Yamaha France will run a three-rider team in the 2006 World Superbike championship, with former Japanese 250cc champion Shinichi Nakatomi join returning riders Norick Abe and Sebastien Gimbert.
Nakatomi, 27, has never raced outside Japane, but won the national 250cc championship before switching to four-strokes in 2003, competing in the Suzuki Eight-Hours and Japanese JSB1000 championship for Yamaha's YSP Racing Team on an R1.
Former GP star Abe ended his first season in World SUperbikes in 13th place, with Gimbert finishing in 16th after an injury-plagued season. The Yamaha France squad will develop the Yamaha YEC racing kit parts for 2006, and develop the 2007 range of customer race parts.
"Although i haven't finished the task of winning the All-Japan title, I am going to try to focus everything I have learned over three years with yamaha and do the best I can," said Nakatomi. "I don;t intend to use my first year just as a year for leaning. I intend to go out there and race aggressivley, and I hope to be up there in the race for the championship."
The team will being testing for 2006 in December.
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