News 31 Aug 2016

Van der Mark joins Lowes at Yamaha for 2017 season

Factory WorldSBK team roster finalised for next year.

Source: Supplied.

Source: Supplied.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team has signed Michael van der Mark for the 2017 Superbike World Championship to ride the factory YZF-R1 alongside current rider Alex Lowes.

Multiple World Supersport Champion Van der Mark will replace Sylvain Guintoli at Yamaha following two years in WorldSBK at Honda. It was previously announced that Stefan Bradl will take his place.

“I’m very much looking forward to this new challenge with Yamaha,” van der Mark said. “I could see the potential of the R1 during its first World Superbike season this year and I’m convinced that with further development and the full support of Yamaha and the team I will have the right package to fight for the World Superbike title next year.

“It is never an easy decision to leave a team and a manufacturer after so many years and successes, I will always remain grateful for the support received and I will give my maximum for the remainder of this season to get as many podiums as possible.”

Yamaha Motor Europe chief operating officer Eric de Seynes said: “Yamaha’s new commitment to the Superbike World Championship has started in 2016 and now we look forward to using the lessons learned in this comeback season and the increasingly strong relationship with our racing partner Crescent, in order to challenge for the top positions in 2017.

“We are also delighted and excited to have Michael joining Yamaha in 2017. At only 23 years of age, he is already a world champion and is fighting at the front of WorldSBK – this is very impressive! Importantly, the rider line-up demonstrates our philosophy of choosing two young riders, both who not only have the talent to fight for victory in WorldSBK but also the capacity to potentially grow their careers with Yamaha in the future.

“In this way, Yamaha would like to use the World Superbike series as a platform to demonstrate its racing spirit with the production based YZF-R1 and also to develop further the family of Yamaha riders. Michael is a perfect fit inside this philosophy and we are very excited to welcome him to the team.”