Yamaha’s new BSB squad

Keith Flint’s Trac­tion Con­trol team step up to BSB with El­li­son and Laverty and Yamaha fac­tory back­ing

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - OLI RUSHBY BSB REPORTER oli.rushby@mo­tor­cy­cle­news.com

James El­li­son and Michael Laverty will spear­head a fac­tory-backed bid to lift the BSB crown in 2017.

The MCAMS Yamaha team will be run by the Team Trac­tion Con­trol squad, which has fought for the Bri­tish Su­per­sport ti­tle for the last two sea­sons and won 600cc races on the roads with Ian Hutchin­son. The move up to the Su­per­bike class for 2017 comes as Yamaha Mo­tor Europe re-in­tro­duce a fac­tory-sup­ported team to the Bri­tish se­ries.

The MCAMS Yamaha is look­ing to re­peat the suc­cess en­joyed by Mil­wau­kee Yamaha who took Josh Brookes to the ti­tle in 2015.

Team Trac­tion Con­trol is owned by Prodigy front man Keith Flint who is hop­ing to get El­li­son and Laverty to turn po­ten­tial into a proper cham­pi­onship-win­ning cam­paign. El­li­son had an­other roller­coaster sea­son in 2016 with JG Speed­fit Kawasaki and Laverty strug­gled tyo get to grips with the Tyco BMW.

“To be hon­est, af­ter three years with Gb­moto and Kawasaki it got to the point where a change had to be good for me,” El­li­son told MCN. “I had to adapt my style to suit the Kawasaki a lot and while we had some suc­cess, I’m not sure how much fur­ther we could have taken it as we were mak­ing so many com­pro­mises as I’ve got quite a high cor­ner speed style which didn’t work with that bike but I feel that will change with the R1.

“It is go­ing to be a big change for me but I’m tak­ing a lot of my crew with me. It has to be a ti­tle-chal­leng­ing year again for us. I’ve won races with three dif­fer­ent man­u­fac­tur­ers so far in my BSB ca­reer and we’ve fought for the ti­tle in a num­ber of years now, so there’s no rea­son why next year should be any dif­fer­ent.”

Michael Laverty only man­aged eighth in 2016 af­ter a tor­rid time with the Tyco BMW team de­spite start­ing the sea­son as a favourite for the ti­tle.

Laverty ex­plained: “The split be­tween my­self and Tyco is com­pletely am­i­ca­ble. We won two races and fought at the front at the start of the sea­son, but that just stopped in the sec­ond half of the year and it be­came re­ally dif­fi­cult to repli­cate the feel­ing I was get­ting from the bike ear­lier in the year. We couldn’t find that ex­tra per­for­mance and then in the end I wasn’t even get­ting the best out of what I had un­der me as I was try­ing too hard to im­prove.

“I have to be back at the front next year, there’s no other op­tion re­ally but I feel that in the MCAMS Yamaha team I will have the chance to do that. The Yamaha I rode in 2011 is one of my favourite bikes so fin­gers crossed it’ll all come to­gether.”

Tar­ran Macken­zie will also ride for the team. He will con­test the Bri­tish Su­per­sport cham­pi­onship as he tries to de­fend his ti­tle.

‘I have to back at the front next year and I feel I can do that with Yamaha’ MICHAEL LAVERTY

Rid­ers Laverty, El­li­son and Macken­zie join team bosses Keith Flint and Grant Bunting

El­li­son and Laverty al­ready look to be get­ting on well at the team’s launch at the NEC

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