Brad Baker and Marc Marquez have withdrawn from next month's annual Supersprestigio dirt-track invitational in Barcelona, Spain. Former AMA Pro Flat Track Grand National Champion Baker underwent surgery earlier this week and recovery is expected to take 6–10 weeks. Four-time MotoGP World Champion Marquez, meanwhile, says he "needs a bit of a rest to recover from a very demanding season."

Established in 1979 by Spanish magazine publisher Jaime Alguersuari and held 15 times at various pavement venues, the Superprestigio was revived in 2014 by Alguersuari and Marquez to bring together top roadracing, flat-track, motocross, off-road, speedway, and supermoto talent. Marquez and Baker have each won two of the four events run to date on the 200-meter short track created inside the Palau Sant Jordi arena.

Baker is a popular figure among Spanish motorcycle racing fans. “I am very sorry to all my supporters who were looking forward to watching me attempt to go for another win at the amazing race in Barcelona,” the 24-year-old Washington state native said on his Instagram account. “You have no clue how bad it saddens me. It’s a race I look forward to so much, and I get to see all the great friends that I have made from staying there.”

Marquez admitted that this year’s MotoGP season was, “really tough and stressful. That is one of the reasons that make me feel this happy and proud of my sixth world title. After four successful years, the Superprestigio is now a really demanding race; nobody could imagine such an evolution when it all got started in 2014. It is time now for other Spanish riders to win the Superprestigio.”

Marc Marquez, Brad Baker, Jared Mees, Superprestigio
Marc Marquez (left), Brad Baker (middle), and Jared Mees (right) celebrate their second-, first-, and third-place Superprestigio Superfinal finishes in 2015.Courtesy of Superprestigio Dirt Track Invitational

Seven world champions are confirmed for the December 16 event: 2010 Moto2 World Champion Toni Elias, two-time Moto2 World Champion Johann Zarco, six-time S1GP Supermoto World Champion Tom Chareyre, 2017 Supersport World Champion Lucas Mahias, two-time Endurance World Superstock Champion Gregg Black, 10-time Endurance World Champion Vincent Philippe, and four-time Supermoto of Nations World Champion Sylvain Bidart.

As many as three Americans are expected to participate. Former MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach and two-time American Flat Track Twins class race winner Briar Bauman are on board. According to promoter RPM, “a third US flat-tracker is very likely to be confirmed in the following days.” Four-time AMA Pro Grand National Champion Jared Mees has competed in three of the four previous events.

“I’m really, really excited,” Beach said. “It’s been almost a decade since I last raced there. Brad is helping me line things up now. He sent me a set of his 17-inch wheels to practice on, so that helps, too.” Added Bauman, "When you’re growing up as a racer, you always think about traveling the world and racing against the best in the world, and here I am, doing just that."