Eugene Laverty has said he is saddened by the announcement that Yamaha is to withdraw its factory team from the World Superbike Championship at the end of the current season.
Despite a strong showing for both Laverty and team-mate Marco Melandri at Silverstone over the weekend, Yamaha confirmed yesterday that it will lave the series at the end of 2011 – meaning there will be no 'works' representation for the Japanese brand on the grid next year.
Having been given the chance to step into WSBK this season on the back of two seasons running at the front in World Supersport, Laverty now finds himself without a ride for next year despite having signed a two-year contract and he admitted he was surprised by the announcement that Yamaha is to call it a day.
“Today's news of Yamaha pulling out of WSB came as a shock to me as well,” he revealed to his followers on Twitter
. “Really disappointing for the entire team - a great bunch of guys.”
Melandri, who had recently suggested that he could be closing in a deal to re-sign with the factory team for another season, also used Twitter
to reveal his own sadness with the announcement once it was made public.
“Long day, feel tired and sad, need a big sleep,” he wrote. “Tomorrow is another day…”