Navarro replaces Baldassarri for Orelac Ducati’s WorldSSP campaign

Friday, 31 May 2024 07:32 GMT

The Spaniard had been riding for the WRP-RT Motorsport-Triumph squad but that’s changed now as he jumps on the Panigale V2 from Misano onwards

There’s been a mini rider reshuffle in the FIM Supersport World Championship ahead of the Pirelli Emilia-Romagna Round. Jorge Navarro will now race for Orelac Racing VerdNatura in 2024 after previously being with the WRP-RT Motorsport by SKM-Triumph squad. The #9 replaces Lorenzo Baldassarri after the Italian left the team by mutual agreement after three rounds of the season.

Navarro made his WorldSSP debut last year and secured one podium for the Ten Kate Racing Yamaha outfit in what proved to be a challenging season off the back of a severe injury he suffered towards the end of the 2022 Moto2™ season. He ended the campaign strongly but found himself looking for a new ride, linking up with the WRP-RT Motorsport-Triumph team for 2024 as they made their debut in the Championship.

In six races this season, the Valencian rider managed a best of seventh place on four occasions and was a regular fixture inside the top ten as he and his new team impressed early on. He claimed the fastest lap in Race 1 in Barcelona, a track he knows very well – proven by the 28-year-old setting the all-time lap record in Moto2™ in this year’s Catalan Grand Prix in Practice 1 although it was subsequently beaten by Sergio Garcia in Practice 2.

The one-time WorldSSP podium finisher steps into Orelac Racing VerdNatura to replace Lorenzo Baldassarri, who returned to WorldSSP this season after a difficult debut WorldSBK campaign in 2023. There were high hopes the ‘Balda’-Ducati combination would propel him to the success he enjoyed with Yamaha back in 2022 when he was a regular fixture at the front, but it hasn’t turned out that way. A best of ninth is the highlight, with Phillip Island Race 2 the only time the Italian scored points this season.

Discussing the move, Team Manager Jose Calero said: “Signing Navarro was an old aspiration that now allows us to make a considerable leap in quality and with which we will continue working to be among the top positions of the World Championship. We have everything we need to fight for victories. Navarro replaces Lorenzo Baldassarri in our team, with whom, by mutual agreement, we have decided to separate our paths."

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