What did the riders get up to during the off-season?

Thursday, 19 January 2023 10:05 GMT

With a break between the 2022 season ending and 2023 campaign starting, riders kept themselves busy during the off-season

The MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship enjoyed some downtime after an incredible season-ending Australian Round and riders up and down the paddock took full advantage of this to enjoy some rest time, continue their training or celebrate special occasions. From skiing to cycling, there was an array of activities on display from riders as they looked to kick back and relax for a while before the 2023 campaign starts.

Reigning Champion Alvaro Bautista ( Racing – Ducati) enjoyed some downtime as he took to the motocross track in early January, while teammate Michael Ruben Rinaldi took part in a slightly different activity: he had two days of martial arts training in December. Six-time Champion Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) enjoyed some extra time in Australia as he took his cycling training Down Under over the winter, while he also took to the dirt in Australia to keep on his toes. 2021 Champion Toprak Razgatlioglu (Pata Yamaha WorldSBK) enjoyed some enduro training in his native Turkey, while his downtime seemed to include doing some doughnuts in a road car.

Scott Redding (ROKiT BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) spent much of his time in Los Angeles after getting married in the winter, with his activities often including cycling around the stunning Californian scenery. Redding’s teammate, Michael van der Mark, also ventured abroad during the break as he went on holiday to Dubai. Team HRC duo Iker Lecuona and Xavi Vierge both enjoyed some motocross in their off-season campaign, with Lecuona often out on track with Moto3™ star Diogo Moreira. Lecuona also, in recent days, has taken to the snow and enjoyed some skiing in Andorra.

Lecuona, Bautista and Vierge are not the only ones to have taken to the dirt over the winter, with two-time WorldSSP Champion Dominique Aegerter (GYTR GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team) enjoying some time on the flattrack alongside new teammate Remy Gardner as the pair get to know each other ahead of their first season together. Fellow rookie Eric Granado (MIE Racing Honda Team) also enjoyed some time on dirt as well as taking to the water; he went jet skiing and flyboarding during the winter. Teammate Hafizh Syahrin took to the road on his bike as part of his training.

Top Independent rider from 2022, Axel Bassani (Motocorsa Racing), went skiing during the winter as well as taking part in some motocross training. Loris Baz (Bonovo Action BMW) was another who enjoyed time in the snow as he visited Mont Blanc, while rookie Bradley Ray (Yamaha Motoxracing WorldSBK Team) went flattracking as part of his preparations. Oliver Konig (Orelac Racing VerdNatura) is another who went on the flattrack throughout the winter, while Lorenzo Baldassarri (GMT94 Yamaha) took in a different sport as he went to watch a game of basketball.

Redding was not the only rider to get married in the off-season as WorldSSP rookie John McPhee got married in December, while fellow WorldSSP competitor Oli Bayliss (D34G Racing) enjoyed some training in his native Australia at a couple of circuits, including Phillip Island. Several riders took part in Valentino Rossi’s 100km of Champions at the end of November, which was won by Baldassarri.

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