Yamaha Announces Supersport Line-up for 2001

Brett Ratner
by Brett Ratner
Following this year's double win in the Supersport Riders and ManufacturersWorld Championships, Yamaha has announced its official Supersport team lineup for the 2001 season. The company's strategy for retaining the trophiesnext year is to focus attention on two R6-mounted teams, both running withtop name riders who are capable of securing a title victory.

2000 World Champion Jörg Teuchert and Christian Kellner remain teammates inthe highly successful Yamaha Motor Germany-based Alpha Technik team.

Reflecting on his world title season, Teuchert said: "I can say this year wereally experienced all the highs and lows of racing; it was an emotionaljourney but with a fantastic climax. Because we had to fight so hard throughgood and bad times it made the whole team stronger. This strength, plus alot of workshop time over the winter, will I hope make us unbeatable nextyear. I was looking forward to the winter break but now I can't wait to getback into it."

The Yamaha Belgarda Team will undergo a progressive restructure for nextseason, with changes to riders, staff and management. Former GP andSuperbike star, Paolo Casoli, will line up alongside Britain's James Whithamwho stays with the squad next season. Casoli is no stranger to theMilan-based distributor team after he replaced Mauro Lucchiari mid-season '94 as a privateer World Superbike entry on the YZF750, and subsequentlyprogressed to a factory-supported ride when Yamaha fielded its firstofficial team in '95. His switch to Ducati in '96 was the prelude to aSupersport World Series title in '97 and expectations are running high for aWorld Championship win with Yamaha in 2001.

"It's a good move for me, and I think I will settle into Belgarda easilybecause I spent so much time with them in the past," commented the Italian,who is currently in Spain testing the R6 for the first time. "I've only had30 laps on the bike so I'm still finding out the differences over the twin,but I can already feel that it's an easy package to ride and the enginepulls very strongly."

Bringing his extensive experience of the team and the bike to thechampionship title fight, fellow countryman Massimo Meregalli has hung uphis leathers to take on the job of Belgarda team coordinator.

In 2000 the R6 won the Manufacturers prize for Yamaha for a secondsuccessive year, and development will continue apace over the winter monthsto maintain the bike's competitive edge. Next year's road-going version islighter and sharper with a range of upgrades and improvements to thechassis, engine and electrics to reinforce its position as the number onemachine in its class.

Biographies and career highlights

Jörg Teuchert

Nationality: GermanDate of Birth: 27.2.70Place of Birth: Simmelsdorf, GermanyResides: Simmelsdorf, GermanyStatus: SingleHeight: 182 cmWeight: 70 kgHobbies: Riding motorcycles and mountain bikes2001: Supersport World Championship, Alpha Technik Yamaha Team, YZF-R62000: Supersport World Champion1999: 4th, Supersport World Championship1998: German Supersport Champion1997: German Supersport Champion1996: 5th, German Supersport Championship1995: 8th, German Supersport Championship and 'Rookie of the Year.'1994: 2nd, Yamaha 600 Cup

Christian Kellner

Nationality: GermanDate of Birth: 07.12.71Place of Birth: Waging, GermanyResides: Waging, GermanyStatus: SingleHeight: 170 cmWeight: 63 kgHobbies: Mountain biking, swimming, motocross2001: Supersport World Championship, Alpha Technik Yamaha Team, YZF-R62000: 4th, Supersport World Championship1999: 6th, Supersport World Championship1996: 1st, German 125cc Production Championship1995: Debut season in German 125cc Production Championship1994: 3rd, ADAC Junior Cup (first year racing)

Jamie Whitham

Nationality: BritishDate of Birth: 06.9.66Place of Birth: Halifax, UKResides: Huddersfield, UKStatus: Married to AndreaHeight: 174 cmWeight: 69 kgHobbies: Mountain biking, drums2001: Supersport World Championship, Belgarda Yamaha Team, YZF-R62000: 6th Supersport World Championship1999: Won Donington round of Supersport World Championship, 3rd, Le Mans24hrs race1998: 8th, Superbike World Championship1997: 8th, Superbike World Championship1996: 2nd, British Superbike Championship1995: Won 11 out of 16 British Superbike rounds before illness halted season1994: 7th, Superbike World Championship1993: Won British Supercup Championship and TT Superbike Championship1992: 9th, French round of 500 GP World Championship1991: Won MCN TT SBK British Championship1989: 2nd, British 600 Championship1988: British Unlimited Production Series Champion1986: British 80 class Champion

Paolo Casoli

Nationality: ItalianDate of Birth: 18.8.65Place of Birth: Castelnovo, ItalyResides: Reggio Emilia, ItalyStatus: Married to Catia with one sonHeight: 177 cmWeight: 69 kgHobbies: Skiing, art, furniture2001: Supersport World Championship, Yamaha Belgarda Team, YZF-R62000: 2nd, Supersport World Championship, Ducati1999: 13th, Supersport World Championship, Ducati; Italian SuperbikeChampion1998: 4th, Supersport World Championship, Ducati1997: Winner, Supersport World Series, Ducati; Italian Supersport Champion1996: 14th Superbike World Championship, Yamaha; Italian Superbike Champion1995: 16th Superbike World Championship, Yamaha; Italian Superbike Champion1994: 13th, Superbike World Championship, Yamaha1993: 19th, 250 GP World Championship, Gilera1991: 10th, 250 GP World Championship, Yamaha1987: 3rd, 125 GP World Championship, AGV

For more information on Yamaha's involvement in Grand Prix, Superbike andSupersport plus profiles of riders and teams, connect to: www.yamaha-racing.com

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