After a miserable 2010 World Superbike debut, Yoshimura Racing are 'extremely excited' to have signed local ace Josh Waters for the team's wild-card return in this year's opening round at Phillip Island, Australia.
Yoshimura made a single, delayed, WSBK appearance (at Monza) last year, which ended prematurely when lone rider Daisaku Sakai - who had qualified just 21st out of the 24 riders - was injured during race one.
Further scheduled outings at Imola and Magny-Cours were scrapped due to financial constraints, casting serious doubt on the team's stated plans to eventually become a full-time world championship contender.
However, as reported earlier this month, Yoshimura - which has won numerous Superbike titles in Japan and the USA - hasn't given up on WSBK and is to try again at round one of this season.
Several further 2011 races are also in the pipeline, although only Phillip Island is confirmed, and the team's results 'down under' will surely be a significant factor in terms of future events.
Underlining the importance of a strong start to 2011, Yoshimura Japan president Fujio Yoshimura hand-picked Waters to represent the team in the February 25-27th event.
"We are extremely excited to have Josh on board. He is a very talented rider and we look forward to seeing what he can do at his home track,” said Yoshimura.
The event will also mark the WSBK debut for Waters, whose 2010 season was interrupted by injury.
"We're really happy that the Yoshimura Racing Team has asked Josh to race at the Phillip Island World Superbike round,” said Perry Morison, General Manager, Motorcycles, Suzuki Australia.
“The 2010 season was a challenging one for Josh, but he showed what he is capable of by returning from injury to take a race win at the MotoGP Superbike support race. His opportunity with Yoshimura now lets him showcase his talent on the world stage and I can't wait to see him race."
In addition to his involvement with the Yoshimura Racing Team, Waters will continue as part of Team Suzuki in selected Australian Superbike rounds.