Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha, in association with Colin Appleyard Racing, today announced the signing of Sean Emmett to the team's 2002 line-up, with immediate effect.

The London-based star joins the Appleyard Racing satellite team, run under the wing of Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa Yamaha boss Rob McElnea, and will be contesting the remaining five rounds of the season on the all-new Yamaha R1 Superbike.

Today's announcement comes at the end of a troubled time for Emmett, currently second in the series overall, and trailing championship leader Steve Hislop by a mere 11 points. Emmett has stamped his authority on the domestic series from the very beginning of the season, winning the opening race of the year at Silverstone, followed by a double win at Snetterton, and with a string of rostrum finishes.

These champion-quality performances have only heightened his desire to win the title, however recent difficulties in his former team have found Emmett in a position in which a change of squad seemed the best way forward to make the most of the rest of the season.

Benefiting from Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa's expertise, and unrivalled knowledge in racing the Yamaha R1 Superbike, Emmett will look forward to a strong performance at the next round of the series, held at Thruxton, Andover on August 11th.

Team Principal Rob McElnea said: "It is very unfortunate that Sean's current team is having difficulties, and we would never wish their situation on a healthy competitor. However for us, the silver lining is that Sean will be able to race with Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa on our new R1 for the remainder of the season."

"We tested at Cadwell Park with Sean and instantly he felt at home on the R1, both Steve and Simon are looking forward to working with Sean, as this will mean that development time will be accelerated with the new bike."

"We are now looking forward to Thruxton with one of the strongest teams in our history, on what is historically a strong track for the Yamaha. This has really put a spark into the tail-end of the championship, and a real opportunity with Sean a potential championship winner for Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa and Colin Appleyard."

Emmett added: "It has been a very tough season for me, not knowing from week to week my former team's position. I have never given up the chase for the title and it is a real happy twist of fate for me to have this opportunity to join Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa."

"I tested the bike at Cadwell and really felt at home, gaining confidence with every lap. Steve and Simon have been great and are helping me with set-up, I have known Rob Mac and his team for many years, and know that the support I will get will give me a real chance of winning this series. Thruxton will be a great venue to run the bike for the first time as it suits me and the Yamaha. I'm more than ready!"

Stephen Rogan, sponsorship manager of Virgin Mobile, continued: "We are delighted to add Sean to our very strong team this season. We have watched his performances all season and are very excited to be able to welcome him to the Team Virgin Mobile Aiwa fold, at this stage in the championship. We are proud to now have three of the strongest riders in the championship wearing our colours!"

 

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