Yamalube Yamaha Racing broadens as WBR takes charge of MXD program.
Yamaha Motor Australia has restructured its path to the factory CDR and Serco Yamaha teams ahead of the 2018 Australian motocross and supercross season, adding a fourth officially-supported team to its program.
Longtime ‘Under 19s’ development team, Yamalube Yamaha Racing, is set to feature across a variety of categories from next season, as Whitten Brothers Racing (WBR) will operate the new-look Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Racing squad.
“None of this would be possible without the significant support from our sister companies,” stated Yamaha motorsport manager Ray Howard. “The role Yamaha Motor Insurance (YMI), Yamaha Motor Finance (YMF), Yamalube, GYTR and Ficeda Accessories play in our racing activities can’t be underestimated and I thank them for their contribution and ensure all teams and riders will be working hard to achieve the goals set for them in 2018.”
Yamalube Yamaha Racing will form additional opportunities for upcoming talent to compete in the professional ranks within a team environment prior to potentially moving to the factory CDR Yamaha MX1 or Serco Yamaha MX2 organisations. It’s an added stage of Yamaha’s instrumental step-up program that stems from Yamaha Junior Racing (YJR) all the way through to the all-conquering CDR Yamaha team.
“The gap between MX2 to MX1 or MXD to MX2 can be quite large and sometimes riders just develop at a different rate, but that doesn’t mean we don’t see a future for them at Yamaha,” commented YMA development supervisor Scott Bishop, who has been the driving force behind the in-house Yamalube Yamaha Racing team. It’s to be confirmed what categories the team will take part in next year, once the riders are announced.
“Very rarely does a rider make a seamless progression up the ranks and through the divisions and this team is now designed to surround these riders in a good environment within Yamaha until they are ready for the headlining CDR or Serco Yamaha teams. The restructuring of this team allows more opportunities for riders to grow within Yamaha and ensure we have the best talent pool to choose from in our racing endeavours.”
WBR, which fielded Aaron Tanti and Connor Tierney in MX2 this year, will gain official status from 2018 to become Bulk Nutrients Yamaha Racing, also still due to announce its roster for the new season. The Victorian-based team will solely focus on the MXD division of the MX Nationals from next season.
“Since our transition to Yamaha a few seasons ago, our team has progressed quickly and its amazing to be working with Yamaha who are so passionate about racing,” team manager Travis Whitten explained. “We feel as though we have learned a lot over the past few seasons and this promotion to be an official Yamaha support team is rewarding for myself and all the crew that work on it.
“We have big shoes to fill as the Yamalube Yamaha team were extremely successful in the MXD class, but I’m confident we can do the job as well and it’s our goal to have every junior in Australia aspire to be on our race team when they compete in the MXD class at the MX Nationals.”
It’s also been announced that the YJR program will expand into Tasmania for the 2018 season under former pro-level racer Brody Jennings. As a result, the YJR program is spread across six states with a 14-rider line-up nationally.