Yamaha 2010 World Superbike Launch Pictures And 2009 Video Recap

Racing is rapidly approaching, and a spate of bike launches have taken place over the last week of so, few of which we have been able to give the coverage or publicity they deserve. Yamaha, however, have made our job extremely easy, providing photographs and video of both the MotoGP and World Superbike launches. Today was the turn of the 2010 Yamaha World Superbike team to unveil its livery. Sterilgarda remains as title sponsor to the team, and Cal Crutchlow and James Toseland have the task of taking up the mantle left behind by departing champion Ben Spies.

The launch also revealed some interesting changes to the 2010 Yamaha YZF-R1. Power is up by 8 horsepower compared to last year, with the benefits coming across the rev range, while the bike is also 3kg lighter. The radiator and lower fairing have been redesigned for better aerodynamics, while also increasing cooling. And the fuel tank has been simultaneously lightened and had its capacity increased. You can read more about the new R1, as well as find out about who and what Sterilgarda is exactly on the Yamaha Racing website. And you can judge the changes for yourself from the photos below:

Yamaha 2010 R1 James Toseland

Yamaha 2010 R1 James Toseland

Yamaha R1 2010 James Toseland

Sterilgarda Yamaha 2010 World Superbike team

Images copyright Yamaha Racing.

Yamaha's 2009 World Superbike Season Retrospective

Yamaha's 2009 World Supersport Season Retrospective

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So the fuel tank has had its capacity increased? I'm guessing that'll come in handy at Monza...

So its 1000cc motogp bike? or a Prototype ?
Different swing arm, tank, race glass, Forks, Brakes, Rear Shock to the show room bike where does it stop?
I bet the engine also rotates in the same direction as the Motogp bike, different to the road bike.

You've identified part of the problem with the WSBK class, and the roots of the dispute between WSBK and MotoGP. A WSBK bike is basically a stock frame with some extra bracing, an engine with a stock bottom end, some limited headwork, a race exhaust, ECU and electronics package. The rest is all prototype.

The suggestion is that a 1000cc MotoGP bike will be an engine which may be based on stock parts, mostly strengthened crankcases, with the rest all prototype. It will not be permitted to use a stock chassis or swingarm. But it's a very fine line between the two.

David, just about all production racing classes are extreme modifications of their donor bikes. About the only class that is truly related to the production machine is Superstock, even my racing SV650 would probably have failed Stock scrutineering. There are 400's out there that bear only a passing resemblance (internally) to how they looked when they left the factory. Show me a British, Australian or German touring car that is anything more than a shell of the donor vehicle. WSBK are not alone in their idea of production racing.

The difference is that WSBK bikes are made of components that just about any team (with the budget) can buy. Obtain a Blade, make standard changes to it, get a good engine tuner and an aftermarket ECU and wiring kit, add some top shelf suspension and you can go racing and probably do place mid field. Add some serious riding talent and some good management and you'll do better. The top teams spend a fortune in team personnel, add customised electronic packages and have engine guru's constantly looking to find that extra kw or two. But they are still working on the base bike. If the donor bike is a dog, there is next to nothing they can do to make it better, other than fine tune what they have. They can't go an make new engines, can't change the engine layout or even dramatically change the engine characteristics. If the chassis is bad, they can brace, alter flex and make suspension changes, but if the balance is bad, there are limitations what can be done. A prototype however, well, how big is you wallet?

Motogp was always supposed to be prototype and I think most people would define a prototype as something that does not have production items on it and therefore cutting edge. Dorna are doing what Bernie and the FOM have done to F1. They do not want to be at the mercy of the manufacturers, any of who could leave tomorrow. There are motorcycle companies first, with shareholders, employees and a balance sheet that needs to be explained. Motogp is a marketing excercise, no more, no less. If you are not winning and losing by large amounts, why would you continue. 20, 30, 40m a year buys a lot of research for your next hyperbike. Hence, make the MotoGP formula something that allows custom chassis makers to enter with radically modified production based engines would allow the championship to continue. But is that what we want to see? Dorna are in danger of devaluing their own product and it's a fine line between success and failure.

BTW, in your first line you talk about how the 'rest is a prototype'. After you've taken out the frame, base engine, limited headwork, ECU and electronics package, what exactly is left to define as 'prototype'?

WHile you are correct, there are some points that make things a little more vague.

First, there are off-the-shelf parts on MotoGP bike (Suspension, electronics, brake calipers) so they cannot be called purely prototype.

Then there is the fact that on a WSBK machine, there is nothing in the rules that says you can fabricate your own parts. How many of these do you have to bolt on before you have a prototype?

The point is that there is no distinguishing line and WSBK have really blurred the distinction by crossing into prototype territory before MotoGP was even considering allowing production-based motors.

I'm thinking Crutchlow to come up with more points out of the two riders. I think it is one of the most ugly race bikes ever, but that does not mean it is not funtional.

cejay world Superstock is not very stock or cheap. they gave up and let the 600 and 1000cc bikes run after market ECU's which i have seen 30,000 euro just for the black box tuner. ( Yamaha)

I made that mistake just racing a SV650 at a club level. The point is (and still remains) that anyone can realistically expect to go racing, even at WSBK level. Deep pockets and/or the ability to tune an engine will see you at the race track, with a bike that can place mid field. Motogp on the other hand has always been a prototype racing series (or at least as long as I can remember) and therefore out of reach of just about everyone except mainstream manufacturers or existing small tuning houses with the ability to create engines.

There is nothing stopping me from buying a CBR1000RR and going racing with it. Heck, if I really want to finish last I could almost run it as national level (Australia) and still make the cutoff. If you remove the cost of running the team, that is very very affordable.

Anyway, I don't really see where all this comparison with WSBK and Motogp takes us. Motogp is supposed to be about cutting edge development and pure racing. It seems that they've thrown that out with these latest rules. WSBK has for many years been a just a silhouette series, but with essential core components directly sourced from the production bike.

All I hope is that the two series don't enter a costly battle and forget that we, the fans, love watching them both and that both have their strengths and weaknesses. Bring on next weekend!