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SILLY SEASON FOR THE 2025 WorldSBK GRID: "I will make a decision soon"

Friday, 24 May 2024 16:52 GMT

It seemingly gets earlier and earlier, but silly season for next year’s grid is already underway…

The 2024 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship might only be three rounds in, but already, attention is turning into what the 2025 grid will look like. Some riders are under contract for next season, plenty have their futures up in the air, and there have been plenty of comments made about what to expect in 2025. So, what is known so far about the complexion of next year’s grid.

UNDER CONTRACT: who has their future secure?

The easy place to start is who has a 2025 contract in their pocket already. Nicolo Bulega (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati) is under contract for next year, as are Pata Prometeon Yamaha duo Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli. At Team HRC, both Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge's renewal was announced as two years to cover the 2024 and 2025 seasons. It’s been confirmed by both Kenan Sofuoglu and Shaun Muir that Toprak Razgatlioglu's (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) contract covers both this and next season.

NOT YET SORTED FOR 2025: the riders aiming to secure a ride

The biggest name without a deal for next season is reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing - Ducati), who opted to sign a one-year contract last season. Both GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team riders, Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team), Tito Rabat (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), Michael Ruben Rinaldi (Team Motocorsa Racing), Danilo Petrucci (Barni Spark Racing Team), Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team), Philipp Oettl (GMT94 Yamaha) and Sam Lowes (ELF Marc VDS Racing Team) are all yet to sign for next year. Alex Lowes (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) is also out of contract, while teammate Axel Bassani is on a multi-year deal– of course, next year, it’ll be the Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team squad. Garrett Gerloff (Bonovo Action BMW) revealed last year he was contracted for 2023 and 2024, so he’s a free agent for 2025 as it stands. Elsewhere, Andrea Iannone's (Team GoEleven) contract expires at the end of 2024.

WHAT’S BEEN SAID SO FAR: retirement talk, factory team ambitions

With rumours already circulating about next year, riders have been asked about it already. Bautista said in an interview that “he doesn’t have anything in his mind” and that he’ll keep racing while he’s having fun,  but isn't in a hurry to make a decision. However, in his media debrief on Friday, Bautista made a contradictory statement by saying he wants to decide soon: “If the top management in Ducati want me, it’s always a pleasure! I’m focused on riding with my best performance. I think I will make a decision soon for me and for my team.”

Iannone addressed rumours about his future at Assen, with links to other manufacturers or Championships in the press, saying: “I’m happy I’m being spoken about. I know if I’m on top, I have many chances. My target is to be in a factory team, but we will see. I’m happy because after a long time, I felt many things, and interest from many manufacturers. I’m honoured. I think, after Assen at Misano, we will know something more about this.” The topic came up again at the Cremona test, with team boss Denis Sacchetti stating that ‘it doesn’t depend on us’.

Alex Lowes was also asked about silly season at Assen, and the #22 said: “I don’t really know, it’s very early. Like we’re seeing in MotoGP™ and previous years in WorldSBK, everything starts really early. We have a break after the Assen round, so maybe there’ll be some more news in the break. From my side, I don’t know yet.”

At BMW, van der Mark gave an answer to rumours about his future, saying the only thing he can do is deliver results. When asked about rumours linking Iannone to BMW, van der Mark simply replied: “I need to have some good results and that makes everything a bit easier.” During Free Practice 1, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director Marc Bongers spoke about their rider line-up for 2025, refusing to give anything anyway: “We’re happy the way it is and it’s way too early to say anything.”

Although his future is secure, Razgatlioglu was asked about who he wanted as a teammate and stated van der Mark as his preference: “I am happy with Michael as a teammate and the atmosphere in the garage is very good and we work well together. If BMW ask me, it’s easy to say Michael, he’s a good teammate, a good guy and respectful; we work together in the race and Superpole.”

Gardner has been quoted by Motorsport-Total.com as saying he has an option for 2025 to be with GRT Yamaha, while Aegerter – in the same article – said “the conditions must be right” to stay with the team and that there are “other alternatives” for the double WorldSSP Champion.

2025 WorldSBK grid (TBA = To Be Announced)

Aruba.it Racing - Ducati: Nicolo Bulega and TBA

Pata Prometeon Yamaha: Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli

Bimota by Kawasaki Racing Team: Axel Bassani and TBA

Team HRC: Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge

ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team: Toprak Razgatlioglu and TBA

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