James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow will ride for Yamaha in the World Superbike Championship next season following the announcement Ben Spies is MotoGP bound.
Toseland's return to the series has been heavily rumoured in recent weeks, the Briton being linked with Yamaha and former team Ten Kate Honda, but only now has the move been made official in a deal that sees him swap directly with newly announced Tech 3 Yamaha rider Spies.
Spies had originally planned to stay in World Superbikes in 2010, but a change of heart has seen him assume Toseland's place in the team, the 28-year-old going in the other direction as he bids to re-establish his reputation following two underwhelming seasons at MotoGP level.
Indeed, while Toseland admits he is disappointed to be curtailing his tenure in MotoGP, he maintains he has plenty still to gain by returning to World Superbikes with a proven race-winning package beneath him.
“I'm looking forward to return to World Superbikes,” said James Toseland. “I want to show I'm still the rider that can win world titles. Of course there is some disappointment at losing my opportunity in MotoGP as I believe the challenge was still achievable, but the R1 has proven to be beyond the strongest bikes in Superbike and I know many of the Yamaha World Superbike Team guys, so I'm going to pick up where I left off and give 100% to achieving good results with the team.”
Having won his World Superbike titles with Ducati and Honda, Toseland was also happy to be extending his relationship with Yamaha, where he is now in a good position to make history by becoming the first rider to win three titles with three different manufacturers.
“Within Superbike there were a few options available to me, however the way Yamaha have treated me since I joined them has been outstanding. They gave me a great opportunity in MotoGP, but now I do wish Ben all the best in his campaign and my aim is to continue Yamaha's success in World Superbike.”
Although also heavily linked with a move to Yamaha's World Superbike effort following an outstanding rookie season in the World Supersport Championship, Crutchlow's confirmation comes after turning down the chance to ride Moto2 next season.
Nonetheless, in a year that has seen him win five races, nine pole positions and a series of lap records, Crutchlow admits staying in the paddock for 2010 marks a natural progression for him.