Yamaha Racing Makes Decision on R1 Superbike

After earlier announcements of the approaching end of production for the Yamaha R1, Yamaha’s racing division has made its own decision on the bike

Jonathan Rea, 2024 Australian WorldSBK. - Gold and Goose

Yamaha has affirmed its commitment to production-derived motorcycle racing at the highest level by confirming it will continue to race with the Yamaha R1 even after the one-litre supersports bike goes out of production.

The Yamaha R1 has been the flagship sports bike of the Iwata marque since the original was launched in 1998, and has been the bike of choice for Yamaha rides in Superbike-class competition, including WorldSBK, since 2003.

In a statement released in the hours before the opening World Superbike Championship practice of 2024 got underway in Phillip Island at the Australian Round, Yamaha Racing said it “remains fully committed to racing the R1 in the premier production race classes worldwide,” and specifically named the “FIM Superbike and Endurance World Championships”.

Yamaha Racing added that “This commitment also extends to supporting teams and customers who race Yamaha’s flagship Supersport model or utilise it as the ultimate track tool.”

The statement comes after it was announced by Yamaha earlier this week that it would discontinue production of the R1 and R1M supersports bikes. Yamaha Racing has confirmed that, while production of the road-going versions of its flagship supersports machine will cease from 2025 - due to Yamaha choosing not to make a Euro5+-compliant version of the bike - the R1 will make the same shift as the Yamaha R6 has done in recent years, becoming a track-only model.

“From 2025,” the Yamaha Racing statement reads, “in Europe the R1 will be made available with specifications aimed exclusively at track use, as was done previously with the R6.”

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