News 13 Jul 2023

Marc VDS to start WorldSBK team from the 2024 season

Outfit to continue to field a two-rider Moto2 effort in coming years.

Image: Supplied.

The Marc VDS Racing Team will venture into the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) from 2024, announcing Sam Lowes will compete onboard a Ducati Panigale V4 R with the outfit next year.

For both Lowes and Marc VDS Racing, the switch to WorldSBK together is the continuation of a relationship that began in the 2020 Moto2 World Championship.

The 32-year-old has so far collected seven wins, 15 podiums and 12 poles with the team, and has previously raced in the WorldSBK paddock when he won the 2013 Supersport World Championship.

“I have a lot to learn with the new category including the bike, the tyres, and some new tracks,” said Lowes. “But I am very motivated and excited for this opportunity. I am very open-minded and ready to adapt and learn what I need to be competitive in WorldSBK.

“I always had a goal to race in World Superbike and after winning the World Supersport title in 2013 it was a normal step. But I chose to try the Grand Prix paddock. I’m happy and proud that I’ve had such a good GP career, and I’ve enjoyed it a lot.

“But I feel now it’s a great time to move across to WorldSBK to try a different machine and learn how to ride a superbike. I also believe in myself and know I can achieve good things.”

The new WorldSBK project is born with the clear goal and ambition of replicating the Marc VDS Racing Team’s success in the Moto2 World Championship where it has raced to over 100 podiums and taken three world titles in 2014, 2017 and 2019.

“I’m delighted and ready to begin this new adventure in the World Superbike Championship,” Marc VDS team owner Marc van der Straten added. “And it gives me even more pleasure to do it with our great rider, Sam Lowes.

“I’m also very proud to start this new adventure with Ducati, which is undoubtedly the bike to be on in WorldSBK. This opportunity for expansion comes at the perfect time.

“After 14 years in MotoGP, where the Marc VDS Racing Team has shown great potential, we are ready to face a new challenge. We have competed in Moto3, Moto2, MotoGP and MotoE and won three titles.

“And our commitment to Moto2 remains as strong as ever and I look forward to enjoying a lot more success in the future in a class where our journey on two wheels started. Moto2 has been the platform for us to gain a wealth of experience to continue growing and replicate our achievements in another world-class championship like WorldSBK.

“As this is a long-term project, we’ll be aiming to adapt quickly, so that we can get to the front of the pack as quickly as possible. It’s also a source of pride to be taking this step with Sam Lowes, a great rider who has shown what he’s capable of in Moto2, and who shares our team’s values and know-how.

“Finally, counting on Ducati’s experience and success completes a package that has everything to be perfect and exciting! I hope the whole Marc VDS family will be as happy as I am and that, as always, we can count on their support!”