World Championship Motorsports
World Championship Motorsports (WCM) was a grand-prix motorcycle racing team formed in 1992 by american Bob MacLean and british Peter Clifford. The team ran Yamaha motorcycles from 1997 to 2002 and was called Red Bull Yamaha WCM.
The partnership began in 1992 when Yamaha made it possible for independent teams like WCM to purchase the YZR engine. The frames were built by ROC, Serge Rosset's company, and Peter Goddard was the first rider that WCM engaged. In the next five seasons riders like Niall Mackenzie, Andrew Stroud, Neil Hodgson and James Haydon rode the ROC-Yamaha bikes for WCM.
In 1997 the team had a single ROC-Yamaha bike with Kirk McCarthy as rider. However, after the first three races the Promotor-Yamaha team withdrew from the championship. Yamaha invited WCM to take control of the team with two factory-spec YZR500s and riders Luca Cadalora and Troy Corser. WCM gained a Red Bull sponsorship and the team was rebranded as Red Bull Yamaha WCM.
In the 1998 Grand Prix season, WCM rider Simon Crafar scored the only victory of the season for a manufacturer other than Honda, when he won the 1998 British Grand Prix at Donington Park. The following year, WCM rider Régis Laconi won the 1999 500cc Valencia Grand Prix riding a Yamaha YZR500. The team experienced its greatest success in 2000 when rider Garry McCoy won three Grand Prix races however, inconsistent results relegated him to fifth place in the final standings.
In 2003, Chris Burns and José David de Gea made up the team's rider line-up. Red Bull left the team to sponsor KTM in the 125cc World Championship. WCM joined forces with Harris Performance Products and was renamed to Harris WCM. Harris WCM built their own 4-stroke MotoGP racer with an engine based on the Yamaha YZF-R1 engine. The FIM however found that the motorcycle was not in conformity with the championship technical regulations and the team was disqualified. The team appealed but the International Disciplinary Court turned the appeal down. The team took their case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (the final stage in the appeal process) but the court again ruled in FIM's favour. Following the courts decision the team entered the British, German and the Czech Republic Grand Prix using 1993 2-stroke 500cc Yamaha-engined motorcycles while they continued to develop the 4-stroke machine. The races where WCM ran the 2-stroke 500cc Yamaha motorcycles marked the last starts of the 2-stroke 500cc bikes in MotoGP. The Harris WCM motorcycle made its debut at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
For 2004 Chris Burns was joined by Michel Fabrizio as the team riders. Following an injury mid-season Burns was replaced by James Ellison while Youichi Ui replaced Fabrizio following Fabrizio's one race ride for Aprilia at the Portuguese Grand Prix.
Halfway through the 2004 season WCM announced that it joined forces with Blata to run a V6 machine for 2005. The team was called Blata WCM and James Ellison and Franco Battaini were the team riders. The new motorcycle was not ready at the start of the season and the team continued using their Harris WCM motorcycle. The new V6 motorcycle was due to make its debut at Czech Republic Grand Prix but it was not ready. Blata said that the bike would be completed, but the motorcycle never raced.
The provisional entry list for 2006 listed WCM with Bimota engines and Jeremy McWilliams and Jason Perez as riders. but the team was missing from the final entry list as the team dropped out of the championship.
In June 2006, WCM and Winona Racing, announced a strategic partnership to run a 250cc World Championship team in 2007 while WCM also planned a 2007 MotoGP return. Winona WCM, did not race in 2007 after the team's principal sponsor failed to deliver funding in time.
- "1998 500cc British Grand Prix results". motogp.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "1999 500cc Valencia Grand Prix results". motogp.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Garry McCoy MotoGP career statistics". motogp.com. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- "Red Bull Yamaha reborn as Harris WCM". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Harris WCM disqualified". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM appeal verdict announced". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM take FIM to Arbitration". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM lose arbitration". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM to make MotoGP return – on '93 Yamahas!". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM embarrass Kawasaki, Proton". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "WCM to run Blata V6 in 2005!". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "No Blata V6 at Brno". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Blata: The V6 will be completed". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "McWilliams, Perez, Bimota on MotoGP entry list". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Final 2006 MotoGP entry list announced - no WCM". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "Winona, WCM join forces". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.
- "250: Winona WCM postpone comeback". crash.net. Retrieved 2008-05-16.