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Moto2 race winner Baldassarri secures Yamaha WSBK graduation

Five-time Moto2 race winner Lorenzo Baldassarri will move up to the World Superbike Championship in 2023 as part of an expanded Yamaha satellite line-up.

Lorenzo Baldassarri, GMT94 Yamaha WorldSBK Team

The Italian will continue his association with the GMT94 team, which will likewise graduate to the top class next year, after a successful first year together in World Supersport.

Best known for his stint in the MotoGP paddock that saw him finish as high as fifth in the championship in the intermediate class, Baldassarri switched to the production-based WSSP series this year with GMT94, finding instant success on the Yamaha R6 with victory in the Aragon season opener.

Three back-to-back wins in the middle part of the season across the Most and Magny-Cours rounds have kept him in the thick of the title fight and he is the only rider capable of beating Ten Kate’s Dominique Aegerter to the crown going into the final three rounds of the season.

The news of Baldassarri’s WSBK move with GMT94 means the top two riders in this year’s WSSP will graduate to the premier division next year, with Aegerter joining KTM MotoGP outcast Remy Gardner as part of an all-new rider line-up at the GRT Yamaha squad.

“I’m very happy, because I started this project with Yamaha in WorldSSP from Moto2, and my goal was always to be in WorldSBK,” said Baldassarri. 

“This year, we’ve had a very good season, we have grown together and I’m always improving. 

“I’m ready for this step into the WorldSBK Championship with Yamaha and the GMT94 Yamaha WorldSBK Team, so thanks to them for giving me this opportunity; I can’t wait to start this new adventure.”

The announcement will also bolster Yamaha’s presence on the grid next year and follows a recent upturn in performance of the Japanese manufacturer, including a double title triumph in 2021 led by star rider Toprak Razgatlioglu.

GMT94 will join the factory-run Crescent squad and a slew of satellite teams representing Yamaha in WSBK next year.

“It’s good news for Yamaha and GMT94,” said Yamaha Motor Europe’s Road Racing manager Andrea Dosoli. 

“It means that the programme is working and working quite well. GMT have improved the performance and the knowledge of the Championship and, as we have seen in the past with GRT, it is nice that this team are able to step up. 

“The challenge will be a tough one but [team principal] Christophe [Guyot] and the guys at GMT94 are working hard to be ready for next season.”

Lorenzo Baldassarri, Evan Bros.WorldSSP Yamaha Team

Lorenzo Baldassarri, Evan Bros.WorldSSP Yamaha Team

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

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