Yamaha’s factory-supported World Superbike team, Sterilgarda Yamaha, tipped part of it’s rider line-up last week when it announced that Marco Melandri would be making the move from MotoGP to WSBK. Now the Yamaha squad has released the name of its second rider, and we’ll give you a hint: it’s not James Toseland. Instead for the 2011 season, Sterilgarda Yamaha will be tapping into the young Irish rider Eugene Laverty, who is currently looking for a World Supersport Championship with the Parkalgar Honda squad.
With Toseland getting the obvious boot, the story around Laverty’s promotion takes an obvious turn. With no credible rumors being circulated about where the British rider will land (we sort of like the BMW squad gossip ourselves), Toseland’s future seems a bit uncertain. Currently sitting seventh in the World Superbike Championship points, with about half as many points as leader Max Biaggi, Toseland hasn’t been the dominate force in WSBK that he once was, and you could even call hist performance lackluster.
All this makes for an easy reason why Yamaha decided to pass on renewing Toseland’s contract with the factory. Now with certainly no future in MotoGP, Toseland will have to find a new ride in WSBK. Some reports have linked him to a return with Ten Kate Honda, but the Dutch squad has retained Johnny Rea for next season, and rumors suggest the team might be in financial trouble. This doesn’t leave a lot of options for JT, more news as we get it.
Source: Yamaha Racing; Photos: EugeneLaverty.com