News 3 Feb 2010

Oz RR: Yamaha Racing confirms Xtreme switch, with a twist

Yamaha's champions Bryan Staring, Pat Medcalf and Rick Olson will focus on FX with just one ASBK round in 2010.

Yamaha's champions Bryan Staring, Pat Medcalf and Rick Olson will focus on FX with just one ASBK round in 2010.

Yamaha Motor Australia has confirmed that it will contest the Australian Formula Xtreme Championship in 2010, the Yamaha Racing Team quitting full time Australian Superbike Championship participation as revealed on late last week.

However, a twist to the saga is that the YRT team will compete in the Australian Formula Xtreme Championship series as well as selected international events, kicking off with the Yamaha World Superbike round at Phillip Island at the end of this month.

That part of the announcement comes as a surprise that adds a single ASBK round to YRT’s schedule for the season, although Yamaha is yet to confirm whether or not it will contest the MotoGP support races at the end of the season if the national domestic races are confirmed on the schedule as non-championship rounds.

YRT will field three riders for 2010, all reigning national champions in their respective classes, with Bryan Staring, Pat Medcalf and Rick Olson all announced to be officially remaining with Yamaha to race in the Formula Xtreme FX1000 and FX600 classes during the new season.

As reported on, current Australian Supersport Champion Bryan Staring will compete in the FX1000 and FX600 classes while Pat Medcalf will once again ride his all-conquering YZF-R1 in the FX1000 class only. Reigning Superstock 600 Champion Rick Olson will line up on a YZF-R6 in the FX600 category.

YRT plans to enter all riders on Supersport machines at selected events such as the Yamaha World Superbike ASBK round, which takes place at Phillip Island on 26-28 February.

According to a press release issued by Yamaha this afternoon, “the decision to compete in the Formula Xtreme Series reflects YMA and YRT’s need to be cost effective and policy to promote the growth of grass roots racing by competing with machines that are close to showroom spec. The Formula Xtreme Championship offers the best method to achieve this goal, with popular tracks close to large population centres like Winton, Wakefield and Eastern Creek at its disposal and a tried and trusted infrastructure that saw full grids and decent crowds in 2009. Plus guaranteed TV coverage on free-to-air at a regular timeslot (SBS Speedweek) ensures a high level of exposure nationwide for the Formula Xtreme series”.

YMA director and general manager Steven Cotterell looks forward to assisting in the development of YRT’s young guns, three of the most talented up and comers in Australia.

“Yamaha wants to promote growth in road racing in Australia, both in participation and spectator numbers. In order to achieve this, we believe a move toward the grass roots and in particular Superstock machines is necessary. Racing bikes that are close to showroom spec makes for close dicing action, it decreases the gaps between privateers and factory race teams which should offer a more level playing field. And it should also encourage customers to head to the showrooms to buy similar bikes,” explained Cotterell.

“The Formula Xtreme Series offers the classes, the infrastructure and the most suitable venues to achieve the goal of re-energising road racing in Australia. Because the FX series is a two part championship that takes place in summer and winter 2010, it offers both a high level of flexibility and cost effectiveness. And the extra events will allow increased exposure for competing race teams. Yamaha remains dedicated to road racing in a cost effective environment that will continue to promote the sport and foster homegrown riding talent,” Cotterell concluded.