Yamaha officially withdraw from Enduro World Championship

Outsiders Yamaha team will no longer compete in the Enduro World Championship, ending an era of official Japanese manufacturer participation in Enduro GPs

 

With their last official competition wrapped up with Loic Larrieu competing the ISDE in Chile, Outsiders Yamaha have withdrawn from Enduro World Championship competition – though a “new and exciting project” is on the cards for the French-based team. 

Yamaha Europe Enduro and Rally Team Manager, Alexandre Kowalski has spoken about the decision to no longer compete in World Enduro officially as a manufacturer – chiefly the problem is the 2019 WR450F is not homologated which creates an issue for a manufacturer in terms of officially competing in a championship which requires road legal motorcycles.

Outsiders Yamaha Racing Manager, Marc Bourgeois, has also spoken about the team moving forward: “I would like to thank Loïc, Jamie McCanney and Cristobal Guerrero for all their efforts representing our team these last three years. We now have our eyes set on a new and exciting project and all details will be announced shortly."

 

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Johansson take up the mantle

We will still see Yamaha’s racing the Enduro World Championship with Johansson Yamaha Racing taking up the mantle – though not as an "official" Yamaha team as Outsiders were. Speaking with team boss Joakim Johansson, who was keen to point out nothing is official yet, he was never-the-less excited about the upcoming season: “I feel it will be something really good. Of course it will be a shame to not have Outsiders in the paddock because they are a great team of people, the riders, mechanics and everybody are such good people. But this is an opportunity for me.”

More news on the Johansson Racing Team line-up for 2019 when we get it. 

 

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Larrieu moving on

We can assume from the official news, post-ISDE, that Loic Larrieu will no longer ride for Yamaha. In the press release after the event, Larrieu is quoted: “I want to say a big thank you to the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team and all its members for all they've done for me these last three years. We've lived some great moments with the team and I wish them all the best in their new projects.”

Our understanding is Larrieu will move to TM Racing for 2019, riding the EN 300 four stroke model – the same as propelled Eero Remes to E2 World title in 2018. 

 

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Where does that leave Outsiders Yamaha rider, Jamie McCanney? No official word about him yet from Yamaha, though Jamie raced the Red Bull Knock Out and is confirmed as riding in the 2019 Le Touquet beach race for the team, so we can assume his services are retained and he may well be part of the “exciting new project...” 

 

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Photo Credit: Future7Media/Andrea Belluschi

 

 

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Jon Pearson
Enduro21 Editor and Bike Tester
jon.pearson@enduro21.com