News 23 Sep 2015

Yamaha confirms 2016 WorldSBK return with Crescent Racing

Guintoli and Lowes to ride factory R1 in PATA-backed team.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

Yamaha Motor Europe has finalised plans to re-enter the Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in 2016, with Crescent Racing fielding Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes on PATA-backed YZF-R1s.

The news confirms Crescent’s switch from Suzuki to Yamaha for next year, taking Lowes with them, while Guintoli will take PATA sponsorship from his current Honda outfit to the factory Yamaha fold.

The combination of 2014 WorldSBK champion Guintoli and 2013 British Superbike Champion Lowes was highly speculated, with the brand overlooking Milwaukee Yamaha’s current BSB points leader Josh Brookes.

Returning to the WorldSBK stage for the first time since 2011, Yamaha Motor Europe’s strategy is clear – to make full use of the all-new YZF-R1 to challenge for victory in the premier production superbike series.

“This is a very exciting moment for us as we eagerly wait to return to the top level of superbike competition next year after an absence of four years,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe chief operating officer Eric De Seynes.

“Having rewritten the Supersport rule book and changed the game with the new YZF-R1, directly developed from Yamaha MotoGP technology, it was clear we would need to return to WorldSBK to show the full potential of our new superbike machine.

“We took one year to grow experience with the new R1 in many other championships, where the bike has shown its potential already, with the amazing Suzuka victory and the very positive results that our official teams are gathering all around Europe.

“Now we are ready to be back on the world stage and I am happy we have found in Crescent the same values of professionalism, engineering detail and passion for victory we share.”

Yamaha’s last WorldSBK crown came with American Ben Spies during his rookie season in 2009, boasting a rich history on and off within the series.

Yamaha Motor Europe will retain responsibility over racing strategy and technical development, as well as the rider agreements, while Crescent’s hugely experienced, dedicated, technical and engineering personnel will run the team’s operation at each round.