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