World Supersport star Sam Lowes has made a shock switch to the Russian-based Yakhnich Yamaha team in a three-year deal which will see him move up to World Superbikes in 2014.
The Lincolnshire man will parner existing rider Vladimir Leonov in the squad which will receive technical support from Yamaha Motor Europe,
"I'm very happy to be joining the Yakhnich Motorsport Team. They have given me a fantastic opportunity to compete and fight for the world title in 2013," said Lowes.
"I've seen how professionally they work and how their performances increased during the 2012 season and that's why I think I'm now in the right place at the right moment to be able to win next year's championship.
"I look forward to riding the Yamaha R6, a very strong bike, and starting my work with the Yakhnich team very soon. I'm very excited. Thanks to the whole team for their belief in me and support and all the fans behind me! Roll on 2013!"