Professional presentation of the YRT Pit
Yamaha 1-2-3 freight train in the Superstock class.

Yamaha Racing - Taking Stock of Superstock

6 Oct 2010

Yamaha Racing Team is currently dominating the 2010 Formula Xtreme 1000cc and 600cc race classes with riders Kevin Curtain, Pat Medcalf and Rick Olson ensuring that the 1-2 spots are occupied by Team Blue.

YRT deserves major credit for this effort, because at the beginning of the season the team faced a great deal of uncertainty. In line with many other race teams around the globe, YRT was forced to deal with sizeable budget cuts. So in consultation with major sponsor Yamaha Motor Australia, the team decided to abandon the previously contested superbike class and go superstock racing.

We found that superstock bikes are cheaper to build and run than superbikes, plus they are much closer to the models on dealers shop floors… so are more relevant to Yamaha customers. And by contesting the cost effective superstock classes, YRT saved on the travel expense that would have been incurred had they competed in the superbike class.

“The decision was a no brainer really. Superbikes are expensive to build and expensive to run. But superstock bikes can be built and run at a fraction of the cost. And when you factor in the travel costs saved, we found that we could operate well within our smaller budgets. So much so that we have been able to compete in selected  supersport races where the event’s location meant we were still able to stay within budget,” explains Team Manager John Redding.

Superstock rules mean that there are a limited number of changes that can be made to the bike, including no engine modifications. In previous years, YRT crew chief Kevin Marshall and his team would spend days working on the dyno to perfect race engines for the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6. Now their efforts are concentrated on ensuring each bike is set up to the rider’s preference before heading out onto the track.

“Racing is often seen as a bit of a money pit. But this is not the case with YRT’s current setup. We have tasted success before but if you look at value offered for the dollars invested, this has been one of our most successful seasons to date,” adds Redding.

“The team and the riders have enjoyed extensive exposure by competing in the superstock classes of the Formula Xtreme series. That’s because this series is covered nationally on free-to-air TV thanks to SBS (Speedweek) and on pay-to-view on Fox Sports (Inside Speed). In addition, magazines such as AMCN give regular coverage to the series. Of course it helps to be out front, but to achieve this level of exposure on what is a shoestring compared to previous years is worth shouting about,” he explains.

YMA and YRT agree that under the current economic climate, superstock racing offers many clear advantages. Cheaper operating costs means more riders can compete and there is less difference between the machines, which places the emphasis on rider skill. This also makes for close, exciting racing.

Because of this cost effectiveness and the competitiveness of riders on similar machines, superstock class is the ideal format to unearth race talent. It is a class that up and coming riders can win, which can only be good for the growth of the sport at a grass roots level. One example is YRD support rider Cru Halliday who took out the 2010 Australian Superstock 1000 title on his YZF-R1.

Needless to say, YRT will be back next season aiming to spread the superstock message. See the team in action at the final round of the FX Championship will be held on 29-31 October at Eastern Creek.

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