After a challenging rookie season, Bradley Ray will remain on the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship grid in 2024 after penning a new contract with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team for next season. It’s the same team he competed with in his rookie season, and he will be with them again as he looks to build on a campaign that provided ups and downs as he adjusted to the WorldSBK-spec Yamaha YZF-R1 in 2023, after claiming the British title with the same manufacturer in 2022.
Ray’s first WorldSBK appearance came in 2018 at Donington Park with the Buildbase Suzuki squad, and he scored points, but he wouldn’t return to the World Championship for another five years. In that time, he claimed the British title in 2022. Between 2017 and 2022 in the national championship, Ray amassed 33 podiums and 11 wins, with nine of those wins and 23 podiums coming in his title-winning year. Before his time in British Superbike, the #28 competed in the Red Bull MotoGP™ Rookies Cup, what was then the CEV paddock in different Championships.
The 26-year-old spent three years in the Rookies Cup, collecting one win at the Circuit of the Americas in 2013 and a further four podiums at Silverstone, Assen, Sachsenring and MotorLand Aragon. His best finish in the standings was fourth in 2014, his final season, before returning to the domestic scene as well as having a few races in CEV Moto2™ and making his Moto2™ World Championship debut in 2015.
His success in Britain earned him a move to WorldSBK in 2022 as a Yamaha rider, linking up with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team for 2023. He took a best of sixth in Race 2 at Imola which was his only top ten of the season, with a shoulder injury forcing him to miss the visit to Most. Despite only one top-ten finish, the Brit finished 19th in the standings as he missed four rounds compared to his rivals, scoring 19 points. He was one point behind fellow Yamaha rookie Lorenzo Baldassarri at GMT94 Yamaha, who competed at every round.
The team were scheduled to only compete in the European rounds in 2023, and therefore missed Australia, Indonesia, and Jerez – with the Spanish venue a late replacement for Argentina. For 2024, the team are planning a full-season campaign meaning they will travel to Australia for the season-opening round at the iconic Phillip Island circuit to start the new season.
Discussing his renewal with the team and previewing 2024, Ray said: “I’m really happy to sign with Yamaha and Motox again for the 2024 season. I feel like it’s important to get a second year to really blossom and be able to show your full potential! We had some strong races in 2023 together so I’m excited to build on that. I’m super happy to be doing the full Championship too and think this will be very beneficial for myself throughout 2024. I want to say a massive thank you to everyone at Yamaha and Sandro at Motox for giving me a second year and another opportunity to compete in WorldSBK. See you in Australia.”
Team Manager Sandro Carusi added: “I’m pleased to continue on the journey we began with Bradley in WorldSBK last year. His surgery during the season slowed our growth somewhat, but in the first part of the year we showed we could be competitive together. I’m confident, both that he will make a full recovery and that we can achieve positive results in the 2024 Championship.”
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