BMW Motorrad’s factory team – run by the folks at Shawn Muir Racing, but now branded by sponsor ROKiT – stays with the same riders as the 2022 season. Scott Redding, who finished 8th in 2022, is the senior rider, backed up by Michael van der Mark, who finished 15th. While they’ll both be campaigning on BMW’s amazing M 1000 RR superbike, they’ll have a tough time against 2021 champ Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha) and Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki), who is chasing his seventh title.
At Bonovo Action BMW, a factory-supported independent team, Loris Baz (@lorisbaz) is back for a second season. Eugene Laverty retired from racing at the end of the ’22 season and is taking on a co-owner role with Bonovo; in other words, he’ll still be intimately involved in WSBK racing, and with BMW to boot! (elaverty.com) Replacing Laverty is Garrett Gerloff, who jumps over from GRT Yamaha after finishing 11th in 2022.
Alvaro Bautista won the 2022 championship, clinching the title by points on the penultimate round of the season at the Mandalika circuit in Indonesia, where he finished second in Race 2. He helped Ducati clench their 100th podium finish in WSBK, and he’ll be sticking with Aruba.it Ducati and the Panigale V4 R for 2023. Bautista took over Redding’s spot on the Aruba.it team, so it’s not a huge surprise Redding went back to Ducati for ’23.
Redding (@reddingpower) wasn’t shy about expressing his disappointment with BMW. Despite a pair of early-season podium finishes in Donington and Most, he only earned two additional podium finish, one of them a P2 after both Razgatlioglu and Rea left the race. In the final six rounds of the season, Redding only managed one top-five finish. At the end of the ’22 season, it looked as if Redding was looking forward to moving forward with BMW, but that changed during the off-season. Redding was the featured guest in Episode 131 of Chasing the Horizon, a podcast sponsored by the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America.
Van der Mark (michaelvandermark.com), while racing consistently in 2022, never finished higher than P8, and finding himself on the sideline for one reason or another in five races throughout his injury-shortened season.
Baz, like van der Mark, was a consistent middle-of-the-pack rider, finishing as high as P6 twice in the Netherlands. Baz finished the season in 12th place.
Gerloff (@garrettgerloff), the only American racing in WorldSBK, ran a solid season of mostly top-ten finishes, including one P3 in Catalunya aboard his Yamaha. Gerloff won the MotoAmerica Supersport championship twice (2016-17) before jumping up to Superbike for two seasons, after which he made the leap to World Superbike. Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad’s Motorsport Director, said, “We are thrilled to have Garrett on board from next season. We are confident that Garrett will fit very nicely into our squad of BMW Motorrad factory riders and will further strengthen our project. He will help the Bonovo action BMW Racing Team to take the next step towards the top next season.”
Gerloff said of his move to BMW, “I’m really excited to get started with those guys. “It seems like they’ve been doing a lot of work developing the bike, and looking at the results it seems like it’s been paying off, and they seem pretty keen to work with me, which I was really excited about.
“I definitely see that they have the desire to keep pushing the bike to get close to the front of the field, which is where I want to be also.
“Sometimes it’s good to change things up and see if it can’t help in some way, for me specifically. We’ll see how it goes, but I really appreciated them being excited to work with me, that was really nice.”