Yamaha has pulled the wraps off its new YZF-R1 contender as it prepares for its return to the World Superbike Championship this year.

The Japanese manufacturer, a title winner with Ben Spies in 2009, exited the series at the end of the 2012 season, but will return to World Superbikes in 2016 with its all-new R1 following a lengthy development period.

Yamaha's full factory return sees it enter into a new partnership with the experienced Crescent Racing team, which joins the Yamaha fold after a lengthy tenure associated with Suzuki.

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With 2014 champion Sylvain Guintoli and former British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes on riding duties, the R1 has been revealed in Yamaha's familiar indigo corporate colours, with prominent decals from title backer PATA.

"For us it's an opportunity to finally enter into World Superbike with a genuinely competitive machine, and to enter in also with a project that's not just about one year; it's about developing the bike and developing the level," said Crescent Racing manager Paul Denning.

"We have a clear target to challenge for the World Championship, and within the first of years. It's exciting and it's nice to see the bike there, not completely ready to go but also not too far away."

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I actually like it, understated design but that's not always a bad thing.

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