Yamaha set for its WSBK finale

With Melandri heading to BMW and Laverty tipped for a switch to Aprilia, it remains to be seen if Yamaha will return in some form next season.
Yamaha is looking to end its participation in the World Superbike Championship as a factory-supported entity on a high as Marco Melandri targets wins and Eugene Laverty looks to secure third in the overall standings.

Three months after Yamaha confirmed it will not continue in the World Superbike Championship, the Italian-based team will withdraw from the series at the end of the Portimao weekend, though it is rumoured the manufacturer will return in a semi-privateer form next year.

A fitting place to enjoy its final WSBK appearance, Portimao was the scene of Yamaha's one and only riders' title in 2009 when Ben Spies overhauled Noriyuki Haga for the championship.

Fast forward two years and Yamaha can be satisfied with its efforts in 2011, with WSBK rookie Melandri securing the runners-up spot behind Carlos Checa, while the ultra-consistent Laverty has just moved into third place.

With a switch to BMW looming in 2012, Melandri is keen to bring his brief, but successful tenure with BMW to a satisfying close.

"We tested in Portimao at the beginning of the year, shortly after having shoulder surgery. The weather was bad on the second day so in the end I didn't have very much track time to get comfortable with the layout. It seems like a technical and a difficult circuit, but I really like it. I hope it doesn't rain this weekend so I can make the most of Friday and Saturday to learn my lines so I can be strong enough to fight for a win on Sunday."

Tipped with a move to Aprilia machinery for next season, Laverty will battle it out for third place overall with potential new team-mate Max Biaggi, should the Italian return from injury.

"It was nice to be back on the podium again in Magny Cours and I aim to continue that momentum in Portimao. It would be nice to end the season with a race win, it's been quite a while since my victory in Monza. Max will probably be back and fighting for third place in the championship, but I'll be giving it my best shot to stay where I am now and end the year third in the overall standings. I'm looking forward to the final battle."

Several rumours regarding the future of Yamaha have circulated since the confirmation it was pulling its factory support, but as yet no announcement has been made.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Melandri, French WSBK Race 2 2011
Melandri, French WSBK Race 2 2011
Melandri, French WSBK Race 2 2011
Melandri, French WSBK Race 2 2011
Melandri, French WSBK 2011
Melandri, French WSBK 2011
Melandri, French WSBK 2011
Japan Tribute on Yamaha, Donington WSBK 2011
Ohlins technician for Pata Yamaha, Malaysian WSBK 2016
Yamaha tent, Dutch WSBK 2016
Akrapovic Exhaust on Alex Lowes Yamaha, Dutch WSBK 2016
Davies, Michael Laverty, Dutch WSBK 2016
Crescent Yamaha Hospitality, Dutch WSBK 2016
Akrapovic exhaust, Guintoli`s Yamaha. Thai WSBK 2016
Lowes`s Yamaha garage Thai WSBK, 2016
Guintoli`s Yamaha garage Thai WSBK, 2016
Akrapovic exhaust on Lowes` Yamaha, Australian WSBK 2016
Akraprovic exhaust on Yamaha, Australian WSBK, 2016

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.