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Gundersen completes Yamaha Ricci Team line-up Oct. 8, 2005

Yamaha Ricci racing team has completed its line-up for 2006 with the signing of Kenneth Gundersen. Gundersen, aged 24 and of Norwegian nationality, will race the new YZ250F with aluminum frame in the MX2 class alongside the current riders of Yamaha Ricci team; Alessio Chiodi and Davide Guarneri. Three-time world champion Chiodi enjoyed a strong season finishing third in the MX2 world championship, while Italian youngster Guarneri, made huge progress this year, winning his first MX2 heat (Round 5 - European GP, Teutschenthal) and finishing 11th in the final standings.

Gundersen has proven credentials in the lightest motocross class, having finished fourth overall in 2001, a year in which he won three GPs. Kenneth comes to the team after two injury marred seasons in MX1. Despite his background coming from a small motocross nation, "Guns" has made his marks on the world stage and is known as a determined competitor and a specialist in sand and on loose soil.
He is no stranger to Yamaha, having won many Norwegian titles from 1996 to 1999 on board YZ-series models. "I'm really looking forward to work with the Yamaha Ricci team next year," said Gundersen. Coming back after two disappointing years and moving to MX2 is actually quite exciting. "This new challenge will allow me again to build up for the future, the bikes are lighter and the racing is really competitive. The track record of Ricci and Yamaha is also strong, so I believe we can get good results together."

After winning three world titles in the MX125 class from 1997 to 1999 the race results of Alessio Chiodi (32) took a hit due to various injuries, but gradually "Chicco" worked his way back to the top of the MX2 class. This season he secured seven podiums and won the second round of the championship in Spain, but he feels he can go even better; "To build further on my improving results it is best to continue with the same team that has supported me in my revival. I will enter into my third year with the team and I feel we can further improve in order to pose a challenge for the world title. An extra motivation and support will be the new YZ250F which will definitely help us to go just a bit faster to fight for the big prize."

Davide Guarneri stood proud on the highest step when he joined his two teammates on the podium for the second heat in the European GP at Teutschenthal. Having tasted GP victory the talented Italian is more then happy to stay where he is; "I'm very glad I can stay with Yamaha Ricci racing team for another season, my feeling with team and the bike are just perfect. Ilario (team manager) is for me the perfect coach. He support me in all aspects of my racing; bike, training and racing strategy. This year I was sometimes hampered by arm pump, so I will train extra hard to avoid this for the future and will do my very best to built further on this encouraging season."

The Yamaha Ricci racing team, supported by Yamaha Motor Italy and Yamaha Motor Europe, claimed a unique three rider podium at the European Grand Prix in Teutschenthal (Germany) and finished second (McFarlane) and third (Chiodi) in final MX2 standings this year. The bikes of the team will again be equipped with YRRD (Yamaha Rinaldi R&D) parts for 2006, guaranteeing the riders to compete with one of the most competitive YZ250F machines available.

Yamaha Ricci Team manager Ilario Ricci stated; "We are happy to have Kenneth on board. After two difficult seasons people have forgotten a little bit about him, but we feel he has a lot to offer the team. Kenneth is a hard worker, he is still quite young, but already he has a lot of experience. Together with Chicco and Davide we will have a very interesting line-up next year. It's a mixture of experience and youthful ambition, but all three riders have the speed to win races."

Career highlights Kenneth Gundersen



4th MX 125cc European Championship
MX 125cc and 250cc-Open Norwegian champion

1998: injured


19th MX 125cc World Championship
MX 125cc and 250cc-Open Norwegian champion

2000: 7th MX 125cc World Championship

2001: 4th MX 125cc World Championship

2002: 5th MX 250cc World Championship

2003: 5th MX1 World Championship

2004: 20th MX1 World Championship (injured)

2005: injured - returned to racing in August

Career highlights Alessio Chiodi


1984: Started racing

1994: 2nd MX125 World Championship

1995: 2nd MX125 World Championship

1996: 16th MX250 World Championship




2000: 33rd MX125 World Championship, injured

2001: 6th MX125 World Championship

2002: 10th MX250 World Championship

2003: 8th MX125 World Championship

2004: 5th MX2 World Championship

2005: 3rd MX2 World Championship

Career highlights Davide Guarneri


2001: Italian Champion MX125 Junior Expert

2002: 12th Italian MX125 Championship


3rd Italian MX125 Championship, 17th 125 World Championship

2004: Injured

2005: 11th MX2 World Championship

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