Xavi Fores returns to WorldSBK in place of injured Philipp Oettl

Xavi Fores is called up to replace the injured Philipp Oettl for the remainder of the WorldSBK event at Estoril on the Go Eleven Ducati

Philipp Oettl - Go Eleven Ducati

Experienced racer Xavi Fores will make a surprise return to the WorldSBK Championship this weekend after being called up to replace Philipp Oettl on the Go Eleven Ducati at Estoril.

The German rookie fell at Turn 13 during the closing stages of the session and has since been declared unfit for the remainder of the event, prompting the Italian outfit to call in Fores.

The Spaniard has contested four full seasons of WorldSBK competition since 2016, plus two years in the British Superbike Championship, most recently in 2021 alongside Peter Hickman at FHO BMW.

Though he has also competed at Kawasaki and Honda rider in recent years, Fores’ one-off outing with Go Eleven will see him reacquaint himself with the Ducati machinery he has enjoyed the lion’s share of his success in WorldSBK, including five podiums.

“I am really happy with this opportunity to ride on a track and a bike that I really like. I was already at the circuit, my job this weekend was to be a commentator for Eurosport but when I received the news from Team Go Eleven, I was really happy to be able to do so. 

“Everything will happen really fast, but I just think about having fun and doing a great job for the team. I send a big hug to Philipp and hope he gets well soon.”

Fores is one of three new riders on the WorldSBK grid this weekend, including Marvin Fritz at Motoxracing in place of the injured Roberto Tamburini and Isaac Vinales, the latest stand in at Pedercini Kawasaki.

Meanwhile, Oettl is the second WorldSBK rider forced out mid-weekend after Michael van der Mark was ruled out with a hip injury.