Yamaha maintains it is approaching its 2016 campaign as a 'learning season' ahead of its much anticipated World Superbike Championship comeback.

The Japanese manufacturer returns to World Superbikes this year with its new R1 machine as part of a factory-backed effort in conjunction with Crescent Racing, with Sylvain Guintoli and Alex Lowes signed to lead its renewed challenge.

Yamaha's return to World Superbikes comes after a successful year for the new R1 on the domestic stage, where it proved a dominant force in the British Superbike Championship and the Suzuka 8 Hours

However, though its predecessor was a WSBK title winner in its first season of racing in the hands of Ben Spies, Yamaha project manager Andrea Dosoli says the 2016 season is more about understanding the competition and sticking to its 'clear plan'.

"We know 2016 will be a learning season for us, we want to approach the championship step by step and first of all we would like to understand our level compared to the other top guys," said project manager Andrea Dosoli.

"We are aware how tough the championship is and together with all our partners and YMC in Japan, we have a clear plan and schedule in order to, as I said before, step by step improve our competitiveness. The bike has huge potential."

The team - which will run under the PATA Crescent Yamaha banner - will two of four new Yamaha R1s on the grid in 2016, with the Hungarian Team Toth outfit also entering a pair of bikes.