James Ellison and Michael Laverty will head up the all-new McAMS Yamaha team in the MCE British Superbike Championship next year.
Stepping up from the British Supersport class, the squad formerly known as Team Traction Ctrl will field two YZF-R1 machines under the McAMS banner with support from Yamaha Motor Europe akin to that of the Milwaukee Yamaha team that took the title with Josh Brookes in 2015.
With both Ellison and Laverty suffering difficult seasons in 2015, they are both hoping for a turn of fortune next year as they return to a manufacturer with whom they have enjoyed considerable success in the past.
“This is a new challenge for me,” said Ellison. “I have raced with Kawasaki for three years and now to return to Yamaha is something I am really excited about. I feel that the Yamaha suits my style and we finished second together in the 2009 season so we have good memories to build on. We all know how strong the series is so I had to go for what I thought was a championship-winning package and I strongly believe that the TTC Team with the might of Yamaha behind them is exactly what I need to deliver the Title."
“It is perfect that McAMS have increased their presence in the championship and are spreading awareness of just how beneficial it is to the average road user and dealers alike. They have personally supported me for three years and we are looking forward to celebrating more success together in 2017.”
Laverty added: “I’m really excited to be joining the McAMS Yamaha team for the 2017 season. The R1 is a fantastic motorcycle, it’s a bike built for the race track in many ways! I have very fond memories of my previous tenure on Yamaha machinery in 2011, the DNA of the R1, both in terms of power delivery and chassis performance suit a smooth rider, something that is well aligned to my natural riding style.
“I will have a great team in my corner; working with PJ (Pete Jennings) as my crew chief again is great as we worked together at Swan Yamaha in 2011 so the plan is to pick up where we left off making the transition as seamless as possible.
“BSB is currently tougher than ever, I believe I have put myself in a fantastic position ahead of the 2017 season on one of the ‘plum’ seats. Shakey and Leon Haslam were the top dogs in 2016; they remain on the same machinery next season so it is fair to assume they will again be the guys to beat. I am now looking forward to the challenge ahead.
“We want to be aiming for that level from the start of the season; I am looking forward to the change and as a team we will be doing everything possible over the winter to come out and hit the ground running to fight for podiums from the opening round.”
The team have also confirmed they will continue to run in the British Supersport class with Yamaha’s new YZF-R6 next year. After fighting for the title this year with James Westmoreland, the Raceways squad has signed a deal with reigning champion Tarran Mackenzie for the 2017 season.
The Scotsman said: “I had a great first season in the Supersport Championship and after winning the title I wanted to have a new challenge of trying to win with a different team and manufacturer. The team have a lot of experience in the Supersport class and I know having raced against them this year! I feel really motivated to come back out and defend the title and I am really excited about next year as because everything has really fitted together for us.”
For more on this story, see Wednesday's MCN.
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