Michael van der Mark will join Alex Lowes in the PATA Yamaha World Superbike team for 2017, it has finally been confirmed.
As MCN reported in July, Van der Mark will replace Sylvain Guintoli in the Crescent Racing squad after parting company with the Honda World Superbike team.
The Dutchman has made no secret that his goal is to be in MotoGP by 2018, and MCN understands there is potential for a seat at Tech 3 Yamaha to materialise for the 23-year-old should be achieve the WSB success Yamaha are yet to enjoy with their latest R1.
2016 has been a difficult year for the PATA Yamaha outfit as they work to develop the YZF-R1. Both Lowes and team-mate Guintoli have shown flashes of pace but were unable to mount a consistent challenge due to a number of variables, not least both riders missing races through injury.
"I'm very much looking forward to this new challenge with Yamaha,” Van der Mark said. “I could see the potential of the R1 during its first World Superbike season this year and I'm convinced that with further development and the full support of Yamaha and the team I will have the right package to fight for the World Superbike title next year.
"It is never an easy decision to leave a team and a manufacturer after so many years and successes, I will always remain grateful for the support received and I will give my maximum for the remainder of this season to get as many podiums as possible."
This announcement comes as Sylvain Guintoli confirmed to Motorcycle News that he’s considering a return to the British Superbike championship for 2017.
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