Yamaha to return to WSBK after five years

Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes will ride new R1 in 2016

YAMAHA has just announced its return to the World Superbike championship after a four-year absence from the series.

Yamaha Motor Europe partnered with Crescent Racing will field the new YZF-R1 next year in hands of 2014 WSBK champion Sylvain Guintoli and 2013 British Superbike champion Alex Lowes.

Yamaha last competed in WSBK in 2011 and took the firm's first title in the championship in 2009, with US rider Ben Spies.

The 2016 campaign will be in collaboration with title sponsors PATA.

Yamaha Motor Europe Chief Operating Officer Eric De Seynes said: 'Having re-written the supersport rule book and changed the game with the new YZF-R1, directly developed from Yamaha MotoGP technology, it was clear we would need to return to the WSBK championship to show the full potential of our new superbike machine.

'We took one year to grow experience with the new R1 in many other championships where the bike has shown its potential already, with the amazing 8H of Suzuka victory and the very positive results that our official teams are gathering all around Europe. Now we are ready to be back on the world stage and I am happy we have found in Crescent the same values of professionalism, engineering detail and passion for victory we share.'

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