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“Bradley Ray growing” but is Motoxracing eyeing high-profile replacement for 2024 WorldSBK?

Bradley Ray, Motoxracing Yamaha, Yamaha R1, 2023 WorldSBK, Misano, action [credit - Gold & Goose]

The boss of Motoxracing Yamaha has praised rookie rider Bradley Ray for his results amid a high quality 2023 WorldSBK field, but reveals he is considering making a swoop for ex-MotoGP rider Andrea Iannone for next season.

Last year’s British Superbike Champion stepped up to the world championship for 2023 with the privateer Italian team, though will only compete in the European events that make up nine rounds of this season’s 12-race schedule.

It means Ray began his season later than his counterparts, the Briton making his debut during Round 3 at Assen, putting him on the back foot with the modestly-budgeted team in a competitive line-up that other high calibre rookies like Danilo Petrucci, Remy Gardner and Dominique Aegerter.


Nevertheless, Motoxracing Yamaha boss Sandro Carusi is pleased with the progress of Ray - who has a best finish of 12th to his name in Barcelona - and is convinced he will evolve into a top ten contender by the end of the year.

Bradley Ray, Motoxracing Yamaha, Yamaha R1, 2023 WorldSBK, Misano, portrait [credit - Gold & Goose]

“We're starting to get right on track,” Carusi told Corsedimoto. “At the beginning we had struggled a bit and there were a few crashes too many. We should have known each other but now we have managed to establish an excellent feeling. 

“There is a good atmosphere in the garage and great mutual trust. Bradley Ray is growing up and the level of the World Championship this year is much higher than in 2022. Our bike has also taken a step, in any case, so getting into the points is already a good result".

“I expect to see him sometime in the top ten of the championship. If he continues to grow like this he can do it.

>>> 2023 WorldSBK Championship Standings <<<

Looking forward, Carusi is positive about the prospect of retaining Ray and hopes to embark on a full international campaign too.

However, he reveals he is also keeping an eye on the rider market and specifically mentions ex-MotoGP rider Iannone as a possible target. The Italian is scouting for WorldSBK rides once his four-year suspension for a doping offence comes to an end in December 2023.

“We still need to define the programme [for 2024]. In the meantime, I hope to continue in WorldSBK and do all the races, not just the European ones. 


“I wouldn't mind going on with Bradley Ray, I'm convinced that we could be competitive straight away. Next year the WorldSBK Championship will be even more beautiful. 

“We are talking about Iannone, maybe riders will come from the Grand Prix World Championship and the level should rise further. Bradley Ray could be a stable contender in the top ten or twelve though.”

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