The Yamaha YZF-R1 has proved itself on and off the track, claiming victory in the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race alongside the British and American Superbike Championship titles during the first year of its triumphant return to motorsports in 2015. The R1 has since gone on to make it four consecutive victories at Suzuka (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), plus also won the 2016/2017 FIM Endurance World Championship in the hands of the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team. In 2018 the YZF-R1 secured three race wins in the FIM Superbike World Championship, with Michael van der Mark adding a fourth victory in 2019 when he took the race win in Jerez.
Replicating the production motorcycle, the WorldSBK-Spec YZF-R1 is adapted for World Championship competition by removing road-safety aspects such as headlights and wing-mirrors, replacing bodywork with racing items and allowing modifications to engine management, exhaust systems, suspension, brakes and a number of engine parts. Current regulations stipulate the bike must weigh a minimum of 168kg, with power ranging between 750cc and 1200cc, depending on the number of cylinders the engine contains, while the tuning of race machines is now subject to more limitations than in previous years due to the restriction of technical modifications.
Now in their fifth year back in the FIM Superbike World Championship, Yamaha has been showing the competition what makes them one of the most well respected and timeless names in motorsport. With consistent results and year on year improvements to form, the YZF-R1 earned six podiums in 2017 for the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team’s Alex Lowes (4) and Michael van der Mark (2), establishing them as regular podium contenders by the end of the season.