With the news that Yamaha’s factory World Superbike team will this year, because of the lack of a title sponsor, run in Yamaha corporate colours, an interesting situation has arisen.
Namely this year, for the first time in ages, we’re faced with watching WSB racers which will actually look almost exactly like the road bikes they’re based on.
Above is the works Yamaha R1 racer which will be campaigned by Eugene Laverty and Marco Melandri in this year’s WSB series and painted in Yamaha corporate blue/white. Alongside it is a stock, road going, blue/white 2011 R1. At a glance they’re almost indistinguishable.
And we think that’s a good thing. It’s good that our road bikes now look like the race versions. It’s good that the racers will be more instantly identifiable on track.
It’s good that one of the world’s most glamourous and fabulous racing motorcycles is not slathered with meaningless dairy product branding or electronics companies nobody has heard of.
But what do you think? Do we need all that sponsorship and money or are we better off without? Leave your comment below…