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Yamaha´s 50th anniversary

Yamaha´s 50th anniversary

Yamaha´s 50th anniversary

Several MotoGP legends were on hand during the Laguna Seca GP at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for Yamaha's 50th anniversary celebration party.

MotoGP greats such as Wayne Rainey, Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, Giacomo Agostini and Randy Mamola joined Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards and Yamaha president Takashi Kajikawa at the eagerly-anticipated anniversary bash, with all the riders donning traditional Yamaha livery.

Fans had the opportunity to meet their Yamaha heroes during autograph sessions throughout the weekend at designated autograph stands at Laguna Seca. Yamaha's factory MotoGP team also got in on the act during that weekend's United States Grand Prix, wearing the famous Yamaha USA colours of yellow, white and black.

The special livery marked Yamaha's 50th Anniversary while acknowledging the significant contribution made by American riders to the manufacturer's racing history. The Yamaha Motor Company was founded on July 1st 1955, just two weeks before the factory's first bike - the YA1 - won its first race, the Mount Fuji Ascent race. Since then three American riders have won nine premier-class World Championship titles with Yamaha – ‘King' Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey, each taking three crowns across three decades, the 70s, 80s and 90s.

The livery that Yamaha Factory Racing YZR-M1 riders Rossi and Edwards donned at Laguna Seca was first used by Yamaha USA in the late 1960s and became globally recognised when Roberts clinched his World Championship hat-trick.

In 2004 Rossi became the first Yamaha rider to win the World Championship crown in the premier class since Rainey's title in 1992. However, in 2005 the Japanese manufacturer managed to top that achievement, not only successfully defending the rider title as Rossi prevailed again, but also taking the constructor and team titles to complete a clean sweep in their 50th anniversary year.

The ‘tuning fork' brand celebrated this achievement in Japan after Rossi and Edwards completed their 2005 schedule with the last test session of the year in Malaysia. The two official Yamaha MotoGP team riders were presented with commemorative machines by Yamaha Motor President Takashi Kajikawa; Rossi, his title-winning YZR-M1, and Edwards, an enduro YZF-450. The ceremony was also attended by Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Racing managing director, and Davide Brivio, the factory team manager.

Rossi secured his fifth consecutive title in the elite class at Sepang in Malaysia at the 13th round of the Championship. He took eleven wins last season and finished on the podium in every race he finished. He failed to take the chequered flag just once, at Motegi. His team-mate Colin Edwards was the only rider in the MotoGP class to score points at every race of the year.

MotoGP, 2005

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