Yamaha-supported teams Belgarda and Yamaha Motor Germany will each enter an additional rider at round ten of the Supersport World Championship, at Imola, this weekend, with one-off entries granted for current Japanese 250 champion Tekkyu Kayo and five-times Australian champion Kevin Curtain.

Kayo will ride in the colours of the Italian Yamaha Belgarda Team, for whom he finished fourth in his one and only previous World Supersport outing - at Sugo - earlier this year. The 24-year old Japanese rider has had a varied season this year. His 'full-time' job has involved defending his All-Japan 250 title and, in addition to the Sugo outing, he has also raced as a wild-card at the Japanese 250GP and at the Suzuka 8-Hour, where he qualified strongly on a YZF-R1.

"Sugo was the first time I rode the YZF-R6, but I found that I had no trouble adapting to it after the two-stroke TZ250," Kayo explained, "Before that race, I also had concerns about communicating with the Italian team, but I found them to be very professional and had no problems at all.

"At Sugo, I learned about the team and bike and, although Imola is a new track for me, I have watched videos of races there, so that I can learn a little about it. I do not have to consider the championship standings and I hope to thank the team for this opportunity by getting a good race result - hopefully at least as good as at Sugo."

By contrast, Curtain is an experienced World Supersport rider, with 28 previous appearances in the championship. A full-time WSS rider in 2001 and 2002, he won two races in the 2001 season. This year, he has won both the Australian Formula Xtreme and Supersport championships, racing a YZF-R1 and YZF-R6. Earlier this year, he also rode his domestic championship R6 as a wild-card at the Australian World Supersport round in Phillip Island, finishing fifth, and Yamaha Motor Germany team manager Terrell Thien is hoping to use all of the rider's experience.

"Kevin is a proven rider - he knows the Yamaha R6, knows Dunlop tyres and he likes the Imola circuit," he said, "We've built a bike for him with an identical specification to that of our regular riders.

"I've spoken to Kevin many times over the years and I know that he is keen to return to the world championship full-time. He will be motivated to do well and I am sure that he will be able to provide us with a lot of valuable technical feedback."

"I've been over in Europe since Monday, and that has given me a chance to meet the team and adjust little things like the position of the handlebars and footpegs," Curtain added, "They've built a bike especially for me and I'm hoping to repay the team by getting a good result at Imola."

 

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