BMW Motorrad Test Team Adds Bradley Smith And Sylvain Guintoli

Some experienced and familiar riders will be starting a new role, as the BMW Motorrad Test Team adds Bradley Smith and Sylvain Guintoli to their line-up.

Smith spent seven years in MotoGP, claiming two podiums from 119 starts riding Aprilia, Yamaha and KTM machinery. He also finished on the podium three times in the Moto2 class, and won three races in the 125cc championship, with a best overall finished of fourth in 2010. He’s the only rider to have taken a podium in all four classes of GP racing, including MotoE, was part of the winning Yamaha team at the 2015 Suzuka 8 Hours, and made a couple of appearances in the World Supersport championship in 2022.

BMW Motorrad Test Team Adds Bradley Smith And Sylvain GuintoliBMW Motorrad Test Team Adds Bradley Smith And Sylvain Guintoli
2014 WSB champion Sylvain Giuintoli will test alongside racing for BMW in the EWC series

The pair will be testing and developing the BMW M 1000 RR for the superbike series, which is being ridden by Toprak Razgatlioglu and Michael van der Mark for Rokit BMW Motorrad, and the duo of Scott Redding and Garrett Gerloff in the Bonovo Action squad.

Which is itself a pretty experienced line-up, with three of the roster already riding for BMW across multiple seasons (van der Mark since 2021, Redding since 2022, Gerloff in 2023) after racing in WSB for Yamaha, Ducati and the GRT Yamaha team respectively. And they’re being joined by the 2021 WSB champion Razgatlioglu, who also finished runner-up in both the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

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Alvaro Bautista Gets A MotoGP Wild Card Ride In Malaysia

How do you reward the reigning World Superbike champion and current series leader? For Ducati, it means Alvaro Bautista gets a MotoGP wild card ride in Malaysia, following two recent tests at Misano on the current Ducati Desmosedici GP bike.

The 38-year-old Spaniard spent eight years in the MotoGP championship, taking three podiums from 158 starts with four different manufacturers (factory Suzuki, Gresini Honda and Aprilia, and then Aspar Ducati). He then switched to World Superbikes for 2019.

Pol Espargaro Returns For The British MotoGP This Weekend

There’s a welcome and long-awaited comeback to racing, as Pol Espargaro returns for the British MotoGP this weekend. The 32-year-old should have debuted for the GasGas Factory Racing team at the opening round of the 2023 season at Portimao but suffered multiple fractures in a crash during the FP2 session.

The injuries to his back and jaw required not only surgery, but also having his mouth wired shut for a time, forcing him onto a liquid diet. So he’s had to not only recover, but also build up his fitness once again to pass the medical checks and ride at Silverstone. It means he’ll tackle his first MotoGP Sprint race on the Saturday, before the normal Grand Prix race on Sunday, alongside team-mate Augusto Fernandez.

Pol Espargaro returns for the British MotoGP this weekend
Pol Espargaro returns for the British MotoGP this weekend

Fernandez is currently 14th in the standings, with a best result of fourth at the French Grand Prix. For the past six rounds, he’s competed alongside stand-in rider Jonas Folger on the GasGas RC16.

Pol Espargaro: “Finally! I’m really happy the day has arrived when I can get back in the paddock, see my team and get back on the bike. I’ve missed this part of my life a lot. I know it will not be easy this weekend, in fact, it will be like starting the pre-season again. I will have to listen to my body, understand the new bike and also get familiar with the format this year. I really want to thank everyone at the Pierer Mobility Group and all those who have been behind me and supporting me.”

Also returning this weekend is factory Honda rider Joan Mir, who replaced Espargaro, and has struggled with a hand injury from the second round of the season in Argentina.

The British MotoGP round was originally scheduled to be broadcast live on ITV, but this has now been changed. So if you want to watch it as it happens, you’ll either need to be subscribed to the MotoGP website, or to the TNT Sports service which has replaced BT Sports. MotoGP is €29.99 per month, or less for a season subscription, while TNT Sports is £29.99 per month.

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Michael van der Mark Returns For The Most WSB Round

It’s a welcome return for the Dutch rider as Michael van der Mark returns for the Most WSB round after missing a lot of the 2023 World Superbike season due to injury.

A big crash in race two at Assen saw Van der Mark leave his home round with a fractured left femur, which has required surgery and time to heal. During his recovery period, the Rokit BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team brought in Ivo Miguel Lopes, Tom Sykes and Leon Haslam as substitutes riders, but it’ll be good to see the Dutch rider back on the BMW M 1000 RR, especially as he also missed races in 2022 after breaking his right tibia in a mountain bike crash, and his right femur after high-siding at the Estoril round.

Michael van der Mark Returns For The Most WSB RoundToprak Razgatlioglu joining the team next year. With the 2021 WSB champion slotting into the factory team, it seems likely he’ll be partnered by Van der Mark for the second time in their careers (they were previously team-mates at Yamaha).

British rider Scott Redding has previously confirmed he’ll be staying in the series for 2024, but the 2019 BSB champion still needs to confirm which team he’ll ride for, and it seems likely he’ll move to the Bonovo Action BMW team. And with Garret Gerloff on the second year of his contract, that means the rider likely to be moving on will be Loris Baz. Currently Redding it the top BMW in the 2023 series in 12th overall in the standings, with a best result of fourth, followed by Gerloff in 14th and Baz in 16th, with Van der Mark in 18th after missing the rounds at Barcelona, Misano, Donington and Imola.

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Yamalube YART Yamaha Win The 24 Hours Of Spa

It’s victory for the Austrian team as Yamalube YART Yamah win the 24 Hours of Spa for 2023, taking the win from the FCC TSR Honda France outfit, with the BMW Motorrad World Endurance Team in third.

Having secured pole position, the running start and a slight wheelie meant Martin Fritz entered the first turn in 10th before moving back up to a three-way battle for the lead. Saftey cars meant team-mates Karel Hanika and Niccolo Canepa weren’t able to extend an advantage until around 15 hours into the race. And despite a puncture for Fritz with five hours to go, the rear tyre was replaced without YART Yamaha losing the lead.

The performance means the YART team now lead the overall FIM EWC standings after two rounds, and is the first 24 hour win for the squad in 14 years, along with their first EWC victory since 2020 at the 12 Hours of Estoril.

Yamalube YART Yamaha Win The 24 Hours Of Spathe YART bike will be fielding a special livery. The final event of the EWC season takes place at Paul Ricard on September 14th-17th, for the Bol D’or.

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