Yamaha GMT94 moves up to World Superbike

After having contested in the World Supersport Championship for the last two years, the Yamaha GMT94 team will move up to the World Superbike Championship in 2008. In addition to this and following on from their Bol d'Or win in 2007, Yamaha...

After having contested in the World Supersport Championship for the last two years, the Yamaha GMT94 team will move up to the World Superbike Championship in 2008. In addition to this and following on from their Bol d'Or win in 2007, Yamaha GMT94 will continue to enter the world's two most demanding Endurance races -- the Le Mans 24 Hours and the Bol d'Or 24 Hours.

The Guyot Motorcycling Team was founded in 1992 by Christophe Guyot - himself a former rider and passionate sportsman - with the aim of making motorcycle racing more accessible to the young people of France. In 2003, the team linked up with Yamaha Motor France to become a more professional concern and has since gone from strength to strength, including becoming Endurance World Champion in 2004. Now known as the Yamaha GMT94 team, the squad operates a strategy focused on two very different road race classes -- sprint racing and endurance racing.

For 2008, the team is moving into the World Superbike Championship, although they are continuing with the current team line up of David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert. 2004 Endurance World Champion David Checa, aged 27, has raced in World Supersport with the Yamaha GMT team for the past two seasons. The younger brother of Carlos Checa, David's racing pedigree includes 250GP and European Supersport before he moved into Endurance racing in 2003. In addition, that same year he was Pirelli's WSB control tyre tester and participated in a handful of WSB races. This WSB experience will stand him in good stead for 2008 as he re-enters the WSB fray once more.

Sebastien Gimbert is also a long-time member of the Yamaha GMT94 Team, having first joined the team's Endurance effort in 2004 and becoming world champion in the same year. Like many Frenchmen the 30 year-old has specialised in the Endurance scene, having won the Bol d'Or with Checa and the GMT94 team in 2007 as well winning the Le Mans 24 Hours in 2005. But to date he also has 45 WSB races under his belt. Gimbert achieved his best WSB result in 2004 when he scored two fourth position finishes at Magny-Cours. This success was enough to gain him a full-time WSB ride with Yamaha Motor France the following year, although a broken leg during the season prevented him from showing his full potential.

As well as contesting the WSB Championship, David Checa and Sebastien Gimbert will contest the Le Mans and Bol d'Or races once again in 2008, this time with British rider Steve Plater. In 2007 the Yamaha GMT94 Team won the Bol d'Or for the first time in style with a five lap lead, after having already won as a team twice the Le Mans 24hrs and numerous other Endurance events.

Yamaha GMT94 will receive some support from Yamaha Motor Europe who recognise the importance of Endurance racing in France and the dream of team owner Guyot to grow steadily to become a future top contender in World Superbikes.

-credit: yamaha-racing.com

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