Bradley Ray to Join Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team for 2023
Yamaha Motor Europe is excited to announce that British Superbike Champion Bradley Ray will join the FIM Superbike World Championship grid in 2023, racing a Yamaha R1 during the European rounds for the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team.
After a stellar title-winning BSB season that included nine wins and 23 podiums, Ray will now have the opportunity to show his talents on the world stage, with the British rider’s campaign set to begin at the championship’s third round at Assen.
Ray enjoyed an impressive junior career, both nationally and internationally, finishing seventh overall as a 15-year-old in the 2012 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, while he took his maiden victory in the championship the following year. In 2014, he finished fourth in the final standings, faring well against the likes of MotoGP’s Jorge Martin and Joan Mir, as well as Yamaha’s 2021 WorldSBK champion Toprak Razgatlıoğlu.
Following several strong performances in Europe, Ray focused his attention back on national racing in 2016, and quickly established himself as a title challenger in the British Supersport Championship. On board a Yamaha R6, the youngster ended his rookie campaign third in the final standings, earning him a step-up to the British Superbike category for the following season.
In that maiden year, Ray was a regular top 10 finisher and scored a first podium at Oulton Park, placing an impressive 11th in the final standings. With experience behind him, Ray enjoyed an explosive start to the 2018 season, winning the opening two races at Donington Park, before going on to break into the Championship Showdown, eventually finishing sixth overall.
More podiums followed over the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons, but it wasn’t until this season – racing a Yamaha R1 bike for the first time – where Ray could extract his full potential. The 25-year-old never finished a race outside the top six when he reached the chequered flag and wrapped up the title at the Brands Hatch finale.
It won’t be the first time that Ray has contested the WorldSBK championship, with the Kent-born racer scoring points as a wildcard at the 2018 Donington round, but he now has the chance to challenge for strong results on championship-winning machinery with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team.
Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team
“After what’s been an incredible debut year with Yamaha in the UK delivering nine wins and 23 podiums in part one of my career quest to become British Superbike Champion, I’m absolutely delighted that Yamaha have rewarded me with this opportunity to take the next step with the Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team. I’ve dreamed of being World Superbike Champion since my race debut at three years old and I’m only too aware that it wouldn’t be possible without the support of a manufacturer like Yamaha and the team I have around me. I’m very keen to get started in WorldSBK and hope to follow in the footsteps of many of the successful Brits in the championship. It’s time to take aim for that next title, step by step!”
Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager
“Yamaha is fully committed to giving our riders from the national championships the opportunity to race on the world championship stage. After an incredible first season on the R1 in British Superbikes, Bradley has shown that he fully deserves his spot on the WorldSBK grid in 2023. We’ve seen over the years that he has fantastic race craft and consistency that allowed him to win the title this year. We are sure that he will be able to adapt quickly, as he has been able to throughout his career so far. The Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team are sure to give him the best possible chance to challenge for strong results.”