WSBK: Yamaha Team Livery Unveiled

2011 World Superbike

The factory Yamaha World Superbike team unveiled its 2011 livery on Wednesday, which features a new blue-corporate racing color scheme.

Yamaha says: "The livery takes its inspiration from both the famous Yamaha speed block design and also one of the colours of the current production model YZF-R1, giving the superbike a modern sleek appearance whilst emphasizing Yamaha’s racing image."

The 2011 Yamaha World Superbike team consists of two new arrivals, the 28-year-old Marco Melandri and the 24-year-old Eugene Laverty.

Melandri, who arrives in WSBK from MotoGP, will be donning the new Yamaha livery on his Sidi leathers. Lavery, who arrives in WSBK from World Supersport, will don the livery on his Alpinestars leathers.

Melandri replaced former Yamaha Superbike rider Cal Crutchlow. The Brit Crutchlow will stay within the Yamaha family, moving to MotoGP to replace Ben Spies on the Monster Yamaha Tech 3 M1 bike (Spies moves to the Factory Fiat Yamaha team to ride the vacant M1 motorcycle developed by Valentino Rossi, who will be riding the Ducati GP11 next MotoGP racing season).

Melandri is a former 250cc GP World Champion and has finished as high as second in the MotoGP Championship, with five MotoGP career race victories to date and a further 10 250cc GP victories.

Laverty, of Northern Ireland, competed in 2010 on the WSS Parkalgar Honda CBR600. Laverty finished 2010 World Supersport 11 points behind the series Champion, Ten Kate Honda rider Kenan Sofuoglu. In 2010 WSS, Laverty had won seven races and taken five pole positions. In 2009, Laverty finished second in the championship behind the then-WSS rider Crutchlow.

Laverty has ridden on a Yamaha in the past. While competing in the 250cc MotoGP Championship in 2008, Laverty rode as a wildcard in World Supersport, substituting for the injured Fabien Foret; he took second and third in those races.

The factory Yamaha World Superbike team will continue testing on Feb. 21 and 22 at Phillip Island, Australia, before the 2011 season begins there on Feb. 27.