Loris Baz will make a sensational return to WorldSBK in 2022 after officially joining Bonovo BMW Racing, while the German outfit has also signed Eugene Laverty.

Baz, who finished fourth in his debut MotoAmerica season this year, returns to WorldSBK after two stunning stand-in performances for the injured Chaz Davies at Jerez and Portimao - claimed two podiums in five races.

The French rider, most known for his time at Kawasaki and Yamaha, will also be making a return to BMW machinery for the first time since 2018.

"I am really happy to be back in WorldSBK so I want to thank BMW and the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team for giving me this opportunity," said Baz. 

"I think that I have shown during these two rounds in Spain and Portugal that I have the pace to fight at the front in this championship. 

"BMW is the brand that grew the most in the second part of the season. I have closely watched how the bike was improving. 

"I have been racing with BMW before so I know a lot of people there and also, I have been competing with MGM Racing for one race back in 2012. 

"I am really happy and really excited about this opportunity and am looking forward to trying the bike and to starting to work together with the team and BMW. Thanks again to all the people involved in this project."

Bonovo BMW Racing has also elected to increase it’s participation from one to two bikes for the 2022 season.

Jonas Folger, who had an up-and-down rookie season for the team up until their last race of the year in Portimao, makes way for long-time BMW rider Eugene Laverty, who himself has had a challenging year with the Squadra Corse BMW outfit. 

The Irish rider has missed several rounds this season due to the team needing ‘internal restructuring’, however, with Tom Sykes being out injured since Catalunya, Laverty has been competing for the factory team since then. 

Speaking about his move to Bonovo, Laverty said: "I’m very happy to continue with BMW Motorrad and join the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team for the 2022 World Superbike season. 

"It is fantastic to remain in the BMW WorldSBK family. The past six months have been tough for me as a rider and so I’m very grateful for the continued support and belief from everyone involved in this project. 

"I’m very motivated to repay that faith in my abilities and I feel confident that following a solid winter testing campaign we can arrive ready and competitive at round one."