“I've got the chance to show what I can do on a MotoGP bike”
Yamaha Motor Europe has agreed to release Anthony West, at his request, from riding the R6 in the remaining races of the 2007 Supersport World Championship.
West has been offered a chance to ride in MotoGP
for the rest of the season for a competitor brand and has accepted a financial compensation agreement with Yamaha to terminate his current contract.
West was hired by Yamaha to replace Kevin Curtain, who is currently out injured following an accident at the Valencia round back in April. Swapping his GP250 two-stroke machine for a 600 stock based four-stroke West showed his capability very quickly, finishing third in his first race at Monza.
West was initially contracted only to ride for the Yamaha World Supersport Team in the Monza event. But, after it was confirmed that Curtain's recovery period was going to be longer than originally anticipated, Yamaha and West extended the one-event agreement to the remainder of the season. He went on to win the Supersport race at Silverstone and also won at last weekend's round in Misano, reconfirming the championship potential of the R6.
"It's such a strange feeling, making this decision. Yamaha gave me a fantastic chance to show my potential on the R6. It's thanks to this ride that I feel I've got my career back on track. To leave Yamaha now is sad but it's such a great chance for me to follow my dream to go to MotoGP.”
“Yamaha didn't want to block this chance for me; I'm grateful they believed in me and gave me the chance to prove myself. I want to add that I'm really sorry to the supersport team guys and I'd like to thank them for all their hard work and support. The crew have been great and the bike was fast from the first minute I sat on it. I've not been used to such a professional team and they really made me feel at home.
“The financial compensation I've got to pay is severe but I've got the chance to show what I can do on a MotoGP bike and I hope it's worth it. It was important for me to be released from the team by mutual agreement; I'm still young and Yamaha is a good company and, who knows, maybe at some point in my career we can work together again."
Laurens Klein Koerkamp, Racing Manager, Yamaha Motor Europe
“We are obviously disappointed by releasing a winning rider from his contract, which is not our normal conduct! But rather then going to court we have been able to find a financial settlement; a solution we can only accept because Anthony was a replacement rider drafted in during the season and only had a theoretical chance to win the championship. Nevertheless, we deeply regret his decision, which leaves the team disappointed. All the same, Anthony is a good rider and I wish him all the best in pursuing his dream. We are currently working to replace him and have plenty of time before the next race."
The ninth round is at Brno in the Czech Republic on 22nd July, with two Yamaha World Supersport Team tests planned prior to that.