In 2012, there will not be an official Yamaha team in the World Superbike series. Yamaha announced today that they will end their participation in the World Superbike series in order to focus more on "customer" activities.
Yamaha said in a press release:
"Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. (YME) has decided to withdraw their official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship...
"Due to this decision more resource and focus will now be used for direct "Customer" activities to ultimately add more value to Yamaha ownership and increased Customer Satisfaction."
Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty, who are currently third and fourth in the 2011 World Superbike standings, will have to find a new home in 2012. Yamaha said that they will continue to give full support to Melandri and Laverty until the end of the season, in the hopes of claiming one final World Superbike title.
Yamaha will also keep its road racing kit parts available for the R1 and R6 for privateer teams.
"YME would like to express their sincere thanks and appreciation for the total commitment, support, and passion shown by the extremely professional and dedicated riders and team members both past and present throughout the many years of participation in the FIM Superbike World Championship," Yamaha added.