In a move rumoured for some time, Virgin Media Optoma Loans Yamaha and James Haydon are to split after 'a mutual and amicable decision' was reached between the Briton and team principal Rob McElnea.

Haydon has missed the last two rounds of the 2007 Bennetts British Superbike Championship due to a training injury. Although now fit to ride again both McElnea and Haydon have decided that he will not be returning to the team.

The relationship between Haydon and Virgin Yamaha Racing stretches back to 2001. Since then, the Briton has had three spells with the team, recording over 15 podium finishes and culminating in an impressive race win at Knockhill in 2004.

However, Haydon has struggled badly against team-mate Tommy Hill at the opening three rounds of this season, recording a best finish of just 15th and - following his mountain bike injury - was replaced by South African Hudson Kennaugh.

"It is always difficult in a situation like this but parting company is the best thing for both of us. I am sure of that," declared Haydon. "I had lost confidence in the package and was not happy and that showed in my riding. I wish them all the best for the remainder of the season."

"It is a great shame things did not work for James with us, his commitment has never been in question and we wish him well with his future plans," stated McElnea.