WSBK 2023 : GMT94 YAMAHA’s ambitions

23 February 2023

Race resume

Australia. February 25. The 2023 World Superbike Championship opens the world speed season on the mythical Phillip Island Circuit.

Engaged in Supersport with the YAMAHA R6 (600 cm3) the GMT94 will start with the twice French Champion title, Valentin Debise. 

The GMT94 Yamaha will also enter the Superbike category (Yamaha R1 1000 cm3) with the World Supersport Champion runner-up Lorenzo Baldassarri, winner of 5 Grand Prix in Moto2. 

Christophe GUYOT (Team Manager): After the departure of Jules Cluzel, we have the chance to welcome the best French rider of the category. After having given his all during two seasons in the French Championship, and proved his excellent level by achieving several “top 5” in the World Championship with the GMT94, Valentin Debise reaches his dream. He fully deserves his place in the World Championship. 

Beyond our commitment to welcome a French rider, as every year since the creation of GMT94, we want to consolidate the values of the sport which consists in rewarding the riders on their merit. It is done in Supersport. It is also the case in Superbike by hiring Lorenzo Baldassarri, winner of 5 Grand Prix, and especially World Supersport Champion runner-up 2022. We are ready in Supersport and Valentin has the bike and the experience to become the leader at Yamaha. In Superbike, we will have to accept for him to learn but I remain convinced that Lorenzo can score points now in Australia. That will be the first goal for all of us.

Valentin DEBISE: I am very happy that the season is starting, the winter preparation was very good and we worked well with the team. I have the bike to fight and to give the best on the track. During my 2 seasons in France my objective was clear, to join the GMT94 in the world championship. Thanks to the wild-cards I proved that I had my place in the team, now let’s go to the race. 

Lorenzo BALDASSARRI: I’m looking forward to the championship with the Yamaha R1, especially as Phillip Island is one of my favourite tracks. The winter tests were really positive.I like working with this team, I like the bike, we have everything to move forward and progress during this season. I am very excited to make my debut in this new class with GMT94 on Friday. 

Sébastien POIRIER (FFM President): I am delighted to see the two-time French Supersport Champion make his debut in WorldSSP.  The GMT94, Yamaha and the FFM, thus carry a strong message to all the French riders who see their merit rewarded. Valentin Debise’s performances in FSBK allowed him to get wild-cards and to prove that he had his place in the world championship. I am convinced that Valentin and the GMT94 will carry the colors of the French speed sprint races. 

Eric DE SEYNES (President & CEO of Yamaha Motor Europe): When Christophe told me he wanted to enter Valentin Debise in Supersport, and Lorenzo Baldassarri in Superbike, I immediately supported his project to put forward the sporting values that unite us. In Supersport, the team was World Champion runner-up, and has many victories that can motivate Valentin. In Superbike, GMT94 will be fully supported, considered and respected in the same way as our two other teams Crescent and GRT. 20 years after the GMT94 joined Yamaha, the GMT94 is on the verge of new ambitions.

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