* Photos from the 5th YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE (held in Malaysia)
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. announces the holding of the "The 6th YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE in Thailand" over the two days of January 17 and 18 at the Bangkok Racing Circuit (overall length: approximately 1,100 m) in Thailand.
This is the sixth running of the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE, an international one-make* race competed on Yamaha 4-stroke sporty mopeds by riders who have qualified by winning national qualifying races and come to this championship race to compete for the title of No. 1 in the ASEAN region. The first race was held in Indonesia in 2003 with the three countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand competing. Singapore and the Philippines joined to bring the number competing nations to five for the second holding in Malaysia 2004. For this sixth holding, five countries will participate, including Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and first-time participant India. From these five countries a total of 46 riders will be competing in the Expert and Novice classes.
With the growing interest in motorcycle sports throughout the ASEAN region in recent years and the desire of a growing number of young people for a more active lifestyle, Yamaha is actively working to strengthen its sporty and stylish brand image and promote the spread and development of motorcycle sports in the ASEAN region. The YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is a symbol of these activities in the region.
As the host this time, Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. will be in charge of the race organization. The race machines will again be Yamaha's flagship 4-stroke moped T135 (Thai market name: SPARK135) for the Expert Class and the region's popular 4-stroke model T110 (Thai market name: SPARK110) for the Novice Class.
* A one-make race is a type of race competition in which all the competitors use the same make.
As a global corporate group with the mission of "offering new excitement and a more fulfilling life for people all over the world," the Yamaha Motor group is dedicating not only to supplying the market with outstanding products and service but also using the human resources and assets gained from our main businesses to contribute to the further development of society in positive and sustainable ways. One of these forms of activities that is a direct reflection of the "Spirit of Challenge" that Yamaha values so highly is the promotion of sports, and motorcycle sports in particular. Sports represent an arena where both the participants and the spectators who cheer them on can share in the combination of excitement and deep satisfaction that we call Kando* in Japanese, and this fact makes sports an ideal way to contribute to society for Yamaha Motor, as we strive to fulfill our corporate mission of being a "Kando Creating Company."
The ASEAN region with their steady growth and development are extremely important regions for Yamaha Motor where we have continued to aggressively introduce new models and market-specific promotions. As a symbol of Yamaha's spirit of challenge and the many promotional activities we pursue in the ASEAN region, we believe that the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is an important promotion from the standpoint of our brand strategy.
However, the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is more than simply another form of brand communication. We consider this race program to be a meaningful proving ground where young riders and mechanics from the participating countries can compete together and improve their skills with the aim of moving on eventually to higher levels of international competition all the way up to the World Championships.
Another major aim of the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE is to have all of the participants and the spectators share in the excitement and satisfaction (Kando) of competition throughout the race week. To encourage this shared experience, the schedule includes gatherings for all the participants from the five countries and events to provide hospitality for race fans that gather during its holding.
In 2008 there has been another sports promotion event that was inaugurated in the region in August, the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP U-13 FOOTBALL tournament. This is an international tournament for young football players under 13 years of age, and as with the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE, it is now a new symbol of Yamaha promoting sports in the ASEAN region. In addition to contributing to healthy youth development, we are determined to continue this tournament so that it will become a goal that young football players of the region can aspire to and build their dreams on. Following on the 2008 event in Vietnam, the second holding of this tournament is scheduled to take place in Thailand in 2009.
*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.
As winner of the Expert Class of the 3rd YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE in 2005, Yamaha Thai Team's Decha KRAISART got the chance to compete as a spot entrant in the ST600 class of the Asian Road Race Championship in 2006 and went on to win the class title in 2007, in his first full year of Asian Championship competition.
Since the 1980s, Yamaha Motor group has undertaken a variety of activities aimed at the spread and development of motor sports in the ASEAN region. These include active promotion of programs 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 many 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 Motor as initiated a support system for the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE winners who satisfy conditions laid down by Yamaha Motor (including age limits and support requirements specific to each country). The support includes instruction, lending of race machines and training of mechanics, etc., all with the aim of helping the riders and teams improve their skills step-by-step to the point where they can participate in the FIM Asian Championships, the All-Japan Championships and perhaps eventually the World GP.
T135 (the Expert Class race machine)
(Thai market name: SPARK135)
The machine to be used in the Expert Class of the 6th YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE in Thailand 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 exclusive Yamaha technologies like the DiASil cylinder and a 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, and since its release in 2005 a total of 1.26 million units have been manufactured. (As of Nov. 2008)
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. Also, the T135 is chosen by many riders competing in national championship series in the region.
T110 (the Novice Class race machine)
(Thai market name: SPARK110)
The machine to be used in the Novice Class of the 6th YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 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 T135 and T110 models used in both classes will sport the official Yamaha racing color, blue, and the Yamaha "Speed Block" graphics as the basic design, to which will be added the national flag and original colors of each country's team. With these colors they will compete for the title of No.1 in the region.
The YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE 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
Ever since the company's founding in 1955, the "Spirit of Challenge" has been an important element of Yamaha Motor'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.
In the 2008 season, Valentino Rossi captured the championship title in the MotoGP riding the YZR-M1, while Yamaha also won the manufacturer's title and team title for an impressive MotoGP "Triple Crown." Also, in the MX1 class of the World Motocross Championships, David Philippaerts rode the YZ450FM to the season title for 2008. In this way Yamaha won the pinnacle international classes in both road racing and motocross.
An illustration of the YAMAHA GALLERY
As a way to give the many motor sport fans and Yamaha fans of the host country Thailand and the other countries of the ASEAN region an experience of the Yamaha racing spirit and the sporty, stylish and innovative Yamaha brand image, a "YAMAHA GALLERY", based on the concept of Yamaha's Spirit of Challenge in Racing, has been set up at the YAMAHA ASEAN CUP RACE venue.
The YAMAHA GALLERY this time will present the challenges of the Yamaha racing world in a variety of race categories through exhibits like a corner set up like the inside of the MotoGP pit of 2008 Rookie of the Year, Jorge Lorenzo, the YZ450FM that Philippaerts won the MX1 title with and the YZF-R1 that Noriyuki Haga rode to a 3rd-place ranking in the world's pinnacle race series for production models, the World Superbike Championship. Also on display are the ASEAN CUP competition models T135 and T110 that have performed so competitively in many races in the ASEAN region. These displays are designed to give a sense of the actual atmosphere of the race track. There will also be a photo corner where visitors can have their picture taken with the 2008 MotoGP championship machine ridden by Valentino Rossi, the YZR-M1. All of these exhibits, including numerous valuable photographs and video footage will enable visitors to see, touch and feel the Yamaha racing spirit and the sporty and stylish and innovative YAMAHA brand.
In hopes that they may provide the opportunity for people to discover a new form of enjoyable motorcycle sport, demonstrations will be given by competitors in the sport of super motard, which is not yet well known in the ASEAN region. 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-diameter 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. For spectators it offers the high speeds of road racing and the jumps and tight maneuvering of motocross.
The guest riders are Tomoyoshi Masuda and Shinyo Sano, who both competed in Japan's top super motard class, the Super Motard All Japan MOTO1, riding on the Yamaha YZ450F in 2008. They will give demo runs during the race week. Masuda has won one of the eight rounds of 2008 season's All Japan MOTO1 series and had three other podium finishes to rank 4th on the season, while Sano has competed in the Super Motard All Japan as well as spot entries in the French national championship. Both are popular top riders because of their aggressive riding styles.