Motorpoint Yamaha will arrive at the ninth round of the 2011 MCE British Superbike Championship with an all-new rider line-up following the confirmation that Tommy Bridewell will join the team and James Westmoreland will leave.
The Rob McElnea-helmed team began the year with Westmoreland and Loris Baz as its youngest ever pairing, but the latter dropped out of his ride ahead of the recent Brands Hatch event due to budgetary issues. Now Westmoreland has followed suit after failing to deliver the results expected.
As such, Bridewell will make his return to the series, the youngster rejoining the BSB ranks having parted company with Tyco Honda five rounds into the season. McElnea has also signalled his intentions to have a full strength team, with an announcement on a second rider coming in due course.
"It has been another very frustrating season with so much potential not able to be fulfilled. With the current climate, most of the teams are running very tight budgets and all are keen to give a good return for their backers and fans. I thought we had a very strong line-up, young hungry riders full of determination, but with financial issues ruining Loris's year and Westy on his own and unable to find his form, the team was struggling for results.
"I have to try and put a show on for everyone and feel a new injection of enthusiasm and motivation will help the team achieve the best results I know it is capable of, and with Tommy we have exactly that. We want to get back to finishing the year with a two man team and are working on finding him a partner. I am sorry for James, he has the potential no question but with all our scenarios we have run out of time and need to try something new."
The 2011 BSB season has proven to be another difficult one for Motorpoint Yamaha, a year after it went through a series of rider changes due to injuries. Prior to his withdrawal, Baz had been in contention for the top six shootout, while Superbike rookie Westmoreland had a best finish of fifth place to his name.
Bridewell joins Motorpoint Yamaha having scored a best finish of third with Tyco Honda at the Brands Hatch season opened.