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50th year of GP racing for Yamaha

50th year of GP racing for Yamaha

The Japanese factory will celebrate the special milestone with a number of actions over the course of 2011.

The 2011 season will be a landmark one in the history of Yamaha as the Iwata factory enters its 50th year in the MotoGP World Championship. To mark the achievement a number of celebratory actions and events will be undertaken by Yamaha, who first entered the world of Grand Prix racing at the French GP in 1961.

A special logo has been designed and will be displayed on the uniforms, bikes and in the garages of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, whilst a dedicated website will go live on February 1st and will contain an archive of the history of Yamaha’s involvement in racing.

For fans attending the Motegi and Assen rounds there will be the thrill of seeing some of the factory’s iconic machines on track. The 1974 YZR-500 (OW20), Yamaha's first 500cc factory bike, and the 1978 YZR-500 (OW35K) on which Kenny Roberts took three Championships will both be on display. Also part of the year-long celebration will be a unique Yamaha 50th Anniversary livery design on the bikes of Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies at the Dutch GP.

“These 50 years of continued challenge at the top level of the sport would not have been possible without the support of the fans, our suppliers and sponsors and the race organisers,” said President, CEO and Representative Director of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. Mr Hiroyuki Yanagi. “I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere thanks to everyone for this.”

“Yamaha Motor Company began participating in races from the year of our company's founding in 1955. Our history of competition in the World GP began in 1961, when we entered a team with riders Taneharu Noguchi and Fumio Ito in that year's French GP. In these 50 years of competition, Yamaha has tasted sweet victories as well as bitter defeats, but through it all we have never lost the "spirit of challenge" that we started out with. We are both grateful and proud that one of the highlights of our history of World GP competition came last season, when Yamaha won the Triple Crown of rider, team and manufacturer titles in the pinnacle MotoGP class for the third consecutive year. This is another achievement that would not have been possible without the support of the fans and everyone involved. At the same time, I believe it stands as proof that our spirit of challenge is as alive today as it was five decades ago.”

MotoGP, 2011

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