French team GMT94 will present its factory-powered Yamaha R1 at the 2023 Superbike World Championships. Team boss Christophe Joyot reveals who qualifies for the spot.
When Christophe Joyot decided in 2017 to compete in the World Supersport Championship with Team Yamaha GMT94 from 2018, he had the World Superbike Championship on the back of his mind. The Frenchman has previously won the World Endurance Championship three times with his team and was a runner-up five times.
Superbike plans become concrete in 2021, last July Guyot ordered a factory R1 from Yamaha Europe: next season he will be there with one rider in the Supersport and Superbike classes.
On the Yamaha staff, world champion Toprak Razgatlioglu and Andrea Locatelli will compete again in 2023; Remy Gardner has been confirmed to Team Giansanti Racing and negotiations with Dominique Aegerter are in their final stage. If the two parties agree financially, the world champion in Supersport will lead the first category next year.
Yamaha has three other teams at Motoxracing, Gil Motor Sport and GMT94, but the first two teams are as far away from the closest Yamaha motorsports principals as Guyot. This is why the place in GMT94 is particularly attractive to many drivers, even though the team is new to this class.
Guyot has clear ideas about who should be driving his R1 next year. “My priority is first or second in the World Supersports Championship,” said the 60-year-old. “I made an offer to Yamaha.”
World Championship leader Demi Eggerter has already waved his hand: if he doesn’t reach an agreement with GRT, he will stay in the WAM for another year.
At the moment, Italian Lorenzo Baldasari is in second place, as Aegerter, a pupil from Yamaha. If the 25-year-old doesn’t want it, drivers such as British champion Taran McKenzie (26) and current BSB leader Bradley Ray (25) are available. Frenchman Valentin Debes is also an option: He was the Supersport champion at home in 2021 and second in Superbikes, and this year he leads both championships. At IDM Supersport 2021 he was runner-up behind Patrick Hubelsberger and fifth in the Superbikes.
“In my first year, I think it makes sense to take a driver from the world championship,” Guyot told SPEEDWEEK.com. “What is the difference between Debise and Mackenzie? Why do we think the UK is above the French? Debise is very fast, he has run 24 races in this year’s French Championship. He has won 12 out of 12 in Supersport and 9 out of 12 in Superbikes, And he retired twice. It’s possible I could get a spot in the Superbike if I didn’t get first or second place in the Supersports World Championships.”
It is already certain that one of the GMT94 drivers will be French. “Maybe he’s a Supersport pilot,” Joyot commented.
Jules Clozel will retire at the end of the season, leaving Andy Ferdoya (19) and Dibes (30) as the favorites for the Supersport. Verdoia is racing in his third Supersport season and surprisingly won the 2020 Chaos Rain in Barcelona. However, it was never better than the eighth. On the other hand, Debbie’s always ended up in the top eight when he saw the checkered flag in his nine guest appearances in 2021 and 2022. His best result in the World Championships: Fourth place at Magny-Cours on September 11, 2022.
MotoGP 2023 World Championship teams:
Honda: Ecker Lecona (small), Xavier Verge (small)
Honda Mi: Hafez Seherin (money), Schrotter?
Kawasaki: Jonathan Rea (UK), Alex Lewis (UK)
Kawasaki Buchitti: Sykes?
Orillac Kawasaki: Oliver Koenig (Czechoslovakia)
Pedercini Kawasaki: Gutierrez?
BMW motorcycle: Scott Reading (UK) and Michael van der Mark (Netherlands)
Bonovo BMW Action: Loris Paz (female), Garrett Gerloff (USA)
Bata Yamaha: Toprak Razgatlioglu (TR), Andrea Locatelli (IT)
GRT Yamaha: Remy Gardner (Australia)Dominic Eggerter (CH)
GMT94 Yamaha: Baldasari? Debes? Mackenzie?
Motox Racing Yamaha: tambourine?
Jill Motorsport Yamaha: Chris Bunson (female)
Aruba.it Ducati: Alvaro Bautista (English), Michael Rinaldi (I)
Barney Spark Ducati: Luca Bernardi (first)
Go Eleven Ducati: Philip Uttle (D)
Ducati motocorsa: Axel Bassani (I)
Bold = Officially Confirmed
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