Yamaha Set To Return To World Superbike Championship
The World Superbike Championship is competed by some of the most esteemed motorcycle brands in the world. Aprilia is the current champion, but it has no shortage of competitors coming from the likes of BMW, Ducati, Honda, Kawasaki, and Suzuki.
Conspicuous by its absence is Yamaha, which isn’t all that surprising considering that Yamaha hasn’t competed in the World Superbike series in quite some time. But alas, all that is about to change now that the company has announced that it’s planning to make a triumphant return to the series in 2016.
Granted, Yamaha isn’t coming back to the WSBK with its own team. Instead, the company is likely to find a privately-owned racing team that it can partner with, or in this case, support for WSBK. Such a framework is actually common place in the series, quite different from the top-class MotoGP where full-factory teams are the name of the game.
But because of financial constraints, the game is played a little differently in WSBK. Private racing teams enter the series with the motorcycle brands serving as partners instead of owning the actual teams. In this case, Yamaha already has the YZF-R1 machines at its disposal. These new superbikes have proven themselves to be quite the contenders on the race track.
It would be fitting, really, if we see these bikes head to the World Superbike series. That alone would make the competition that much more intriguing. Now about that private racing team. It’s still unclear who that is or where Yamaha’s going to find it, but rest assured, if the Japanese firm wants to compete in the series and mitigate the costs of doing so, it’s going to need to find a partner that can split the costs of racing with it.
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Why it matters
It’s an interesting development, that much I can tell you. Having Yamaha lock horns with some of its fiercest rivals is a great way to determine which among these stud outfits really have the best superbikes.
If anything, the absence of Yamaha has put some kind of cloud over the WSBK. That’s not to disregard anything that Aprilia and the rest of the manufacturers have accomplished. But let’s face it; it’s a different deal when you have Yamaha competing against everybody.
I, for one, would like to see Yamaha return this season, but it’s too late for that so 2016 is a nice consolation. Hopefully, everything falls into place and Yamaha can find a privately-funded team that it can join forces with by next season.
That would really put the WSBK on the map. It’s still not MotoGP by any stretch of the imagination, but having Yamaha compete against the rest of the lot gives the WSBK that cache it may have lacked in the past.
So let’s get to it, Yamaha! Get a team to join on you and rumble with the rest of the field. Your return to the World Superbike Championships is long overdue.