2009 is a very important year for ‘The Yamaha World Superbike Team’ as it now entirely belongs to the Yamaha Motor Europe operations. The new racing livery for 2009 shows the team’s new sponsors and ‘war paint’ for the new season starting at Phillip Island. The new R1’s will be ridden by two riders that need no presentation: Ben Spies gets to ride the bike with the number 19 and Tom Sykes, the one with the number 66.
Press release after the jump
The Yamaha World Superbike Team has unveiled their new racing livery for 2009, showing its new sponsors and ‘war paint’ for the upcoming season. The team now fully belong to the Yamaha Motor Europe operations and so have been renamed ‘The Yamaha World Superbike Team’. With new riders on board, 3-time AMA Superbike champion Ben Spies and promising Brit Tom Sykes, and a brand new YZF-R1 race machine it’s going to be an exciting championship. Both riders are new to the World Superbike series but have already proved to be fast and highly competitive in pre-season testing with their sights set firmly on winning in 2009.
The team’s current sponsors are joined this year by new supporters BM Group, Yamalube, Parts Europe and Novation. They will sit alongside existing sponsors FIMER, Akrapovic, Meccanocar, Fabbri, NGK, Rapid Inside , Volvo, Domino, DID, Magneti Marelli, Beta and BMC.
The BM Group has almost 50 years of experience in manufacturing and supplying electrical connections and is a global market leader in its field.
Yamalube offers a line-up of oils and care products for motorcycles, scooters, ATVs and snowmobiles and is a partner in all of Yamaha’s main global racing activities. Created by Yamaha, Yamalube offer precise formulas of oils to run all Yamaha engines at their optimum performance while offering maximum protection.
The sleek new design and livery of the 2009 YZF-R1 perfectly complements the impressive performance already achieved in pre-season testing by the team. Featuring the iconic ‘speedblock’ design and painted in Yamaha’s official racing blue colour, the livery will have immediate resonance with fans the world over. The all-new for 2009 bike features technology filtered from the world dominating M1 MotoGP bike ridden to victory in 2008 by world champion Valentino Rossi. Features include a crossplane crankshaft engine and a unique uneven firing order giving linear torque and greater traction, giving talented new riders Ben Spies and Tom Sykes the edge they need to get through and out of corners faster whatever the conditions.
The combination of Spies and Sykes with this awe inspiring machine have already proved to be a formidable pairing, consistently ranking at the top of the field in all pre-season testing so far. With the team continuing to fine tune and develop the bike, they will only get faster as they head out to Phillip Island for the next test next week, the final shake down before the world championship kicks off with round one in the Australian sunshine on the 1st March.
Ben Spies, Yamaha World Superbike Team
"The bike is incredibly confidence inspiring. The way it lays down the power so smoothly, especially through the corners in both the wet and the dry is incredible. It’s got better and better over the last couple of months in testing, I really can’t wait to get it on the start line at Phillip Island for that first race."
Tom Sykes, Yamaha World Superbike Team
"It’s a challenge to get to grips with a new bike, new team and new championship all at the same time, however the fact the bike is amazing and the team so professional has made it a great challenge, I’m really working well with the new R1, the chassis feels really planted and poised, like Ben I can’t wait to get out there and race with it!"
The Yamaha World Superbike team structure remains virtually the same for 2009 with the exception of two new replacements. Ben Spies’ American Crew Chief Tom Houseworth has moved from the USA to join him in 2009 and Italian new-comer Sergio Verbena steps up to join Tom Sykes as his new Crew Chief for the upcoming championship battle.
With the global credit crunch affecting all areas of racing, The Yamaha World Superbike Team also needed to restructure their budgets by streamlining their operations to be as efficient as possible. Cost savings have been found in the logistics, including number of staff members traveling, as well as in several other areas, without compromising the ability to win on the track. They are determined and motivated to adapt to the situation and go out there and fight for the championship.