Yamaha has confirmed it will join forces with Crescent Racing for a 2016 factory World Superbike return.

2013 BSB champion Alex Lowes will continue with Crescent as it makes the transition from Suzuki, with 2014 WSBK champion Sylvain Guintoli signed as his new team-mate.

Guintoli won't be the only arrival from Ten Kate Honda, with PATA also announced as Yamaha's title sponsor.

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Yamaha won its first World Superbike championship with Ben Spies in 2009 but withdrew at the end of 2011, by which time the likes of Noriyuki Haga, Troy Corser, James Toseland, Marco Melandri and Cal Crutchlow had also tasted victory on the R1.

Crescent meanwhile has been synonymous with Suzuki, Paul Denning's British-based team having run the company's official projects in BSB and MotoGP as well as WSBK.

The new 2015 R1 has taken victory in the AMA Championship, Suzuka 8 Hours and is currently leading the BSB standings with Josh Brookes.

"This is a very exciting moment for us as we eagerly wait to return to the top level of Superbike competition next year after an absence of four years," commented Yamaha Motor Europe Chief Operating Officer, Eric De Seynes.

"Having re-written the Supersport rule book and changed the game with the new YZF-R1, directly developed from Yamaha MotoGP technology, it was clear we would need to return to the World Superbike Championship to show the full potential of our new Superbike machine.

"We took one year to grow experience with the new R1 in many other championships where the bike has shown its potential already, with the amazing 8H of Suzuka victory and the very positive results that our official Teams are gathering all around Europe.

"Now we are ready to be back on the world stage and I am happy we have found in Crescent the same values of professionalism, engineering detail and passion for victory we share."

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Good vibes surrounding this team - and a very strong rider line-up I have to say.

I think Guinters will have the beating of Alex over a season, but I can't wait to find out either way! Great for WSBK in general.

Glad they're back. Looks like a good team for next year.