News 31 Oct 2016

Yamaha Racing Team planning two-rider roster for 2017

Halliday's departure confirms factory team will scale back next year.

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Image: Alex Gobert (Foremost Media).

Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) will move back from fielding three to two riders for the 2017 Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) series following the exit of longtime factory rider Cru Halliday.

Halliday was informed earlier this month that he won’t be retained for next year, which led to him making a surprise cameo on board the factory-supported DesmoSport Ducati at the Australian grand prix.

It’s been confirmed that YRT will downsize to two riders for 2017 and Halliday’s notice indicates the team is moving to re-sign this year’s ASBK title contenders Glenn Allerton and Wayne Maxwell, however neither have officially been contracted.

“It’s 100 percent certain that we will be [going to two riders],” Redding told “Obviously we had to make Cru aware of it and explain to him the reasons why, which is unfortunate – he and his family have a long history with Yamaha and are kind of like part of the paintwork in the team.

“At the end of the day we are a business and we have to operate within a budget. As time’s gone on, the flexibility of the budget has reduced, and I’m sure that’s reflected in many racing teams over the country and also even the world.

“Where we’re at, at the moment, is we have to be much more careful with our spend. Our spend – the amount of money we’re given to go racing – is not what it was and the series that we’re racing in is inherently a little bit more expensive to race in, so the combination of all those factors meant that we had to make some difficult decisions.”

The future of Halliday remains up in the air after finishing sixth with DesmoSport Ducati in place of Mike Jones at Phillip Island, with Yamaha already extending an offer to support him in a satellite role if he opts to remain aboard a YZF-R1 in a privateer program.