Speaking before the Catalunya WorldSBK round, Andrea Dosoli, Road Racing Manager at Yamaha Motor Europe, said promoting one of Yamaha’s satellite riders to replace Toprak Razgatlioglu was the main objective, should the 2021 world champion leave at the end of this season.

And with Razgatlioglu now confirmed at BMW for 2024, and the team signing Locatelli to a new two-year deal, adding one of the two GRT riders is now a realistic option.

However, Yamaha could also look to make a splash signing after Motosprint.com have claimed that Zarco, Di Giannantonio and Lowes could be in the running. 

Talks with Zarco are rumoured to have taken place, however, it’s also thought that the French rider, who finished on the podium at his home Grand Prix at Le Mans last time out, remains in negotiations with Ducati regarding a new deal.  

While Zarco would be a big coup for WorldSBK and the factory Yamaha team, a rider that is more likely to leave MotoGP is fellow Ducati rider Di Giannantonio.

The Italian, who has failed to close the gap against the other seven Ducati riders in terms of pure pace on a consistent basis, is in danger of losing his seat to Moto2 championship leader Tony Arbolino. 

With Ducati his only real option in the premier class as it stands, Di Giannantonio is likely facing a move away from MotoGP, if he is indeed replaced by the Marc VDS rider. 

That could leave Di Giannantonio with two options, a return to Moto2 or switching to WorldSBK where the chance to join Yamaha in either the factory team or the GRT setup might be available. 

The last rider who could be in the mix that is not currently competing in the Superbike paddock, is Sam Lowes.

Yes that’s right, Sam, not Alex Lowes seems to be the name in contention for the factory Yamaha ride.

Although he failed to deliver the result he and the team would have hoped for at Le Mans, Lowes still showed that he can be one of the best riders in a very competitive Moto2 field.

Winner at the round prior in Jerez, Lowes then went on to take pole at the French Grand Prix before suffering a crash. A restarted race due to earlier red flags meant Lowes could re-group and gain one point after starting from pit lane.

Consistency hasn’t been Lowes’ best friend so far this season, however, Motosprint.com again believe that Pata Yamaha could bring the Brit across, while for Lowes, switching to WorldSBK in 2024 could be one of the last chances for the 32-year-old.