BSB: McAMS Yamaha to leave championship at the end of 2023

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McAMS Yamaha will not be on the 2024 Bennetts British Superbike Championship grid following owner Steve Rodgers’ decision to scale back on his involvement in racing after three decades.

Rodgers’ Raceways Motorcycles squad, known as McAMS Yamaha for the last seven years, has become one of the most successful in BSB. As the official Yamaha Motor UK team, Raceways have collected 42 superbike victories and 107 further podiums.

McAMS Yamaha became triple champions in 2021 when they won the riders championship with Tarran Mackenzie, as well as collecting the team and manufacturer crowns. With Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran onboard, the team were almost unstoppable in 2021, picking up a combined total of 22 victories from 33 races.

“It will be the end of the era when the garage doors come down on the McAMS Yamaha team for the final time at Brands Hatch in October,” Rodgers said. “Many of the staff and sponsors within this team have been with us since the early years and in that time, it’s become like a family.

“It’s rare to have that loyalty, especially from a title sponsor with McAMS having been with us from the start of the journey in 2017 to the end in 2023. However, all good things must come to an end and together, we feel now is the right time.”

Domination for Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O'Halloran at Snetterton

Rodgers has been involved in motorcycle racing since 1989 when he entered a team in the Mini-Stock Championship, before venturing into the British 125 Championship. This included a wildcard at the 1993 British Grand Prix.

Between 1997 and 1999, Rodgers’ team entered the British Supersport and Superstock championships with Honda, before taking a hiatus until 2006 when they returned to the Superstock class with Hudson Kennaugh and then Jon Kirkham.

Raceways Motorcycles finished runner-up three years on the bounce in the Supersport class with Kennaugh, Billy McConnell and James Westmoreland on the Yamaha R6.

Another short break from racing followed before returning as support for the late Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control in 2014. This partnership saw Ian Hutchinson go unbeaten in the Supersport class at the Isle of Man TT in 2015 and 2016.

Transitioning into McAMS Yamaha and a factory effort in 2017, Rodgers’ team has tasted victory with the likes of James Ellison, Michael Laverty, Josh Brookes, Mackenzie and O’Halloran.

“I have been involved in motorcycle racing for over 30 years and some of the best and most cherished memories of that time have been formed in the last seven years with the McAMS Yamaha team, including the highlight of our time in racing winning the British Championship with Tarran in 2021,” Rodgers continues.

“We have to sincerely thank everyone who’s helped us over the years, not least our loyal sponsors but also Yamaha Motor UK for trusting us to represent their brand at the highest level of racing in the UK and of course, every single member of staff who has worked for the team in this team.

“However, it’s not over yet and we remain committed to fighting for victories for the remainder of the season to end our story on a high.”  

McAMS Yamaha duo Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O'Halloran battle at Brands Hatch

O’Halloran is currently sixth in the 2023 standings after securing one victory and three further podiums so far this season. Following Tim Neave’s decision to take time away from racing, Tito Rabat joined team as his replacement, picking up a best result of 10th at Snetterton.

Raceways Motorcycles will continue to provide support to Yamaha teams within the paddock through their GYTR Pro Shop, including R1, R6 and the R7 in the new Pirelli National Sportbike Championship.

“Every generation of BSB has standout teams and McAMS Yamaha is definitely one of them, not only for their success, but also for their professionalism under the guidance and expertise of Steve Rodgers of Raceways Motorcycles,” BSB Series Director, Stuart Higgs added.

“It is natural that after a tenure this long, that there will come a point where it is time to take a step back and Steve thoroughly deserves his retirement from racing. I would personally like to thank Steve and his team at Raceways Motorcycles for their dedication to the sport and also my best wishes for the future.”

An announcement regarding the future of Yamaha’s factory effort in the BSB class will be made in due course.