James Toseland (far left) and Cal Crutchlow (for right) and the Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike team show off its new bikes in Italy today.
The Italian Yamaha Sterilgarda World Superbike team, with riders James Toseland and Cal Crutchlow, unveiled its new livery for the 2010 season today at the team’s headquarters in Castiglione delle Stiviere to a host of journalists and sponsors. While slight styling differences make an appearance, such as the rider’s numbers largely displayed on either side faring, a white front fender and updated logo placement, the big news comes in the form of the added performance gains they announced from its ’10 Yamaha R1 Superbikes.
The press release states they found an additional eight peak horsepower, lost 6.6-lbs and updated the radiator shape for increased cooling capacity and reduced drag. They are also now using a new carbon fiber fuel tank, sleeker lower fairing and updated exhaust said to boost mid range. Unlike most teams, which go to great measures to keep performance gains under wraps, the Yamaha team wanted the world to know just what they had developed for the coming season. It seems almost strange for this to be publically announced. Is it a scare tactic for the rest of the WSBK field – they are already defending series champions – or just a ploy to sell more Yamaha R1 street bikes and milk (Sterilgarda is an Italian milk company)?
“The first race is coming up in two weeks and testing has been really promising after riding a GP bike for two years,” said former World Superbike champion Toseland in the release, who comes to the team after two seasons of riding for Yamaha in Grand Prix. “After the test in Phillip Island, personally and machinery-wise everything should be set to compete at the front from the first race.”
Joining Englishman Toseland is fellow UK native Cal Crutchlow, fresh off winning the 2009 World Supersport title for Yamaha. Crutchlow has been impressively quick in testing this pre-season, faster than his more experienced teammate nearly everywhere they have been so far.
A closer look at the bikes shows the updated logos, new number placement and white front fenders. Also of note are the slimmer white lower fairings and new radiators, although these are harder to see.
“I’m looking forward to the year ahead, it’s going to be a good challenge, but tough!” Crutchlow commented. “Testing has gone well, hopefully we can turn that into good results from the first few races and build from there. I know we can do a good job.”
Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp summed up the release by adding: “After an incredibly successful season last year it’s back to business. We have two new riders and we’ve taken the bike to the next level over the winter, we want to keep the world title at Yamaha. The grid is looking really tough this year but we have two of the toughest guys at the front.”