Photos show 2006 ASEAN CUP in Indonesia
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. will hold the "YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 2007" championship competition over the two days from December 15 to 16 at the Batu Kawan Stadium special circuit (Penang, Malaysia / overall length: 1,600 m).
Now in its fifth holding, the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is an international one-make (*) championship competition using Yamaha's 4-stroke sporty moped model ridden by riders who have qualified by winning tough national competitions to compete in this event for the right to be called the fastest in the ASEAN region. In the first holding of this competition in Indonesia in 2003, the competing riders were from the three countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand. In the second holding in 2004, two more countries joined the competition, the Philippines and Singapore. With this, riders from five countries competed for the championship titles. In this fifth holding this year, there will once again be 47 riders from these five countries competing in two classes, an Expert Class and a Novice Class.
Amidst recent market conditions here in the ASEAN region where the interest in motor sports is growing and the number of young people pursuing active lifestyles is increasing, Yamaha has been promoting a wide range of activities aimed at (1) strengthening the image of Yamaha as a sporty and stylish brand and (2) promoting the development and spread of motorcycle sports in the ASEAN region. Yamaha considers the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE to be a very important event that has special symbolic meaning among these.
As the host of this year's event, Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd will take charge of the race operations as it did in 2004. The models to be used in this competition are again as last year Yamaha's top-of-the-line 4-stroke moped T135 (Malaysian market name: 135LC) for the Expert Class and the region's popular 4-stroke sporty moped T110 (Malaysian market name: Lagenda 110Z) for the Novice Class.
* A one-make race is a type of race competition in which all the competitors use the same make.
For Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. the ASEAN region represents not only one of the fastest growing and developing motorcycle markets in the world but also the location of important manufacturing bases in Yamaha's global production network. For these reasons, the ASEAN market is an extremely important one to Yamaha and we are engaged in aggressive marketing activities aimed at its development. Among these, Yamaha places special importance on race activities, which have always been an important part of our corporate culture since the company's founding and a way of expressing the "Spirit of Challenge" that we value so highly. In the ASEAN region this YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is an important symbol of the various activities we are engaged in, and we feel that it plays a critical role in creating new value for the Yamaha brand. On the other hand, the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is more than simply a platform for brand communication. It is also a proving ground where riders and mechanics from across the region can come together and polish their skills in high-level competition, and strive for the next step up the ladder of success that leads eventually to the World GP of road racing. Yamaha plans to continue this competition long-term so that it will be a valuable primary step for supporting riders and teams that strive for international success in racing, carrying with them the dreams and hopes of the ASEAN region's motor sport fans. One of the big themes of the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is to share Kando (*) with the participating riders and team staff as well as the many spectators who come throughout the race week. During the race week there will be events like parties where the riders from the participating countries can meet in a friendly atmosphere, and there will also be an array of attractions and events to ensure that there is hospitality for the spectators.
*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feeling of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that people experience when they encounter something of exceptional value.
Since the 1980s, Yamaha has undertaken a variety of activities aimed at the spread and development of motor sports in the ASEAN region. These include active promotion of activities aimed at building the race population and raising the level of competition, such as support for national championship competitions and Yamaha Cup races in each country, holding of Yamaha "Racing Academy" programs aimed at improving rider skills as well as training riding instructors. Continued promotion of these activities has led to a rapid rise in the level of competition in each country and stimulated the riders to strive to new heights. Among these are a number of riders who are striving to compete in the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE by qualifying in local Yamaha Cup races and national championships, while some also set their sights on the FIM Asian Championships. Within this context, Yamaha improved the conventional support system and has implemented a "Yamaha Rider Training Program" since 2005, in order to nurture talented young riders.
This program is a support system for the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE winners who satisfy conditions laid down by Yamaha (including age limits and support requirements specific to each country). The support includes instruction, lending of race machines, supply of kit parts and training of mechanics, etc., all with the aim of having the riders participate in the FIM Asian Championships, the All-Japan Championships and perhaps eventually the World GP. Under this program, 2005 and 2006 winners in the Expert class entered with Yamaha support program to participate in the Asia Road Race Championships on a spot entry basis. Thanks to this program, the winner in 2005 entered the full 2007 Asian Championships series for the first time and surprised everyone by winning the championship title!
T135 (the Expert Class race machine)
The machine to be used in the Expert Class of the"YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 2007"is Yamaha's deluxe sporty moped, the T135. This T135 is Yamaha's next-generation deluxe moped model that was unveiled in the autumn of 2005. Developed around a concept of a "Performal Moped" that brings together "performance and formal" product aspects, this model is Yamaha's flagship in the moped category with its attractive fusion of high performance and fashionable styling. It mounts a liquid-cooled 4-stroke 135cc engine on a diamond type frame and boasts state-of-the-art Yamaha technologies like the DiASil cylinder and lightweight aluminum forged piston. This model has quality that is one rank above the rest in everything from its quality exterior look to its sporty running performance and environmental friendliness. These qualities have won it a popular following in the ASEAN countries.
Yamaha believes that giving the Expert Class riders experience using the high-performance T135 will help improve their racing skills and for this reason, local 135cc class races have been organized on a wide scale since 2006 in each of the participating countries. It is also why we have chosen to use the T135 from 2006 as race machine for the Expert Class of the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE, as an event for riders from the ASEAN countries who hope to move up to world-class racing.
T110 (the Novice Class race machine)
The machine to be used in the Novice Class of "YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 2007"is the same 4-stroke engine Yamaha sporty moped T110. The T110 has been widely popular across the ASEAN region since its release in 2002. Taking as its base the T105 model that stimulated the ASEAN moped market with its 2001 release, the T110 was redesigned to create a new standard for the 4-stroke moped category by achieving a great balance of performance, economy and convenience, while also boasting a sporty exterior design.
This T110 was chosen again as the competition model for the Novice Class of the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE because it is familiar and well used throughout the ASEAN region and has a strong record of use in racing.
On race day, the teams from each country will decorate their T135 and T110 models with their own original graphics and compete for the title of No.1 in the ASEAN region.
The "YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 2007" is competed in two classes, the Novice Class and Expert Class, with each class competed in a two-heat race format and the final places being decided on the basis of total championship points for the two heats. The races are competed using machines that have been set up to the same specifications and conditions, and the machines to be used by each team are chosen by means of a fair lottery drawing. Awards of trophies and prize money are given to the top five point finishers in each of the two classes (Novice and Expert) and another trophy is given to the country whose riders score the highest total number of points.
Championship point allotment
The guest riders who will participate in the races are Tomoyoshi Masuda and Masato Nakashima, who both competed in the Super Motard All Japan MOTO1 Class on the Yamaha YZ450F this season. They will give demo runs during the race week.
The super motard is a sport where riders compete on a course consisting of asphalt, and dirt, including some jump sections, using special specification off-road machines on small on-road tires. The spectators are able to simultaneously enjoy the high speeds of road racing and high jumps you usually see in motocross races. This is a sport that riders of road racing, motocross and dirt track enter and compete to see who is fastest in a very physical type of racing. Originally it was popular in regions like Europe and North America, and its popularity has spread to Japan because it is an easy competition to start out in. And, from 2005 an All Japan championship series have been held.
Both Masuda and Nakashima are popular top riders because of their aggressive riding styles. They ranked 3rd and 9th respectively this year in the pinnacle class of super motard racing in Japan, the Super Motard All Japan MOTO1 Class.
Their demo runs of super motard, which is unfamiliar in the ASEAN region, will be performed at the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE and it is hoped that they will attract widespread interest as a new way to enjoy in motorcycling.
Ever since the company's founding in 1955, the Spirit of Challenge has been an important element of Yamaha's corporate culture. Perhaps nothing expresses this spirit more clearly than the company's race activities over the years, in which Yamaha was able to win many race titles, including the championship titles in the pinnacle MotoGP class of road racing and the World Motocross GP.
This year, Antonio Cairoli captured the championship title in the MX2 class of the World Motocross Championships, winning 10 of the 14 rounds of the series with 21 heat wins on the YZ250F. Racing on the YZR-M1 in the MotoGP, Valentino Rossi brought Yamaha its memorable 150th win in the pinnacle GP class in the course of winning several rounds, even though he was unable to win the season title. Riding the YZF-R1 in the World Superbike Championship, Noriyuki Haga placed 2nd in the title race, just 2 season points behind the winner. In the process he helped Yamaha win the Manufacturers Title.
As a way of showing our appreciation for the support that so many motor sport fans and Yamaha fans in Malaysia and the other countries of the ASEAN region, a "YAMAHA Gallery" has been set up at the"YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 2007"venue. Here visitors can experience the Yamaha Racing Spirit and the sporty, stylish Yamaha brand image.
The YAMAHA Gallery will present the development history of the Yamaha MotoGP racer, YZR-M1, from 2002, which is the year the MotoGP started. You will also see the actual machines, the history of changes in them and the evolution of technology related to engines and chassis. Visitors will see a corner set up like the inside of Rossi's MotoGP pit and his racing gear will be on display. There will also be a photo corner where visitors can have their picture taken with the MotoGP machine. Also shown will be the history of Yamaha's 150 wins in the pinnacle classes of the World GP and MotoGP. Visitors will also see some production models like the large-displacement sport bikes that are popular among riders in Europe and North America, and also other interesting models like the T135 that are familiar in the ASEAN region. Next to the gallery, we will hold the experimental riding event in which visitors can ride on the Malaysian production models. Moreover, there will be a corner introducing the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE events of the last four holdings. All of these exhibits will enable visitors to see, touch and feel the Yamaha racing spirit and the sporty and stylish Yamaha brand.