How the 2025 MotoGP rider market could impact WorldSBK

With the 2025 MotoGP grid undergoing big developments in recent days, assesses the impact it could have on WorldSBK.

Jack Miller KTM
Jack Miller KTM

Jorge Martin to Aprilia and Marc Marquez to the factory Ducati team has breathed new life into the 2025 MotoGP rider market, but it’s fair to say a lot more is yet to unravel.

Martin completed a shock switch to Aprilia on Monday after Ducati changed their minds and made Marquez their priority.

The eight-time world champion then completed his expected move from Gresini to the Lenovo Ducati team on Wednesday.

But with a lot of MotoGP riders potentially looking for new homes as the season wears on, WorldSBK could be the big beneficiary.

Not all the current MotoGP riders that will be out of contract at the end of this season will be staying in the premier class, thus making a switch to WorldSBK a vey realistic proposition.

Two factory teams in WorldSBK already have their line-up for 2025 confirmed, with Honda (Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge) and Yamaha (Jonathan Rea and Andrea Locatelli) in place.

But with some MotoGP riders potentially available, there could be a lot of movement.

Ducati still holds most of the cards as changes will take place at Pramac, Gresini and potentially VR46.

Aprilia, Honda are also expected to make changes, while the GASGAS KTM team won’t be staying the same either.

Here are some of the riders we believe could be on the move to WorldSBK, including the team’s they could sign for.

But who are the names to watch?

Miguel Oliveira

Following a difficult start to 2024 with the new Trackhouse Racing Aprilia team, Oliveira’s future remains up in the air.

Yet to get close to a top five finish, Oliveira has not had the pace of Maverick Vinales and Aleix Espargaro, while team-mate Raul Fernandez has begun to put-perform the former KTM rider in recent rounds.

It remains to be seen what Trackhouse does with its line-up, but Joe Roberts is expected to fill one of those spots.

That could leave Oliveira with the option of returning to KTM with GASGAS, a move to one of Ducati’s satellite teams (which is unlikely), or switching to WorldSBK.

BMW, Ducati and Kawasaki have places available in their factory teams as it stands and could be options if Oliveira can’t find a MotoGP seat.

Jack Miller

A shocking start to 2024 for the Australian has left Miller very much on the outside looking in regarding seats in MotoGP.

Given Australia’s extensive presence in the Superbike championship throughout the championship’s history, Miller could use it as a chance to rejuvenate his career with a potential move to Ducati.

Miller could be the big name Ducati wants if Alvaro Bautista hangs up his racing boots, however, BMW could also be an option.

Andrea Iannone, who has been linked with a return to MotoGP, could be Miller’s main competition for a factory Ducati seat.

Augusto Fernandez

Augusto Fernandez
Augusto Fernandez

Perhaps the most likely rider to not be in MotoGP next season, Augusto Fernandez would be an obvious choice for any team with any satellite seats available, if not a factory opening.

Fernandez is a Moto2 world champion and flashed potential on several occasions as a MotoGP rookie last season.

However, his second year in the premier class has not gone according to plan and a move away looks rather ominous.

Takaaki Nakagami

With Honda’s full factory team already set for next season, picturing Nakagami at the Japanese brand has been made harder.

But Kawasaki and Yamaha could be options for the 32-year-old who continues to struggle as a result of Honda’s MotoGP woes.

The GRT Yamaha team could be one to watch if they move on from Dominique Aegerter, who has struggled so far in 2024.

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