MotoGP: Yamaha sign new five-year contract with Dorna
Yamaha has become the latest manufacturer to commit its future to MotoGP by signing a new five-deal with Dorna.
The deal keeps Yamaha on the grid until at least the end of the 2026 season and has been confirmed just hours after the factory team unveiled its 2021 livery and rider line-up.
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2021 marks Yamaha's 60th year in Grand Prix racing and during that time they've collected a total of 511 Grand Prix wins, 38 Rider World Titles, 37 Manufacturer World Titles, and five Triple Crowns.
Yamaha's last MotoGP title came in 2015 courtesy of Jorge Lorenzo, who also took the crown in 2010 and 2012. Valentino Rossi clinched back-to-back title in 2004 and 2005, as well as 2008 and 2009. Rossi's first title with Yamaha in 2004 was the first for the Japanese manufacturer since Wayne Rainey's triumph in 1992.
"First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to Carmelo Ezpeleta and Dorna, as well as all of the Yamaha personnel who made our successful run at the highest level of motorcycle racing possible," Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd's Executive Officer Toyoshi Nishida said.
"At Yamaha we take great pride in taking part in Grand Prix motorcycle racing. We are all very pleased that we can confirm the contract renewal for a further five years at the start of an important season for our company.
"Yamaha started competing in World Grand Prix racing in 1961. Sixty years on, Yamaha’s passion for motorcycle racing and eagerness to take on a challenge remains unchanged. MotoGP makes up a large part of Yamaha’s DNA."
This season Maverick Viñales will be joined in the factory squad by Fabio Quartararo, whilst Rossi heads to the satellite team, Petronas Yamaha. Fellow VR46 Academy member Franco Morbidelli remains at Petronas alongside Rossi.
Morbidelli and Quartararo won three races each in 2020, with the former ending his campaign as runner-up to Joan Mir. Meanwhile, Viñales added a seventh victory to his Yamaha career at Misano.
"First of all, I would like to thank Nishida-san and all the members of Yamaha for the long-term collaboration during all these years," Dorna CEO Cermelo Ezpeleta added. "At Dorna we are pleased to be a part of the culmination of this partnership by extending our agreement with Yamaha.
"We are eager to witness this new chapter of the iconic Japanese manufacturer celebrating its 60th anniversary in the racing scene, a factory that has always shown a great commitment with the MotoGP World Championship and whose future will see many other exciting challenges to be enjoyed together in these upcoming years."