BE1 has made the surprise decision to ditch its factory Triumph status and switched to Yamaha machinery for the upcoming 2011 World Supersport Championship.
The rumour-mill had hinted at a shock switch, but the publication of the official 2011 entry list has confirmed riders Chaz Davies and Luca Scassa will pilot Yamaha YZF-R6s this year, replacing the Triumph Daytona 675.
Though it is yet to be confirmed, the move could well see Yamaha – champions in 2009 with Cal Crutchlow – return in some form of factory capacity this season, even if Davies and Scassa are set to start the year riding a pair of two-year old R6s.
Despite finally winning the WSS crown in 2009 against a plethora of Hondas, Yamaha promptly withdrew its official team from the 600cc production world championship, but may have a small hand in this new operation.
After starting with satellite status, BE1 became Triumph's factory WSS team in 2009. Davies finished as the top 675 rider in last year's championship, claiming four podiums on his way to fourth in the championship.
Having participated in testing as recently as last month, there had been little indication that the Italian-based team wouldn't continue with Triumph. However, the team has decided that the ex-factory four-cylinder R6s - although sidelined for a season - offer a more competitive package.
While it isn't known whether Triumph will transfer its factory involvement to another team – or withdraw altogether -, the British marque will still be represented in 2011 by Suriano Racing and MD Team Jerman.
The announcement will also raise serious doubts as to whether whether Triumph will go ahead with a much mooted switch to Superbikes in 2012, with BE1 Racing apparently originally earmarked to lead its development programme.