Yamaha content with two-rider Open class effort

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Yamaha bosses have denied being disappointed at the lack of interest in its successful Open class YZR-M1 project for 2015.

Forward Racing rider Aleix Espargaro dominated the new Open class, which was created in 2014 to make more affordable and more competitive machinery available to non-factory teams.

Yamaha supports Forward Racing with an engine and chassis package, and Spaniard Espargaro excelled with some outstanding performances last season, which included a pole position in Assen and five top six finishes.

That included a historic first Open class podium in a rain-hit Motorland Aragon clash in late September when Espargaro finished runner-up behind compatriot Jorge Lorenzo.

But the impressive performance of the Open YZR-M1, which benefits from softer tyres and extra fuel, has not convinced a team other than Forward Racing to strike a deal for 2015.

Yamaha was willing to offer an additional two bikes for the Open category next season but race boss Lin Jarvis said it was not disappointing that the project won’t be expanded, confirming that it is not a money making venture for the Japanese brand.

Jarvis told MCN: “We are content to deal with Forward Racing. Our main goal is to run the Factory team and Tech 3, so this is an additional project that we are doing to support the championship. The more teams we have won’t improve anything for us. We don’t make money on the project and it requires resources to support it. What is important for us is to have a good quality team, so with Forward Racing contracting good quality riders to fight to win win the Open class again next year, we are extremely happy. We don’t need four or six riders, we are happy with two.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt