Yamaha Announces Return to World Superbike for 2016

Crescent Racing to run team, with PATA as title sponsor. Riders are...

Yamaha's return to the World Superbike championship marks the end of a five-year hiatus from the series. The last season that the manufacturer officially competed in was back in 2011, two short years after Ben Spies had earned the manufacturer its first World Superbike Championship title.

The World Superbike paddock has been something like a highschool hallway for the past few months, with rumors and gossip regarding Yamaha's return to the championship swirling around and steadily gaining steam. Those rumors were put to bed today, however, with Yamaha Europe announcing its official return to the championship starting in 2016.

And we finally have an idea of what the team will look like, with Yamaha Europe going on to announce that the team will be run by Crescent Racing and with Italian snack company PATA as the title sponsor. Crescent Racing is, of course, a UK-based team who has over the years had a strong relationship with Suzuki and been responsible for the ongoing (and probably painful) development of its long-in-the-tooth GSX-R1000 race bike. PATA, on the other hand, has been the title sponsor for the Ten Kata Honda World Superbike team.

In regards to riders, Yamaha Europe also announced that it has signed a deal with 2014 World Superbike Champion Sylvain Guintoli and 2013 British Superbike Champion Alex Lowes, who currently rides for the Voltcom Crescent Suzuki team and thus already has a good working relationship with the Crescent Racing staff.

Of course, Yamaha's announcement also puts to bed any rumors regarding the possibility of recently crowned MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier moving to the World Superbike paddock aboard a factory R1.

How will the the Crescent Racing Yamaha team and the new-for-2015 R1 fair against Kawasaki's new ZX-10R that was recently teased by Kawasaki? We can't wait to find out.