Posts Tagged ‘Yamaha’

Yamaha announces withdrawal from World Superbikes

August 1st, 2011 No comments

From an official Yamaha press release:

Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. (YME) has decided to withdraw its official Yamaha World Superbike Team at the end of the current season from the FIM Superbike World Championship.

This announcement follows a full strategic review of the marketing operations within Europe including all motorsport activities and takes into account the continuing severe and rapidly changing powered two wheeler market conditions throughout the region.

Due to this decision, more resource and focus will now be used for direct customer activities to ultimately add more value to Yamaha ownership and increased customer satisfaction.

YME would like to express their sincere thanks and appreciation for the total commitment, support and passion shown by the extremely professional and dedicated riders and team members both past and present throughout the many years of participation in the FIM Superbike World Championship. YME would also like to thank all the highly valued business partners and suppliers who have in-turn supported the team and in addition would like to thank Infront Motorsports, the FIM Superbike World Championship promoters. YME has chosen this timing of announcement to ensure that all existing obligations are correctly met, and to not limit any opportunities or future planning for all personnel involved.

Riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty are currently respectively third and fourth in the overall 2011 FIM Superbike World Championship standings for riders with four rounds to go. YME and the team will continue to give its maximum efforts until the end of the existing season to try to regain the World Superbike title, which Yamaha also won in 2009.

Yamaha will continue the availability of road racing kit parts, known as YEC Racing kit parts, for its R1 and R6 production models for private teams entering at all racing levels.

Yamaha MotoGP free practice report: Assen

June 23rd, 2011 No comments

The Assen TT got underway today in The Netherlands with riders enduring much the same weather conditions as the previous round at Silverstone. The first free practice session of the weekend was run in wet conditions this morning with steady rain throughout. Yamaha Factory Racing riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were riding for the first time with the special YZR-M1 WGP50th Anniversary Edition red and white livery. Both took the opportunity to find their feet again following their crashes in the treacherous Silverstone conditions two weeks ago.

Having made a promising start and found a comfortable set up to focus on the riders were denied the opportunity to continue this afternoon. The track was closed for the day and the second session cancelled after oil was spilt along approximately a one kilometer section of the Assen circuit during the Moto2 practice session. As a result tomorrow morning’s final free practice will be an extended 90-minute session.

Ben Spies:
“We rode some laps this morning and we learned some good information for wet conditions should they stay like this at the weekend. Unfortunately some Moto2 riders dropped some oil which the track couldn’t clear in time for the second free practice. We only managed 12 laps in total but it was enough to see how it feels in the wet. It’s a special moment to be here for us with our new livery celebrating the 50th Anniversary so it’s really important to get a good result. We’ll do the best we can as always.”

Wilco Zeelenberg, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager:
“The first practice in Assen and typically Assen weather. Jorge needed to find his way through the wet after the crash in Silverstone but I have to say his confidence grew pretty quickly. Position five was good at the end and the bike felt good for him. The track was a bit slippery, especially corner entry which is a bit strange as Assen is a normally a grippe track. It’s much more used by cars than before which may be the reason. It’s a pity that the afternoon session was cancelled but we only had three sessions last year here as well. Hopefully we get at least one dry session tomorrow and we hope race day is dry for the fans as well.”

Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director:
“Unfortunately the weather didn’t help us today but Ben got back his confidence after the Silverstone race which was really important for us. We have some additional time in the morning free practice now so we’ll work on it. I’m confident we will deliver a good package for Ben and Jorge to be ready for the afternoon’s qualifying session. It’s great to see the bikes and team out in the red and white livery, we are all very proud to be part of this special time.”


All-Yamaha podium in Aragon Superstock 600

June 22nd, 2011 No comments

Yamaha stole the show in Aragon this past weekend with YZF-R6-powered riders filling the top five positions of the Superstock 600 European Championship race.

Jed Metcher (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha) took his first Championship victory of this year’s Superstock 600 European Championship. Runner up was the protagonist of round three of the Championship in Monza, Frenchman Romain Lanusse (MRS Yamaha Racing France). The final podium slot went to Metcher’s teammate, Belgium’s Gauthier Duwelz (MTM-RT Motorsports Yamaha), who held off a fierce challenge from a trio of riders just behind, before reaching the checkered flag. To complete the top five, Dino Lombardi (Martini Corse) and Stephane Egea (Team Aspi Yamaha) closely followed.

Lanusse is now leading the STK600 championship, 20 points ahead of Metcher in second place with 61, while Lombardi holds onto third place with 46. Round five of the STK600 European Championship will take place in Brno on the July 9.


Yamaha World Superbike Team prepare for round one at Phillip Island

February 24th, 2011 No comments

Yamaha's Eugene Laverty

With all winter testing now completed the Yamaha World Superbike Team is all set to challenge for the opening round of the 2011 season at Phillip Island this weekend. The historic circuit has been a feature of the World Superbike Championship since 1990, featuring on the calendar more than any other track.

Word Superbike rookie riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty have now had time to adapt their 2011 R1 Yamaha race bikes to their riding styles and have successfully completed several tests at Phillip Island, Portimao, Valencia and Magny Cours. The Portimao test in particular proved challenging for the team as bad weather hampered any attempts to simulate full race distance runs. Their testing has been under the guidance of new team manager Andrea Dosoli, now fully bedded in and working effectively with his new team.

The updated R1 includes many developments implemented over the winter including a revised weight distribution for better handling, as well as increased engine performance, new electronic maps and uprated cooling systems. The bike has also been updated to include changes to the 2011 regulation changes, now having standard fuel injectors and a standard fuel pressure regulator

24yr old Laverty from Northern Ireland made a big impression when he climbed on board the R1 for the first time at the Magny Cours test at the end of the 2010 WSB season. Taking his first ever ride on a World Superbike, the two year World Supersport runner up was incredibly quick to get up to speed, wrapping up the test as the fastest rider against far more experienced competition. His progress over the subsequent tests has been extremely consistent, improving every time and continuing to impress his team and Crew Chief Frankie Carchedi with concise feedback and development.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I am very excited about starting this season. I’m enjoying being in the World Superbike paddock and I really have the feeling that I now have a competitive machine and the right conditions to challenge for race wins. My shoulder has taken some time to recover from my operation which has meant I have not been able to give 100% at times in testing, but progress continues to be very good to full fitness. This weekend’s two races are still quite soon for it, we will have to see how strong it is over race distance.”

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team
“I’m happy to be familiar with the circuits we are going to race on having ridden them in World Supersport, however having two races on a Sunday will be a new challenge for me. Having said that I’ve been training very hard and my fitness level is high so I’m confident I’ll be good for the distance! Testing has been really positive and the bike feels incredibly powerful after my Supersport machine, I’m ready to start!”

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli
“I’m very pleased with our completed testing schedule and feel we have achieved everything we set out to do to prepare for this weekend. Last year I understand the team had some issues here at Phillip Island but worked hard over the following races to improve, the results could be seen with Crutchlow’s double win at Silverstone. As a result of this we are confident that those issues won’t play a major role here this season and we believe we are ready with a package that is capable of winning races. There is still a question mark over Marco’s full fitness for race distance however he has been resting for the last couple of days so we will see what happens on Sunday.”

The Yamaha World Superbike team has found a new partner in RIZOMA, a company producing and marketing a variety of bike accessories and components. RIZOMA products are well known for their innovative design and developed with functionality and increasing safety in mind. RIZOMA Products are available through a global network of offices in Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Austria and in Scandinavian countries.

Strong performances for Spies and Lorenzo on day two at Sepang

February 23rd, 2011 No comments

Yamaha's Ben Spies

The second day of the three-day test at Sepang saw Yamaha Factory Racing riders Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo again testing in sweltering conditions with track temperatures soaring through the day. Despite the heat it was straight down to business, both riders hitting the 2.01 mark swiftly. Texan factory newcomer Spies again spent another day delivering smooth fast laps, finding some extra grip on track through chassis changes. He suffered a small crash at the end of the afternoon session at turn seven but was unhurt and upbeat about his day. At the end of the test Spies stood fourth in the timesheets, 0.65 seconds behind the leader.

Teammate Lorenzo took the opportunity of today’s sessions to reconfirm some setting changes; as with Spies, the Mallorcan World Champion was consistently quick and faster than the 2.01 mark for the majority of the day. Lorenzo wrapped up this afternoon in fifth position just 0.76 seconds from the top of the timesheets.

Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 4th, 2’00.824, 54 laps
“I think we had a really successful day, we tried a little bit of a different chassis set up to try and improve the rear grip and we definitely succeeded in that. We did a few long runs and were quite fast on a hot track so it has been really productive finding how to be consistent in the heat. It’s a pity I made a small mistake at the end of the day however I think we’ve gained a lot, especially with the rear grip of the bike.”

Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing Rider, 5th, 2’00.931, 45 laps
“It was a hard and hot day today, we tried the test bike as well as my 2011 bike to reconfirm a number of new developments. We confirmed that the direction is right so we will continue tomorrow with this direction on my M1. We’ve definitely improved the traction a lot, although we could still do with some more power.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“Today was again very hot, although maybe not as hot as yesterday. We used the day for back to back test on all our focus areas, Jorge improved on last year so all the results were quite positive and we confirmed what we felt before. We were missing a bit of grip today which we couldn’t find, the track conditions changed a lot over the day so we need to check our data and see where we can find some more.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“We had another interesting day with Ben, learning quite a lot. We worked a lot in weight distribution and got some good feedback. At the end, apart from the crash, Ben was very happy with the solutions we’ve found during the session. Jorge today made a few back to back comparisons providing positive confirmation on the improvements to the bike. Tomorrow he is going to start with the best combination of today’s results. Overall we took another step forward as team, both sides having a clear positive direction to move in.”

Yamaha World Superbike team wrap up Phillip Island test

February 22nd, 2011 No comments

Yamaha's Marco Melandri

2011 Yamaha World Superbike riders Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri completed the second of two days testing at the Phillip Island circuit this weekend ahead of the season opening round this coming weekend. Both riders spent the sessions working on setup to deliver consistent pace for the Australian circuit. The team achieved their target of testing all updates for the 2011 R1 race bike, and will now take a couple of days rest in preparation for the two races on Sunday February 27.
Italian rider Marco Melandri is still recovering from his previous shoulder operation and so rode less on the final sessions to give himself enough time to rest before the weekend.

Marco Melandri, Yamaha World Superbike Team, 8th, 1’32.122
“I am very happy because I feel a big improvement from my shoulder. The second day was still quite difficult though, I didn’t ride a lot as my shoulder was having some pain. The bike has made a small improvement over the last test and we have a good plan to make it even better for the race. My physical condition for the race distance is a question mark but we will see what happens on Sunday.”

Eugene Laverty, Yamaha World Superbike Team, 9th, 1’32.137
“It’s been a tough test but we’re making progress bit by bit. We’re focusing on consistency for the races, that’s been the focus since we started the test. We’ve found that now and all we need is a little bit more pace. I’m excited about the race; it’s a strange track like no other and requires a unique set up. I think it’s going to be the smart guys who are there at the end of the race.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team Manager – Andrea Dosoli

“All our jobs are done here for the test which gives us the confidence that we’ve achieved our targets. We wanted a more consistent bike and we’ve got it. The Ducati is very quick at this track so we need to improve some more and reduce the time difference. For the two races on Sunday I am feeling quite confident as Eugene is improving every day and is very consistent. Marco has also put a lot of laps in on his shoulder so we believe that with two days of rest he will be ok for the races. After all the winter tests we are ready. Considering both riders are World Superbike rookies and Marco recently had an operation we are happy with our results here.”

Yamaha World Superbike Team unveil 2011 livery

February 16th, 2011 No comments

Yamaha World Superbike Team riders Marco Melandri and Eugene Laverty

The 2011 Yamaha World Superbike Team has unveiled the livery they will run for the upcoming World Superbike season. The new design features a Yamaha blue corporate racing color scheme. The livery takes its inspiration from both the famous Yamaha speed block design and also one of the colors of the current production model YZF-R1, giving the bike a modern sleek appearance while emphasizing Yamaha’s racing image.

The team features an all-new rider lineup for the 2011 championship with 28-year-old Italian rider Marco Melandri, a previous 250cc World Champion, stepping across from MotoGP to partner 24 year old Eugene Laverty from Northern Ireland who steps up from the World Supersport Championship. The new livery will feature prominently on the leathers of both riders.

The team continues its winter testing schedule on the February 21-22 at the Phillip Island Circuit in advance of the opening round of the championship in Australia on February 27.

Factory Yamaha and Tech 3 wrap up Sepang testing

February 3rd, 2011 No comments

Factory Yamaha's Ben Spies and Monster Tech 3's rookie rider Cal Crutchlow

Today saw the final session of the first official MotoGP test of 2011 at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies spent the three days on track evaluating a number of development steps for the 2011 YZR-M1 ahead of the new race season which kicks off next month. Lorenzo’s session focused on a series of shorter runs as he continued evaluating the various developments, impressing his team as he maintained a faster pace through the afternoon despite the increased track temperatures. The reigning World Champion finished the day in third position, just 0.088 seconds off the top of the time sheets. New factory rider Spies was again among the fastest riders on track for the majority of the day whilst working through various electronic settings on his bike. This test also marks the first time the Texan rider’s complete crew have worked together.

The riders will now travel to Bangkok for public appearance in the city on Saturday 5th of February, then heading home for a rest in advance of the second official test here at Sepang on February 22.

The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Team concluded a successful start to preparations for the 2011 MotoGP world championship today with Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow satisfied with significant progress made at the end of a three-day test at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Experienced American Edwards took full advantage of dry conditions throughout the test to evaluate a host of new upgrades on his Yamaha YZR-M1 machine. The 36-year-old completed 125 laps, working closely with his crew to assess a revised engine, chassis and electronics package he will campaign in 2011.  Edwards ended with a best time of 2.01.651 to finish ninth overall, the Sepang test highlighting just how competitive the 2011 World Championship is likely to be with the top ten riders split by just over one second.
Read more…

Positive second day for Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo at Sepang

February 2nd, 2011 No comments

Day two of the first official MotoGP test at Sepang saw Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies again up to speed quickly. Both riders were on the pace from the outset as they took advantage of the good weather conditions. The cooler morning session provided an opportunity for the riders to set their fastest times of the day before the track temperatures increased from noon onwards. 2010 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Spies was clearly at home on his 2011 YZR-M1, lapping the Sepang track as the second fastest rider for the majority of the day, only dropping to third in the last moments. Teammate Lorenzo was just 0.05 seconds behind him in seventh at the end of the session as he worked through some different chassis and engine settings.

Jorge Lorenzo finished Wednesday's session with the seventh-fastest time

Tomorrow is the final day of the test. Both riders will continue to test developments of the 2011 M1 along with new Bridgestone tires to provide some data for the MotoGP championships sole tire supplier.

Ben Spies, 3rd, 60 laps, 2’01.508
“Today went really well. We started out and got right up to speed. We worked pretty much just on electronics and also evaluated a couple of different engine configurations, both of which worked really well. The lap times were pretty similar so we need to work out which direction we want to go. We got a lot accomplished today, tomorrow we’ve got a couple more things on the engine to look at and we’re going to try some tires for Bridgestone.”

Jorge Lorenzo, 7th, 35 laps, 2’01.563
“Today we continued to work on the bike, we found some positive things and some not so good. I think we have found more traction but maybe a little vibration we need to resolve. I’m happy with the day, but it was very hot and I’m pretty tired. We’ve improved a lot of little things; I have to continue to work on improving my riding as well and to give the team the best explanations I can on the developments to help them move forward.”

Massimo Meregalli – Team Director
“We tried some different things today and we got some good feedback. Ben had consistently good pace for the entire session today so I’m pleased. What gave us great confidence is that he had a long run with very positive results. He was satisfied with the changes we’ve made today so we’ll see what progress we make tomorrow when we test the new tires. In general for the team it’s been quite positive; we had no problem and got good information from both sides of the garage.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager

“The second day of testing today and some mixed results, not everything was positive. There were no big dramas and the base setting we discovered yesterday continues to be good. Lap time wise we missed something this morning, but we also tried some good things on the bike over the session. It’s normal in development to find some things that don’t necessarily work so well and today we found one. At the end of the day it has been positive and we have more valuable information for tomorrow.”

Successful start for Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies in Sepang

February 1st, 2011 No comments

The first official test of the 2011 MotoGP season got underway today at the Sepang Circuit in Malaysia. Yamaha Factory Racing Team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies were quick to get up to a good pace on track, both riding under last year’s race times before the end of their first session despite not having ridden a motorcycle for two months over the winter break. With many parts and electronics to test over the three days, today’s objective of familiarizing themselves with their YZR-M1′s again was a success. Reigning World Champion Lorenzo wrapped up his first session as the second fastest rider of the day, just four tenths from the top. Team mate Spies was just less than four tenths behind him in fifth.

Jorge Lorenzo

Day two tomorrow will see both riders working on various areas of the 2011 race bike’s development along with testing tyres for MotoGP tyre supplier Bridgestone. In advance of the official 2011 Yamaha Factory Racing Team launch at the second Sepang test, both riders took to the track today riding YZR-M1s with plain black carbon fiber fairing. From tomorrow however the M1 of both Lorenzo and Spies will have a special ‘one-event’ Yamaha Factory Racing Blue de-branded design to be filmed for a Yamaha corporate video as part of the ongoing Yamaha World GP 50th Anniversary activities. This design will only be used for the remaining two days of the Sepang test.

Jorge Lorenzo – 2nd, 44 laps 2’01.977
“It’s been a good start today, we tried a few things and it seemed for everything we tried it was a little bit better, not big improvements but as I said in Valencia at the test last year, the 2011 bike seems to have less wheelie so we can open the throttle earlier in the corners and in some corners I have better corner speed as well. Today was my first ride wearing Alpinestars so there were a lot of things for me to get used to. We pushed a bit more towards the end of the session and got faster, we will continue to make the step tomorrow.”

Ben Spies – 5th, 24 laps 2’02.332

“Today was good. The weather forecast wasn’t so great so to get as much time on the bike as we had was good. We set out to not do too many laps to avoid getting tired, it’s easy to overdo it on the first day. We did enough to get my head up to speed then relaxed as we have a lot to look at over the next two days for Yamaha and Bridgestone. It’s my first day with the new team and they were fantastic, everybody worked together really well. We ended up going faster than we did here last year in the race which shows my confidence in the bike and the team. There’s more to come from the bike and from me too, so I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Wilco Zeelenberg – Team Manager for Jorge Lorenzo
“I’m very pleased with our first session here at Sepang. I’m actually quite surprised at Jorge’s speed as normally after a two month break it takes him longer to get into the rhythm because he’s a very smooth rider, so a break means you miss the rhythm. We had received good information at the end of the day so we have been able to make some steps and reach some decisions. Tomorrow we have some more things to test but for today we are quite satisfied.”

Massimo Meregalli – Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director and Team Manager for Ben Spies
“After a long rest we have to be satisfied with the first session. Our riders used today to get back their speed and we are happy to see they were both consistently fast. Tomorrow we will start to do some work on the bikes and collect further data.”