Moto2, WorldSSP race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri lands 2023 WorldSBK deal

Five-time Moto2 race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri and GMT94 Yamaha will graduate from the WorldSSP class to join the 2023 WorldSBK Championship grid

Lorenzo Baldassarri - Evan Bros Yamaha 2022 WorldSSP

Lorenzo Baldassarri will join WorldSSP title rival Dominique Aegerter in making his WorldSBK debut in 2023 after securing a deal to progress with fellow series newcomers GMT94 Yamaha.

A former front runner in the Moto2 World Championship - where he won five races and 12 podiums - Baldassarri switched to WorldSSP this season with 2019 and 2020 champions Evan Bros. Racing.

The only rider to get close to challenging Aegerter’s dominant superiority in the intermediate class, though the Italian has slipped away from the Swiss racer in the title fight, four wins among 14 podiums see him comfortably on course for the runners-up spot.

For 2023, however, Baldassarri will step up to the WorldSBK Championship with GMT94, the French outfit also confirming its plan to graduate from WorldSSP for the first time with a single customer Yamaha R1 entry.

“I’m very happy, because I started this project with Yamaha in WorldSSP from Moto2,, and my goal was always to be in WorldSBK. This year, we’ve had a very good season, we have grown together and I’m always improving. 

“I’m ready for this step into the WorldSBK Championship with Yamaha and the GMT94 Yamaha WorldSBK Team, so thanks to them for giving me this opportunity; I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”

Baldassarri becomes the fifth Yamaha rider confirmed for the 2023 WorldSBK season alongside Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli on the factory Pata bikes, plus Remy Gardner and Aegerter with the works supported satellite GYTR GMT outfit.

However, as many as seven Yamaha R1s are expected to be present on the grid together with Gil Motorsport, which is expected to retain Christophe Ponsson, and Motoxracing which is understood to have held talks with BSB Champion-elect Bradley Ray after negotiations with Tarran Mackenzie fell through.

GMT94 Yamaha’s arrival comes after several years spent in both WorldSSP and the Endurance World Championship.

2023 WorldSBK Championship - Rider Line-up [Provisional as of 15/10/22]

2023 WorldSBK Championship - Provisional Rider Line-up [as of 15/10/22]
RiderNat.WorldSBK TeamSuperbike
Alvaro BautistaESPAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R
Michael Ruben RinaldiITAAruba Racing DucatiDucati Panigale V4 R
Toprak Razgatlioglu TURPata YamahaYamaha R1
Andrea LocatelliITAPata YamahaYamaha R1
Jonathan ReaGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR
Alex LowesGBRKawasaki Racing TeamKawasaki ZX-10RR
Iker LecuonaESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R
Xavi ViergeESPTeam HRC HondaHonda CBR1000RR-R
Scott ReddingGBRBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR
Michael van der MarkNEDBMW Motorrad WorldSBKBMW M 1000 RR
Philipp OettlGERTeam Go ElevenDucati Panigale V4 R
Axel BassaniITAMotocorsa RacingDucati Panigale V4 R
Oliver KonigCZEOrelac VerdNatura RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR
Remy GardnerAUSGYTR GRTYamaha R1
Dominique AegerterSUIGYTR GRTYamaha R1
Lorenzo BaldassarriITAGMT94Yamaha R1
Loris BazFRABonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR
Garrett GerloffUSABonovo Action RacingBMW M 1000 RR
Xavi ForesESPBarni Spark RacingDucati Panigale V4 R
Tom SykesGBRPuccetti RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR
Christophe PonssonFRAGil Motor SportYamaha R1
Bradley RayGBRMotoxracing WorldSBKYamaha R1
Marcel SchrotterGERMIE RacingHonda CBR1000RR-R
TBATBATeam Pedercini RacingKawasaki ZX-10RR

Riders rumoured (not official) in grey/italics