News 1 Feb 2023

Former Rossi mechanic Stephens to crew chief for Halliday

Former factory Yamaha MotoGP technician to join YRT in ASBK 2023.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Long-time Valentino Rossi MotoGP mechanic Brent Stephens will join the Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) in 2023 and crew chief for Cru Halliday in the Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK).

Notably, Stephens spent an extended tenure working with nine-time world champion Rossi at the pinnacle of the sport, returning to Australia from the 2021 season after ‘The Doctor’ moved to Petronas Yamaha.

Stephens joined DesmoSport Ducati that year as a race mechanic for Mike Jones and worked as part of the 727 Moto Yamaha team last season that fielded Jed Metcher, with the latest revelation seeing him move to the domestic factory team in blue.

“It’s exciting to be under the blue banner again and great to be in this team,” Stephens told CycleOnline. “It is a professional team, they showed that last year by winning the title, and Cru has plenty of talent and he has got all of the resources to basically win the title. I’m really looking forward to it, new role as crew chief and on the tools a little bit, so I’m excited, I think the team is excited and we will get into it.”

A staple in Yamaha Racing Team’s line-up, Halliday enters the upcoming season in search of an elusive premier class title in ASBK and finished eighth in last year’s standings, suffering his share of misfortune throughout the year.

“I’m really looking forward to it, obviously Brent has a really good name you know working with top-tier riders like Rossi,” Halliday commented. “He is a great guy, we get along very well and it is going to be interesting to see what he can bring to the table. As I said before, he is very experienced so hopefully, we can change some things.

“He has already been speaking on some things we can improve and he has watched a couple of my races from last year and he reached out to me right before the test which is a positive thing. It’s just good that we already have a good relationship together and we seem like we are pretty switched on with what we want for the year to come.”

The 2023 Mi-Bike Australian Superbike Championship calendar officially commences today as the pre-season test gets underway at Sydney Motorsport Park.