Yamaha Motor Australia is set to make a shock announcement that it will quit the Australian Superbike Championship to contest the Australian Formula Xtreme Championship in 2010, taking national champions Bryan Staring, Pat Medcalf and Rock Olson from the ASBK to FX.
Yamaha Motor Australia is set to make a shock announcement that it will quit the Australian Superbike Championship to contest the Australian Formula Xtreme Championship in 2010.
Team sources have said that current Australian Supersport Champion Bryan Staring will spearhead YRT’s FX effort, campaigning a YZF-R1 in the FX1000 category and a YZF-R6 in the FX600 class.
It’s expected Staring will be joined by current Australian Superstock 1000 Champion Pat Medcalf in the FX1000 class, while current Australian Superstock 600 Champion Rick Olson will ride FX600.
Yamaha’s decision, unconfirmed at this point, has left Suzuki as the lone factory-supported Japanese operation in the ASBK series that’s sanctioned by Motorcycling Australia, joined by teams supported by KTM, Aprilia and Ducati in the series in factory-supported roles.
Honda and Kawasaki have pulled their factory efforts entirely, however Wayne Maxwell will enter the ASBK series as a favourite on a GAS Honda dealer team entry with direct support from Honda.
It was originally announced by YRT team manager John Redding that the team would be focussing on its ASBK Supersport and Superstock efforts for 2010, exiting Superbike competition due to associated costs of the ASBK’s current technical regulations. Now in its decision to race FX, YRT is believed to be fielding a pair of factory-backed YZF-R1s in the series’ premier 1000cc category with Staring and Medcalf respectively.
Yamaha’s switch to the FX series is a major blow to the ASBK title, taking three of the current national champions with it and splitting up the factory efforts for the new season.
While it’s a major blow to the ASBK and MA, it’s a vital addition to the FX series, sanctioned under the Australian Auto Sport Alliance (AASA) for the first time in 2010.
However, the same sources within the team suggest YRT could return to race under the MA banner at the MotoGP World Championship support races to be held at Phillip Island in October – a non-championship round for the ASBK series this season.
MotoOnline.com.au will speak to Staring regarding the move once it’s confirmed in the coming days.