Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Smith will become BMW factory riders as the German manufacturer continue their push in WorldSBK
The complexion of the BMW test team for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship has been announced. Sylvain Guintoli and Bradley Smith, each with vast experience across motorcycle racing, will test, and were at the Valencia test, for the German factory as they look to take a step forward in WorldSBK. With Toprak Razgatlioglu joining the ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team for 2024 alongside Michael van der Mark, plus Garrett Gerloff and Scott Redding and Bonovo Action BMW, the test team is another piece of the puzzle the manufacturer hope will lead them to glory.
ANOTHER CHAMPION JOINS: Guintoli links up with BMW
French rider Sylvain Guintoli last raced in WorldSBK back in 2017 but he’s kept himself race fit by competing in the FIM Endurance World Championship as well as occasional wildcard appearances in MotoGP™ with Suzuki until 2019. His responsibilities for BMW include testing for them but he will also dovetail this with an EWC campaign on the M 1000 RR. Discussing his new role, the 2014 WorldSBK Champion said: “I am very happy to join the BMW Motorrad Motorsport WorldSBK factory project as a test rider, the project is very exciting, and I am looking forward to bringing my experience into it. I can’t wait to get started and enjoy the BMW M 1000 RR.”
SMITH AND GUINTOLI TEAM UP: Brit also a member of the test team
33-year-old Smith, like Guintoli, brings lots of experience to the BMW family. He raced in MotoGP™ as recently as 2020 with Aprilia and has podiums in the 125cc World Championship as well as Moto2™, MotoE™ and MotoGP™ to his name. While running Yamaha machinery in MotoGP™, he teamed up with Pol Espargaro and Katsuyuki Nakasuga to win the famous Suzuka 8 Hours and his attention now turns to a test role – something he’s held previously with Aprilia – with BMW. On his move to BMW, Smith said: “To be asked by BMW Motorrad to join the test team is a great privilege. I will work my hardest to deliver what our four WorldSBK factory riders need to battle with the best in the Championship.”
THE TEAM’S VIEW: “their wealth of experience strengthens our project… they are the perfect riders”
Discussing the two new arrivals to BMW, Christian Gonschor, Technical Director for BMW Motorrad Motorsport said: “Welcome aboard, Sylvain and Bradley. It’s fantastic that their wealth of experience strengthens our project. Sylvain brings extensive knowledge from many years in the Superbike and Endurance World Championships, where he also secured the titles, as well as from MotoGP™. Bradley complements this knowledge perfectly with his extensive experience as a race and test rider in MotoGP™. They are the perfect riders for our new test team, which focuses solely on testing work on the track, independent of race commitments.”
BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers added: “I am proud that, under Chris’s leadership, we have assembled such a strong line-up to support our factory commitments in WorldSBK and the FIM EWC with the test team in the background. It is also a clear indication of BMW Motorrad’s strong commitment to motorsport. The significant input provided by the test team has already shown promise in recent months, and we are confident that this structure will contribute to success.”
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