Michael van der Mark To Leave Yamaha WorldSBK Team At The End Of 2020

Yamaha have announced that Michael van der Mark will be leaving their WorldSBK team at the end of the 2020 WorldSBK season. After what will be four seasons with the Pata Yamaha squad, the 27-year-old Dutchman has decided to leave for pastures new.

There is as yet no confirmation of where Van der Mark is heading, but reports on Speedweek suggest his destination is likely to be BMW. With Kawasaki already having signed Alex Lowes and Jonathan Rea, and little interest from either Ducati or Honda, BMW is the obvious choice.

That would also automatically lower the combined age of the BMW team. At 27, Van der Mark is 7 years younger than either Tom Sykes or Eugene Laverty, who are both 34. Which one of the two is likely to stay is as yet uncertain. Tom Sykes has proven himself to be competitive on the S1000RR, but Eugene Laverty's development feedback has been rated extremely highly wherever he has ridden. That could be a crucial factor for a pairing with Van der Mark, who is not known for his feedback, though his speed is never in question.

Why would Van der Mark leave Yamaha? There is a strong possibility his departure is linked to the arrival of Toprak Razgatlioglu in the Pata Yamaha squad. For years, Van der Mark was seen as the up-and-coming young talent in WorldSBK, until Razgatlioglu arrived on the scene. For the young Turkish rider to be signed into the Yamaha squad, and then feted for his victory in race 1 at Phillip Island, the first WorldSBK race of 2020, would have been tough for Van der Mark to bear. If he believed, or felt he deserved, the number one position in the team, this would have dented his confidence that this was so.

Who replaces Van der Mark at Pata Yamaha is also unclear. The obvious choice would be to take a rider from the GRT Yamaha team, or perhaps even Loris Baz from Ten Kate. But there are no signs of a choice having been made there yet.

The Yamaha press release announcing Van der Mark's departure appears below:

Yamaha and Van der Mark to Part Company at Conclusion of 2020 WorldSBK Season

Yamaha and Michael van der Mark will part ways at the end of the 2020 FIM Superbike World Championship season, with the 27-year-old Dutch rider opting to take on a new challenge in 2021. Van der Mark's departure brings to a close a four-year partnership that has so far brought three WorldSBK race wins and two victories at the prestigious Suzuka 8 Hour race.

Van der Mark joined the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team in 2017 and twice finished on the podium during his debut season. The following year saw the Dutch rider secure his first WorldSBK race win, and Yamaha's first since returning to the championship in 2016, with victory in Race 1 at Donington Park. Van der Mark doubled up with a win in the following day's Race 2 and, with eight additional podium finishes over the course of the season, ended the year third in the championship standings.

The former FIM Supersport World Champion added to his win tally in 2019 with victory in Race 2 at Jerez but was sidelined by injury in the following round at Misano following a crash in free practice. Despite missing out at Misano and riding injured at the following two rounds, Van der Mark racked up eight podium finishes in 2019 to end the season fourth in the championship standings.

The Pata Yamaha rider was a contender for the win in all three races at the opening round of the 2020 season in Australia but was unfortunate to miss out on the chance to add to his podium tally. Since the Phillip Island round, racing has been suspended due the coronavirus pandemic, but Van der Mark will return to action next month, with the WorldSBK season set to resume with back-to-back races in Jerez and Portimão.

Both Yamaha and Van der Mark head into the rescheduled 2020 season determined to end their successful four-year collaboration on a high note, by battling for race wins and, ultimately, challenging for the World Championship title.


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... I would be clamoring for Pata to get Beaubier onboard for 2 seasons, sadly I can't imagine Cam wanting to go 'global' in a pandemic world that doesn't seem to be sorting itself anytime soon. I still think he has the speed and still-developing racecraft to be a WSBK great.


Beaubier looks on an uptick. Toni Elias has provided a good measuring stick for the Natl series.

Hope the World noticed Garrett Gerloff at P.I., he speaks well for the USA - ran 8th for a long time, wasn't it? Impressed me. He was out running some of our best.

Rather odd case of VdM - he looks to be leaving the Yamaha when it is looking like a bike that has reached the front. Two part move: one, he sees himself getting beaten by Toprak. He has been in one place a while. Two, he sees what Sykes did on that beautiful BMW...the bike is pulling riders to it. For now, BMW will have a few "2nd best on their old team and perhaps up for another blossom on different machinery" riders.

Looks a good plan for rider #1, I think less so for both. Better is the good old script where #2 should be a younger riser, or coming from MotoGP. But VdM is good, young, and may get on quite well with the new bike.

Anyone else very interested in what Camier can do on the Honda? Already believing what Red Redding will? Think Rea will show vulnerability this year? There is a swarm.

Isn't Camier on a Duc this year? Sure I saw a pic of him testing a second tier V4R on twitter the other day (Barni Racing maybe?)! Still interested to see how he gets on with it, as it's a proven package, but where it's not a factory bike, I think he'll just hover around the 5th - 10th mark unfortunately. I'm hoping Leon Haslam can show Bautista the way home every week and that Big Red gets right up the front as soon as possible. Could be a really fun, hectic mini season and I can't wait!

Thanks. Twice in two weeks failing my mental status test. I had just watched video from the Misano test in Italian too and had been pondering much. Duc. Camier on the Duc.

(I write these quickly in my phone, usually a work break, and apparently am losing a few bolts)

The first, never, unless he gives up on having his own MotoGP team. Sever the ties and people will quickly forget.

The second, wouldn't that be fun. WSBK badly needs a pantomime villian and Jorge would be perfect. I'm serious. And for the sake of clarity, it's usual to love the villian even when you're boo-ing. I also think he'd rip WSBK apart, could dominate for years and just might be a catalyst for other greats to come and play.

Looks like magic Michael may make a move. I thought Yamaha was in a good position this "season".

The BMW looks good & getting better. Could be a good move for Van der Mark, time will tell.


Some positive talk from the Bimmer team. Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsport Director says “It was absolutely great to be back at the racetrack after such a long break. We had a very good test at the Lausitzring in consistent conditions and tested several new parts. We are very confident that we will be coming back stronger than we were before the break. We are looking forward to returning to racing at Jerez and show our competitiveness.”

Phillip island February/March seems a long time ago. I re-watched the Aussie superbike races recently but haven't refreshed my memory regarding World SBK.

Garrett Gerloff took 14th in race 1. Then was involved in someone else's problem (Sandro Cortese). That was the end of Gerloff's racing from memory. Yes just two championship points. He was riding well before being ruled out. See the first paragraph of Jared's report.


Both Leons are BSB champions. never mind my brain fade from yesterday. Apologies to Leon Haslam.

Leon Haslam was at KRT and has moved to the factory Honda SBK team. Haslam is 37

Leon Camier did three & a half seasons on the MV Agusta superbike, is/was at Barni racing on a V4R, at the first round at Phillip island. Four months ago, before the end of the world as we knew it. Last season Camier was on the ancient fireblade.

L.C.2 & I share a birthday so he must be good.

L.C. 2 is the tall guy, pocket rocket Leon Haslam less tall. Camier(33) has won one BSB chip & a British supersport chip.

Haslam's best result was FIRST in the BSB championship. Plenty of wins, poles and fastest laps. Second was wrong sorry all. My mistake

Leon Haslam won the BSB championship in 2018 on the Speedfit Kawasaki & was close to winning in 2017. My brain has started working again. In 2017 Leon Haslam was close to winning the chip, it went down to the final round, last race. Championship down to the last race at Brands Hatch between Shane Byrne, Leon Haslam and Josh Brookes. My bad. At the time I wanted Aussie Josh Brookes to win or Shakey on the Ducati. Shane Byrne did win his last BSB title on the Ducati iirc.

Haslam won the BSB title in 2018 and if he hadn't had lousy luck would have done the same in 17. He's a class act.

Right you are Lilyvani, my mistake. I was aware Haslam won the BSB at the time but memory failed me yesterday. Yes Leon Haslam won the BSB championship in 2018 with a near perfect season. I checked, looked in the wrong place & got it wrong.

I messed up. Haslam champ in 2018; "699 points, 15 wins, 4 doubles, 1 treble and finished every race." says Wikipedia at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Superbike_Championship#British_Superbike_Champions

Where I had a quick look yesterday Leon Haslam Wiki page; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Haslam omitted the 2017 & 2018 BSB seasons. My mistake.

Don't believe everything you see on the web. I shall attempt to do better in future.