Yamaha has officially announced Alex Lowes will leave the team at the end of the 2019 World Superbike championship.
After rumours around Lowes’s future circulated since the summer break, the Japanese manufacturer has formally confirmed the British rider will not part of its team next season.
Lowes joined the Yamaha project at the start of 2016, when Crescent Racing switched to run the factory effort in the Iwata team’s return to the series, while he has also been a key figure in Yamaha’s Suzuka 8 Hours success as part of three winning teams.
“I would like to start by saying thank you to Alex, not just for the success we have enjoyed together in WorldSBK and at Suzuka, but also for his commitment to Yamaha and our Superbike project, which he has been an integral part of from the beginning,” Eric de Seynes, Yamaha Motor Europe President, said. “It was a difficult decision not to continue with Alex in the same role for the 2020 season but it was also our sincere hope that he would remain within the Yamaha family.
“We knew there was a risk and, unfortunately, that risk has turned out to be real and Alex will not be on a Yamaha next season. Working with Alex these past four years has been a real pleasure for me and on behalf of both Yamaha and myself I wish Alex every success for the future.”
Toprak Razgatlioglu has been strongly linked to replace Lowes at the factory Yamaha squad alongside Michael van der Mark for 2020 after falling out with the Kawasaki setup.
Meanwhile Lowes has been rumoured to be heading in the opposite direction and to the factory Kawasaki team with Leon Haslam part of the trio of moves to take up Razgatlioglu’s vacated Puccetti Kawasaki spot.