The 2022 British Superbike Champion made his move across to World Superbikes at the start of this season with the Yamaha MotoXRacing WorldSBK Team, but 2024 could see the Brit move up the pecking order at Yamaha.
Bradley Ray arrived into WorldSBK at the start of the 2023 season, but he will only take part in the European rounds this year. However, with the latest news out of Yamaha there is a chance the British rider could find himself in a full time ride in 2024.
There is now a Factory Yamaha seat available, due to Toprak Razgatlioglu's depature, which would be unrealistic at this point for Ray to get onto next season. But it is most likely that a seat at the GRT Yamaha squad could open up, which could be an option for Ray.
Pata Yamaha are currently searching for a rider to replace Razgatlioglu for next season, and it seems most likely that they will pick either Dominique Aegerter or Remy Gardner from the GRT Yamaha squad. With a seat at the second best Yamaha team in WorldSBK likely to open Ray should be in contention to claim this ride.
However, he will have to see off other riders such as Lorenzo Baldassari and Stefano Manzi if he wants to move up the Yamaha ladder next season.
So far this season Ray has taken part in six races across two rounds and has five points to his name with a best finish of 12th place in Catalunya. The 26-year-old lies 20th in the Championship, but is only one point behind full time Yamaha rider, Lorenzo Baldassari.
The GMT94 Yamaha rider, Baldassari, has 6 points to his name after four rounds and 12 races. The Italian rider finished runner up in World Supersport last season and is currently 18th place in the World Superbike standings.
The other rider who is likely to challenge Ray for the GRT Yamaha ride is, Stefano Manzi. This Italian rider is currently second in the World Supersport Championship for Ten Kate Racing. Yamaha have been known to promote their Supersport riders into Superbikes so Manzi looks like the main rival to Ray for the GRT ride.
Ray could definitely find his way into a full time role at Yamaha for 2024 if he continues to impress over the European stint of the season and can pick up more points than Baldassari for the remainder of the season.
A move to the GRT squad would benefit Ray's career as well as it would be a full time ride that would see the British rider take part in every round throughout the season. A move to GRT would be a great step as well for Ray to show his full potential and promise as it would allow him to battle at the front in WorldSBK.