2011 World Superbike
Following in the role of Ducati, Yamaha has decided to withdraw its Official World Superbike Team at the end of the 2011 Championship, Yamaha Motor Europe (YMW) reported Monday.
Yamaha Europe reported this after a strategic study of the Marketing Operations within Europe, including all Motorsport activities. The study also takes into account "the continuing severe and rapidly changing Powered Two Wheeler market conditions throughout the region."
Yamaha Europe says: "Due to this decision, more resource and focus will now be used for direct ‘Customer’ activities to ultimately add more value to Yamaha ownership and increased Customer Satisfaction."
In a release, Yamaha Europe said it would like to "express their sincere thanks and appreciation for the total commitment, support, and passion shown by the extremely professional and dedicated riders and team members both past and present throughout the many years of participation in the FIM Superbike World Championship.
"YME would also like to thank all the highly valued business partners and suppliers who have in-turn supported the team and in addition would like to thank Infront Motorsports, the FIM Superbike World Championship promoters. YME has chosen this timing of announcement to ensure that all existing obligations are correctly met, and to not limit any opportunities or future planning for all personnel involved."
The riders currently competing on Yamaha World Superbike team in the World Superbike Championship are Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty aboard the YZF-R1 superbikes. With four rounds remaining, Melandri and Laverty are currently third and fourth in the 2011 WSBK Championship, respectively.
Yamaha Europe says: "YME and the team will continue to give its maximum efforts until the end of the existing season to try and regain the World Superbike title which Yamaha also won in 2009." Both riders finished second and third in each race at Silverstone Superbike on Sunday.
After last season, Ducati withdrew all factory efforts in the World Superbike Championship.
Although withdrawing from the World Superbike Championship, Yamaha will continue the availability of road racing kit parts, known as YEC Racing kit parts, for its R1 and R6 production models for private teams entering at all racing levels.