Oliver Konig has officially joined Orelac VerdNatura Racing Kawasaki for the 2022 WorldSBK season.

Konig, who made his debut at the 2021 season finale in Mandalika alongside Loris Cresson at Pedercini Kawasaki, replaces the outgoing Isaac Vinales. 

The Czech rider’s first appearance in the series saw him jump directly from WorldSSP300 to Superbike machinery, think Jack Miller and Darryn Binder jumping up from Moto3 to MotoGP as a similar example of the task at hand. 

Konig didn’t score points on his debut weekend, however, his performance was enough to garner interest from Orelac Kawasaki. 

After bringing the news of an expected deal last week, the team and rider have since confirmed the agreement with Konig saying: "What can I say? It’s a dream come true! I still don’t believe that I have made this move. 

"I am so happy because, after Indonesia where the round was not so good and fun because everybody knows I crashed; The gap was not so bad for the first time in WorldSBK I think. 

"Everything was new for me but I’m very happy with this move and with this contract. All I can say is I am so happy, and I thank team Orelac, everybody who believed in and trusted me, and I hope I will do well this season with some good progress."

With Konig putting pen to paper, it means just two rides are left to be filled - Pedercini Kawasaki (Loris Cresson is already confirmed) and Gil Motor Sport Yamaha. 

Looking ahead to his first full campaign in WorldSBK, Konig is aiming to adapt as quickly as he can in what will be a steep learning curve.

The 19 year-old added: "This season will be about learning how to ride this bike, how to work with this bike and how to work with the team. I can’t wait for the first test and also for the first race. Now it’s time to prepare as much as possible for this new era of my racing career."