Yamaha Racing has this morning announced Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark will remain with the Pata-backed WorldSBK squad for another season.
Van der Mark had been linked with a move to Kawasaki in place of Tom Sykes and also with the Petronas Yamaha MotoGP squad but has opted to remain with Yamaha.
Lowes is currently enjoying his most consistent season in the championship and is intent on challenging for the title in 2019.
“I am really happy to continue as a part of Yamaha’s World Superbike project, having been involved since they returned to the series in 2016. Since then we’ve been through a lot together; some ups, some downs, but we’re definitely on an upward trajectory now,” said the Derby-based rider.
“It was great to get my first race win this season but, of course, this success just means we expect more every weekend. I believe so much in this project, my ambition has always been to see it through to a World Championship title and I don’t think that’s unrealistic given the progress we’ve made.
“I have never enjoyed racing as much as I do with this team and I will continue to give it my all to get to where Yamaha needs to be. Massive thanks to Eric de Seynes, Andrea Dosoli and Paolo Pavesio at Yamaha and to Paul Denning from the team for believing in me.”
Van der Mark added: “I trust in this project, Yamaha believes in me as a rider and this makes for a strong combination. While we’re still working to improve, it is clear that we have made significant progress, to the point where we’re now winning races and fighting at the front every weekend. I am looking forward to continuing this trend and making the next step forward as we work towards our main goal of fighting for the World Championship title together.”