The satellite Bonovo Racing team will become a ‘second factory team’ alongside Shaun Muir Racing in the WorldSBK Championship as BMW looks to capitalise on its coup signing of Toprak Razgatlioglu for 2024.
The German manufacturer, which has maintained a constant presence in WorldSBK since its debut in 2010 in varying capacities, currently applies factory status to the Shaun Muir Racing-prepared ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK team, with the German-based Bonovo Racing designated as its satellite outfit.
However, BMW is poised to make a significant investment in its 2024 bid with the BMW M 1000 RR package on the back of securing the signature of 2021 WorldSBK Champion Razgatlioglu, who makes a shock switch to the firm on a two-year deal.
As part of the changes, Bonovo Racing - which includes former racer Eugene Laverty among its management team - will receive upgrades at the same time as the factory team next year to give riders Garrett Gerloff and Scott Redding, who switches from the factory squad to make way for Razgatlioglu, more parity with the Turk and Michael van der Mark.
It comes after Gerloff emerges as BMW’s top representative during the latter stages of the season, culminating in a pole position at Magny-Cours and a series of top six finishes.
“It’s really cool to see BMW’s effort into the whole programme; I know with Toprak coming and all the riders that are already here, we can move the programme forwards quite a bit. I think it’s going to be an exciting year for that.”
Discussing his thoughts on Razgatlioglu’s impression of the M 1000 RR package, Gerloff is confident the 39-time race winner - whose contract with the German firm officially starts today [1 December] - will be impressed.
“I think he’s going to like it! The steps that we’ve made with braking, I don’t think he’s going to feel too far away from where he was.
“Honestly, I don’t see him struggling at all; I see him being exactly the same, going just as fast or more than likely faster. I think he’ll gel with it really good and I’d be surprised if he wasn’t doing lap records in the second test.”
Razgatlioglu is due to turn his first laps with BMW this week in a test outing now his Yamaha contract has officially come to an end.
BMW made its debut in WorldSBK in 2010 in a factory capacity, before delegating its efforts to a series of customer partners from 2013 onwards. It then returned as a full works team from 2019 with the launch of the new generation BMW S 1000 RR.