Eazi Grip

End of an era for McAMS Yamaha

Raceways Motorcycles will step down from their role running the official Yamaha Motor UK team in the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at the end of the 2023 season.

The move marks the end of an era for the team, which has been known for the last seven years as McAMS Yamaha. In that time, the Raceways-run effort has amassed a total of 42 British Superbike victories, a further 107 podiums and the 2021 British Superbike teams, manufacturers and rider crowns.

The news comes as team owner, Steve Rodgers, looks to scale back his involvement in racing after over three decades running teams under the Raceways banner.

Rodgers first ventured into motorcycle racing in 1989, fielding a team in the mini-stock championship against riders such as Neil Hodgson and James Haydon with Jonathan Atkins riding. They’d then graduate to the British 125cc Championship with Atkins and the new addition of Kev Mawdsley between 1991 and 1993, also competing at the 1993 British Grand Prix.

1997 saw Rodgers’ first team entry in production bike racing, fielding Honda machinery in the British Supersport and National Superstock categories until 1999.

A return to racing in 2006 saw Raceways in the National Superstock series with Hudson Kennaugh, where things would begin to get serious for the team who amassed victories in the class with Kennaugh and Jon Kirkham between 2006 and 2008 with the Yamaha R1.

2008 also saw the team back in British Supersport, where they would finish runner-up in the championship three years on the bounce with Hudson Kennaugh, Billy McConnell and James Westmoreland on the Yamaha R6.

After another short break from racing, Rodgers began providing support to the late Keith Flint’s Team Traction Control in 2014, which was by this point based out of his Raceways Motorcycles dealership in Fleetwood. This partnership saw Ian Hutchinson go unbeaten in the Supersport class at the Isle of Man TT in 2015 and 2016.

The team in its current guise was established in 2017, becoming Yamaha Motor UK’s official British Superbike entrant with McAMS as title sponsor.

Finishing on the podium and securing their first victory in their debut year, the team went on to become one of the most successful in recent history with James Ellison, Michael Laverty, Josh Brookes, Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran taking podiums aboard the McAMS-liveried R1.

The team’s most significant success would come in 2021 with both Tarran Mackenzie and Jason O’Halloran duelling throughout the year, clocking up victories in 22 out of the 33 races, with Mackenzie ultimately victorious, becoming 2021 British Superbike Champion as the team secured the triple crown with the rider, team and manufacturers titles.

Currently sixth in the 2023 Bennetts British Superbike Championship standings with Jason O’Halloran, the team remains committed to fighting until the end to end the McAMS Yamaha story on a high.

Raceways will continue to provide support to Yamaha teams within the paddock through their GYTR Pro Shop, including R1, R6 and the R7 in the new Pirelli National Sportbike Championship.

Steve Rodgers
McAMS Yamaha Team Principal

“It will be the end of the era when the garage doors come down on the McAMS Yamaha team for the final time at Brands Hatch in October. Many of the staff and sponsors within this team have been with us since the early years and in that time it’s become like a family.

“It’s rare to have that loyalty, especially from a title sponsor with McAMS having been with us from the start of the journey in 2017 to the end in 2023. However, all good things must come to an end and together, we feel now is the right time.

“I have been involved in motorcycle racing for over 30 years and some of the best and most cherished memories of that time have been formed in the last seven years with the McAMS Yamaha team, including the highlight of our time in racing winning the British Championship with Tarran in 2021.

“We have to sincerely thank everyone who’s helped us over the years, not least our loyal sponsors but also Yamaha Motor UK for trusting us to represent their brand at the highest level of racing in the UK and of course, every single member of staff who has worked for the team in this team.

“However, it’s not over yet and we remain committed to fighting for victories for the remainder of the season to end our story on a high.”

Valentina Slater
Sales Director, McAMS

“It’s been an honour and a privilege to work with the Raceways team for the last seven years. McAMS Yamaha has become a force to be reckoned with in the British Superbike Championship, taking us to levels of success we could only have dreamed of.

“Everybody involved in the team, from Steve and the riders, to the mechanics and fantastic hospitality crew, have become our friends in this time and the atmosphere at race weekends has been exceptional. However, as we know, all good things must come to an end so when Steve informed us of his decision to stop at the end of 2023, while we were of course sad, we completely understood his decision.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has worked so hard to make the team a success over the last seven years. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our time working with them all and wish everyone the best of luck for the future.”

Matt Taylerson
Divisional Manager, Marketing, Yamaha Motor UK

“The McAMS Yamaha team has gone above and beyond in their role as our official British Superbike team over the last seven seasons. To have achieved what they have in that time makes them one of the most successful Yamaha BSB teams in history and for that we can only thank them. We are sad to see them step back from this role for 2024 but wish everyone involved with the team the best for the future and thank them for their hard work over the years.”

Stuart Higgs
Series Director, Bennetts British Superbike Championship 

“Raceways Motorcycles have played an instrumental part in Championship history and whilst many fans will be most familiar with the triple crown title success with Tarran Mackenzie in 2021, they have been a part of the paddock since 1991 when they competed in the British 125cc Championship. Of course, before joining the Superbike grid, they were also race winners in National Superstock and at the forefront of the British Supersport Championship.

“Every generation of BSB has standout teams and McAMS Yamaha is definitely one of them, not only for their success, but also for their professionalism under the guidance and expertise of Steve Rodgers of Raceways Motorcycles.

“It is natural that after a tenure this long, that there will come a point where it is time to take a step back and Steve thoroughly deserves his retirement from racing. I would personally like to thank Steve and his team at Raceways Motorcycles for their dedication to the sport and also extend my best wishes for the future.”

Posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2023 in News

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