Yamaha won’t expand MotoGP effort in 2012

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Yamaha will not increase its involvement beyond four bikes when the new 1000cc four-stroke MotoGP class is introduced in 2012.

The Japanese factory has no plans to increase its entry beyond its current two-rider factory team and a two-bike supply deal to Cal Crutchlow’s Monster Yamaha Tech 3 squad.

Yamaha expects to negotiate a new deal with Herve Poncharal’s Tech 3 squad, even though the French-based squad has the option of developing its own project for next season under rules that permit modified production 1000cc engines in prototype chassis to compete.

Former Yamaha boss and current consultant Masao Furusawa told MCN: “I prefer the Tech 3 team to stay with us for 2012. Tech 3 is an independent team so Herve if he wants to do a reasonably priced new bike then it is okay, but I will ask him to keep the same conditions with Yamaha.

“Two bikes is not enough to develop good technology but six is too much for me, so four is a good number.”

Yamaha is already well advanced with development of its new 1000cc machine for next season having undergone extensive testing with the new bike in Japan and the factory plans to give Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies their debut on the bike at Mugello on July 4, the day after the Italian Grand Prix.

Kouichi Tsuji, the man behind development of the project, said: “We have already started our development and I am pleased to say our schedule is on time. We will begin testing at Mugello after the race.

“The engine power will obviously be more, but what we will be looking to find out is what kind of chassis requirements we have. The test in Mugello will give us the direction to work for this.”

Ducati’s new GP12 is the only new 1000cc MotoGP bike to be seen in public after Valentino Rossi and Nicky Hayden gave their first impressions of the prototype machine in Jerez earlier this month.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt