A NEW HOME: Oettl secures 2024 WorldSBK grid spot with GMT94 Yamaha

Tuesday, 7 November 2023 14:30 GMT

The German will once again compete in WorldSBK as he lines up on the Independent GMT94 Yamaha machine next year

Philipp Oettl will remain on the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid after inking a deal with GMT94 Yamaha for 2024. The German will switch from Ducati to Yamaha machinery after two years with Team GoEleven as he ensures his presence stays in WorldSBK heading into next year, taking the seat vacated by Lorenzo Baldassarri. The deal keeps the #5 on the grid for at least another year after he finished his 2023 campaign strongly despite losing his seat to Andrea Iannone at the Independent Ducati outfit.

OETTL’S 2023: a strong start and finish

The German rider started his season in fine form with two top-six finishes at Phillip Island, but this turned out to be the high point until after the August break. A few top ten finishes came between Indonesia and Most, but it was Magny-Cours that kicked off the final third of the season where Oettl’s potential began to shine. Three top-tens in France were followed up with three top-eights at Aragon, including sixth in Race 1. He stayed in the top ten at Portimao before his strongest weekend of the season in terms of points at Jerez – taking sixth in Race 1 and two more P7s. He finished the season in 15th place, two points behind Scott Redding who was with the factory BMW team.

THE JOURNEY TO NOW: Jerez the scene of so much success

Oettl’s road to WorldSBK started back in 2010, where he started a three-year stint in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. In 2012, he doubled up this campaign with a year in what was then the CEV Moto3™ Championship, winning at Jerez – a phrase that would become integrally linked to his career. He also won there in 2011 in the Rookies Cup. For 2013, he secured a full-time move to Moto3™ and his first podium came at Indianapolis in 2015 with third. The next came two years later in Austria, before his first win in 2018 at Jerez. A move to Moto2™ followed but a point-less year meant he found himself on the sidelines, before a switch to WorldSSP and the Kawasaki Puccetti Racing Team.

INSIDE THIS PADDOCK: a WorldSSP podium challenge

The 27-year-old’s WorldSSP career started in Australia in 2020, but his first podium came in his second race at Jerez. He took four podiums in his rookie season on his way to third in the standings, behind Andrea Locatelli and Lucas Mahias. He remained on the same bike with the same team for 2021, accumulating seven podiums but dropping to fifth in the standings. Nevertheless, he earned a seat in WorldSBK with Team GoEleven for 2022 where he remained for two seasons. 13th in the standings in his maiden campaign was followed by 15th this year, taking a best of P5 in Australia this year.

IN OETTL’S WORDS: ”I took a step forward… I would like to continue it next year too”

After losing his Team GoEleven seat to Andrea Iannone for 2024, Oettl has found a new home on the grid. He will link up with GMT94 Yamaha for next year, hoping he can adapt to the R1 machine quickly and challenge at the sharp end of the grid. On his move, he said: “I am very happy to join GMT94 for the 2024 season. Christophe and his team have been working at a very high level for decades and I am honoured to be able to join the team. During the last events of the 2023 season, I took a step forward and I would like to continue it next year too. Of course, it’s a difficult goal, but I will prepare well during the winter holidays to be ready for the first tests. I can’t wait to meet the team and start working.”

THE TEAM SAYS: “we hope to finish in the top ten next season”

Elaborating on the choice to sign Oettl, Team Manager Christophe Guyot said: “Grand Prix winner in Moto3™ with a total of three podiums in the category, Philipp Oettl made his debut in the WorldSSP in 2020. After achieving 11 podiums, he reached WorldSBK in 2022. In 2023, he demonstrated his speed finishing fifth in Australia and six times in the top seven. We hope to finish in the top 10 next season, we will help Philipp achieve his goals as a rider.”

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