Yamaha Motor Europe has decided to withdraw their official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship.
It seems that the decision has been made taking into account the changing market conditions in Europe. Yamaha says it wants to focus more on direct “consumer” activities. Currently Yamaha’s R1 and R6 models are not being preferred by riders due to their higher purchase price.
Yamaha also said they would be putting in all efforts till the end of the current season and will try and win the championship. Riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are currently respectively 3rd and 4th in the overall 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship standings for riders with 4 rounds to go. Both the riders will now need to look for new teams to race with.
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.
Last season Ducati had announced their exit from WSB and now a private team, Althea is racing Ducati bikes with a lot of support and equipment from the factory itself. Looks like Yamaha still be out there next season unofficially supporting the private teams running Yamaha motorcycles, but we’ll have to wait and watch for that.
The reason the exit might be financial as Yamaha don’t have a title sponsor for this year, but they have not mentioned it.