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Yamaha Racing lays out WorldSBK, BSB future after confirmation of Yamaha R1 axe

Gold & Goose

Yamaha has reaffirmed its commitment to Superbike racing despite announcing it will axe the Yamaha R1 sportsbike from its road-going range over the next 12 months.

The Iwata marque announced earlier this week that it won't move ahead with plans to directly replace the current generation Yamaha R1 and Yamaha R1M models, a decision that will ultimately see the models axed from the range when the deadline for EU5+ emissions rules comes into force in 2025.

At the time the short statement made no mention of the how the move will affect Yamaha's racing commitments, leading to fears it will initiate a phase out of its programmes in WorldSBK, BSB, MotoAmerica and more.


"Yamaha remains fully committed to racing the R1 in the premier production race classes worldwide, including the FIM Superbike and Endurance World Championships," Yamaha Racing confirmed.

"This commitment also extends to supporting teams and customers who race Yamaha’s flagship Supersport model or utilise it as the ultimate track tool.

"Global production of the R1 will continue in the future, as will the development program that has seen the bike secure world titles in both WorldSBK and EWC.

"While the requirements of Yamaha’s customers have evolved in recent years, the R1 remains a popular choice for teams looking to secure a competitive and cost-effective race package and for individuals focused on enhancing their track experience.

However, a further statement released ahead of the 2024 WorldSBK opening round at Phillip Island confirmed the Yamaha R1 will continue to live on with updates but solely in racing-specification that won't be eligible for use on the road.

The decision reflects a similar move by Yamaha with the smaller R6, which was repackaged and updated to be made available in so called Yamaha R6 RACE trim three years ago. it ensured the R6 was still available - at least until its homologation certificate concludes - for purchase primarily to be used in racing championships, but also for personal track day use.

"From 2025, considering the challenge of meeting the Euro5+ homologation requirements, in Europe the R1 will be made available with specifications aimed exclusively at track use, as was done previously with the R6."

As it stands, the Yamaha R1's current homologation period ends in 2028, which should ensure the machine can be used for racing based on its historical sales performance. Currently, the cornerstone of the WorldSBK Championship states that models are permitted to race provided a certain number of units are sold to the general public.

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