Yamaha signs reigning ASC and ASBK champions.
Yamaha Racing Team (YRT) with Yamaha Motor Insurance (YMI) has confirmed it will field reigning national champions Wayne Maxwell and Glenn Allerton alongside returning rider Cru Halliday in the 2015 Australasian Superbike Championship.
YRT will debut the brand new YZF-R1M during February’s opening round of the Australian Superbike Championship (ASBK) alongside the World Superbike round at Phillip Island, also due to contest the MotoGP support races at Phillip Island in October.
Maxwell’s defection from Team Honda Racing comes as a major turning point in the silly season, taking his ASC and FX-Superbike (AFX-SBK) number one plates with him to Yamaha. He contested select World Endurance rounds this year on board a Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART) R1.
“My decision to come to Yamaha was an easy one as the team produces a great bike, has a good atmosphere and is at the races to win,” Maxwell said. “The new R1 sounds awesome and it’s an honour to be a selected rider to represent such an important bike. My goal is to retain the number one plate and I believe I have the team and the bike behind me to do that.”
Triple Australian Superbike Champion Allerton has been a guest rider at YRT in the past, but has now signed fulltime with the team following the announced withdrawal of Next Gen Motorsports. He finished fourth in the 2014 ASC season despite mid-season knee surgery.
“I have worked with John [Redding], Kevin [Marshall] and the YRT team in the past and know just how professional and dedicated the effort is,” Allerton explained. “Yamaha has long been seen as the benchmark in Australia and now armed with a new R1, I think we are all in for an exciting season.
“I’m 100 percent fit and ready to challenge for this year’s championship. I’m really happy to be with Yamaha and my goal is to get the number one plate on my R1.”
Longtime Yamaha talent Halliday will be the lone YRT rider to return in 2015 after claiming sixth in the 2014 title chase on debut in the premier class, and he is excited to move forward on the 2015 YZF-R1.
“I have really enjoyed racing in the Superbike class and racing against the best as certainly helped me develop as a rider,” Halliday said. “It’s an exciting time at Yamaha with the new bike and it has breathed plenty of energy into the team.
“It takes some time to get a handle on new bikes, but I’m confident the team will be able to get the bike sorted very quickly and we will be more than competitive from round one.”
The 2015 season marks a new chapter for YRT with the new R1 on show and a very different rider line-up, but it is a challenge that John Redding and his team are looking forward to.
“We have had enormous success with the previous R1 and history will show it has been a very good bike not just for road use, but also in racing guise,” Redding said. “There is a lot to learn about the new R1, but Kevin and the team can’t wait to get their hands on it and see exactly what it is capable of.
“I have complete confidence in the team to get the most out of the bike in the short time we have before starting the 2015 season and I also believe we have the best riders on board to showcase it. Working with all three riders as well as a new bike presents a challenge to us but one that we are ready for and will thrive under.”
Yamaha’s announcement sets Team Honda Racing up to retain Jamie Stauffer alongside Troy Herfoss, while paddock speculation continues to mount that Next Gen is working on plans to forge ahead with a new manufacturer next season.