Yamaha lose Milwaukee sponsorship for the Isle of Man TT

Unlikely that Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes will race at the 2014 Isle of Man TT

THE title sponsor for Shaun Muir's Yamaha team Milwaukee Power Tools have announced they will not be supporting the team at this year's Isle of Man TT making it unlikely the Ian Hutchinson and Josh Brookes will race. 

New Superbike technical regulations have been announced for the 2014 TT races, however Muir has already expressed his concerns regarding the new changes as it would be impossible for his two riders to be competitive without the Magneti Marelli ECU System. 

All of the Milwaukee Yamaha team appear to disagree with the new rules. Chief engineer for Milwaukee Yamaha Mick Shanley posted on Twitter: "There is no parity and no control of the proposed rules. Factory supported teams can and have run modified “factory” kit ECU."

After an 18-month long recovery from career ending injuries Hutchinson was set to make a full return to road racing this year. Hutchinson posted on Twitter yesterday: "Incredibly sad that it has come to this, the sport needs sponsors or there is no sport! I support my team and sponsors decision fully, this has been driven by another manufacturer from the start who don't have to change a thing!" 

Hutchinson's team-mate Brookes - the fastest newcomer around the Isle of Man TT course - said: "Lot of people upset about us not being at TT14. I am extremely disappointed but I stand by my team @MilwaukeeYamaha and the principles of the withdrawal." 

It has also been confirmed that the Yamaha team were hoping to add a third rider with Milwaukee colours, but under the banner of Shaun Muir Racing. It's said that all three riders combined would have had a total of 15 TT wins between them. However, due to " tangible inflexibility" this is unable to happen. 

The UK Commerical Director for Milwaukee Dale McElveen commented: "The decision to withdraw our support from the 2014 Isle of Man TT Races with SMR is two-fold. Firstly we believe the rule changes, apparently initiated as a cost saving exercise, would actually have had an adverse effect on SMR Racing – costing Shaun Muir and his team in excess of £30,000 to convert machinery that is currently ready to race."

"SMR, with much reluctance, made a proposal to the ACU and manufacturer supported teams, proposing to run their current Magneti Marelli ECU System – albeit with disable rider aids. This would have brought the team’s Marelli system into line with the proposed Motec variant, which was listed as an option by TT organisers.

"This in turn would have saved Milwaukee Yamaha £30,000 to purchase and fit the Motec systems, which we hasten to add, is not being used, or purchased, by any of the other leading manufacturers. Unfortunately SMR’s proposal to use a restricted Marelli package, was rejected by the other leading manufacturers and TT Organisers.

McElveen continued: "The forced ECU changes, suggested at the outset by Honda, would have made all SMR road racing machinery less competitive than its rivals, and the control ECU that SMR would have been forced to fit [Motec] – gives less control than that of their main competitors’ Kit systems.

"The irony is the rule change will solely affect Yamaha as the other leading manufacturers have modern manufacturer produced ‘Kit’ versions readily available, which will allow them to compete with no disadvantage."