-year-old will jump on Kawasaki machinery for the first time in WorldSSP300, having spent his first four seasons with Team BrCorse. He’ll compete for the MTM Kawasaki squad, who have won four Teams’ Championships in a row since 2020 and three of the last four Riders’ Championships with Buis in 2020 and 2023 and Adrian Huertas in 2021. Gennai will be partnered with 17-year-old Veneman, who will stay at the team after a dream debut season: he finished eighth in the Championship, taking one win and a further podium as he adjusted to WorldSSP300 machinery after three seasons in the Northern Talent Cup.
IN GENNAI’S WORDS: “I felt it was time to change and start a new path the multiple World Champions…”
Discussing his move, Gennai said: “I’m extremely happy to start a new adventure in green. After four years, I felt it was time to change and start a new path with the multiple World Champions, MTM Kawasaki. I’m highly motivated to be in the best team of the category and for sure this will give me the extra motivation to start the Championship in the best way. I’ll give my 110% as usual and surely it will be a very competitive 2024.”
VENEMAN’S VIEW: “I have learnt a lot this year and want to improve for the next season”
Veneman, who finished as this year’s highest-placed rookie, added: “I am really happy to continue with MTM Kawasaki for the 2024 World Supersport 300 season on board the Kawasaki Ninja 400. I have learnt a lot this year and want to improve for the next season, working well with the team as we already did during this season. My target is to do a lot of training during the winter, racing also some races in other series when possible, in order to keep trained and try to give my best to be always on top in the World Championship. I have a very good feeling with the team, we are strong.”
VAN DER VEKEN SPEAKS: “Easy choice to confirm Loris… confident about Gennai, I’ve always loved his attitude”
Ludo van der Veken: MTM Kawasaki’s Team Manager, reflected on the 2024 line-up, saying: “I’m really happy to welcome back for one more season Loris Veneman and welcome Mirko Gennai into our team. It has been an easy choice to confirm Loris, we had a very strong rookie season together, we love to work with him, and we couldn’t be happier to continue this journey together. I feel he can improve a lot from this year, he’s young but already showed the right speed with one win and a podium and we want to go for more next year. I’m also very confident about Mirko Gennai. I’ve always loved his attitude and the way he races, he’s aggressive and he gives his 200% during the races, exactly the kind of rider I’m looking for my team. He is still young but has a lot of experience and I can’t wait to see him on our Kawasaki 400.”
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