Yamaha still working hard to find new title backer

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Yamaha is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to replace Fiat as title sponsor of its factory MotoGP squad.

This season is the second in succession that Yamaha is self-funding the majority of its multi-million pound MotoGP project without the financial support of a title sponsor.

Since Fiat left at the end of 2010, Yamaha has been unable to secure fresh investment at the level to be a naming rights backer and that struggle has perfectly illustrated the impact of the global financial crisis in MotoGP.

When Fiat ended its Yamaha deal at the end of 2010, the team had just completed an unprecedented and historic third successive Triple Crown, of rider, team and constructor titles.

Yet the Japanese factory couldn’t attract a new title sponsor and again in 2012 it will race in its official livery.

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis told MCN recently that the quest to find a new sponsor goes on and that management had worked tirelessly during the winter to find investment.

He said: “What I do know is that racing is an expense, so for any company these days they are looking to optimise the expense. There is no doubt that if we can reduce our racing expense firstly by having rules for the future that will provide a reasonable maximum budget that is one way.

"Another way is to increase the revenue where we have more people sharing those costs. Last year and this year we are fine to go racing with the full intention to compete at the top level and to promote the Yamaha brand.

But we would rather do that with partners and some sharing of the costs. How long can it go on like this without a title sponsor? I don’t know but we are working very hard to find good partners for the future.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt