WorldSBK 2024: Could BMW run three factory bikes after Razgatlioglu signing?

After the latest moves that include Toprak Razgatlioglu joining BMW for 2024, and Andrea Locatelli remaining at Yamaha until the end of 2025, we assess what this could mean for next season’s WorldSBK rider line-up.
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Assen 2023
Toprak Razgatlioglu, Yamaha World Superbike Assen 2023

With Alvaro Bautista and Jonathan Rea staying put at Ducati and Kawasaki for 2024, all eyes were on Razgatlioglu, who given his talent, age and results over the last few seasons, is arguably the most in-demand rider throughout the WorldSBK grid.

And after negotiations with Yamaha and Kawasaki, BMW were the manufacturer lucky enough to get their hands on the Turkish star.

A one-year deal was signed between Razgatlioglu and BMW, before Yamaha responded with the re-signing of Locatelli until the end of 2025. 


But what does Razgatlioglu’s shock move to BMW mean for the rest of the grid?

For starters, BMW will have to potentially play a game of musical chairs as Michael Van Der Mark has a contract with the German manufacturer, albeit one that doesn’t allow him to move to the Bonovo Action BMW satellite team.

The same goes for Scott Redding, however, the former MotoGP rider could decide to leave as his contract is not completely locked in, as the 30-year-old can choose to either exercise his option for 2024 or not.

If Redding does pick up his option and stay with the factory BMW team, something he must do before July 15th, then BMW could find themselves with the prospect of running three factory bikes. 

Or the more likely scenario is that they try to negotiate a deal to either move one of their riders to the Bonovo Action BMW team alongside Garrett Gerloff, or part ways completely with either Van Der Mark or Redding. 

If Redding does leave, his suitors could include Honda and Kawasaki, with the latter potentially providing him with a chance to become a regular podium challenger again.

At Honda, the Japanese manufacturer appears to be happy with Iker Lecuona, while the second seat could see another big name rider come through the door.

Redding or a rider from MotoGP such as Takaaki Nakagami could be options if Team HRC decides to move on from Xavi Vierge. 

For the second factory seat at Yamaha, Dominique Aegerter and Remy Gardner are likely to be the front runners, although Redding’s manager is said to also be in talks with the Iwata-based factory. 

Regardless of where he ends up, Redding is likely to be aboard factory machinery once again, whereas Van Der Mark’s status as a factory rider could be in more jeopardy.

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