Skip to Main Contents

Teams & Riders

The 2021 program of Yamaha factory and support teams and riders

The racing history of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. began 10 days after the company was founded on July 1, 1955. Our first foray into international racing came in 1958 with an entry in the Catalina Grand Prix, and our first full Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix season followed in 1961. As such, the 2021 season marks our 60th anniversary of racing at the Grand Prix level.

In those 60 years, we have worked with a star-studded lineup of riders in our racing challenge, notching up 511 wins in total (47 in the 125cc class, 165 in 250cc, 63 in 350cc, 120 in 500cc and 116 in MotoGP) with 38 Rider titles, 37 Constructor titles, and 7 Team titles in all.

With the global COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, measures were put in place to prevent the spread so that various championships could go ahead, and Yamaha was able to compete in MotoGP as planned. YZR-M1s swept the podium at the Andalucia Grand Prix and Yamaha continued to put up strong results throughout the season, with 7 wins and 12 podiums in 14 races. The 2020 season also included Yamaha title wins in the premier JSB1000 class of the All Japan Road Race Championship, the MotoAmerica Superbike class, the 250SX West class in AMA Supercross and the 250MX class in the AMA Motocross Championship.

The burden COVID-19 has placed on the world is expected to remain well into 2021, but Yamaha will continue its racing efforts toward furthering our three main principles of raising the value of the Yamaha brand, incorporating technologies and feedback from racing into our products, and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

As part of this, we will work in coordination with our bLU cRU amateur racing support programmes run by our subsidiaries in countries around the world to continue discovering and developing young, promising riders of various nationalities and helping them step up through the ranks of racing. For initiatives on a global scale, this year we will again run the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp, which is held in cooperation with Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy, to develop riders who can compete at the international level, and again send riders to compete in the CEV Moto2 European Championship.

The goal with these activities is to promote the spread of motorcycle racing in each region and train riders that will stand as leaders in their respective countries, while at the same time contributing to the motorcycle business of each subsidiary and raising the value of the Yamaha brand as a whole.

Road Racing

In our 60th season in the premier series of motorcycle road racing, Yamaha is aiming for the MotoGP Triple Crown of Rider, Constructor and Team titles in 2021.

At the start of the 2021 season, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team lineup consisted of Fabio Quartararo, who took three wins and finished 8th overall last year alongside teammate Maverick Viñales. However, due to Viñales’ contract ending mid-season, Franco Morbidelli, who finished 2nd overall on a Yamaha satellite team last year, joins Quartararo in the factory team starting from Round 14.

The satellite PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team took six wins and eight podiums in 2020. The team began this season with a lineup of Franco Morbidelli and racing legend Valentino Rossi competing in his 26th season of Grand Prix racing. With the end of Maverick Viñales’ contract mid-season resulting in Franco Morbidelli’s move to the factory team, three-time MotoGP runner-up Andrea Dovisioso joins the team from Round 14 to contest the remainder of the season.

The Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team’s Toprak Razgatlioglu completed his best-ever season in 2020 with 4th overall. He will line up alongside 2020 World Supersport Champion Andrea Locatelli, who dominated the 600cc series with 12 wins from 15 races.

Garrett Gerloff finished on the podium three times last season and will be lining up for the GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team once again. The American is paired with rising Japanese star Kohta Nozane, who took seven wins on his way to winning his first All Japan JSB1000 title last year. All four riders will be aiming to win the first title for Yamaha in the class since 2009.

In the 2019-2020 Endurance World Championship (EWC), the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team finished as vice champion with two victories. Contesting on the YZF-R1, the team will feature the same trio of riders as last season, with Karel Hanika, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa looking to have another strong showing this season.

The AMA/FIM North American Motorcycle Road Racing Championship (MotoAmerica) will feature the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing team competing on YZF-R1s in the premier Superbike class with 2020 championship runner-up Jake Gagne and new addition Josh Herrin. Yamaha has won the title three years in a row and the team’s goal is to take that number to four in 2021.

In addition to our racing campaigns, Yamaha Motor will continue our work to train up-and-coming riders in step with the bLU cRU rider support programmes run by our subsidiaries around the world. In cooperation with Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider development project has been held since 2016 to train and develop young talent. Last year, its activities were put on hold due to COVID-19, but it will resume holding camps in 2021 after a yearlong absence.

To date, 41 riders from 15 countries—mainly from Southeast Asia and Europe—have attended the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp and several have gone on to compete in international championships, demonstrating the success of the project. Indonesian rider and Master Camp graduate Galang Hendra Pratama is set to once again ride in the World Supersport Championship this season. Also, in tandem with the project, the VR46 Master Camp Junior Team competes in the CEV Moto2 European Championship to give promising riders the chance to advance their careers, and this season, Thai riders Peerapong Boonlert and Keminth Kubo will race for the team.

The Asia Road Racing Championship is scheduled to get underway in June 2021, but the team and rider lineups are still being finalized. An official announcement will be made once they have been decided.



For more information on the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp
https://race.yamaha-motor.co.jp/sp/vr46ra/

Motocross/Supercross

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team will represent Yamaha in the premier MXGP class of the Motocross World Championship. Runner-up the past two years, Jeremy Seewer will once again ride for the team alongside teammate Glen Coldenhoff, who finished 8th overall last year, and Ben Watson, who steps up from the MX2 class for his 450cc debut season in 2021. All three riders have their sights set on winning Yamaha its first title in the class since 2015 aboard their YZ450F machines.

The Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 team will contest the MX2 class in 2021 with Jago Geerts, who finished 2nd overall last season, Maxime Renaux, last year’s 3rd place finisher, and European Motocross Champion (EMX250) Thibault Benistant. All three will pilot YZ250Fs.

Having kicked off on January 16, the AMA Supercross Championship has already held several rounds. The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450/250 Team is competing on YZ450Fs in the premier class with Aaron Plessinger, who ended last year in 11th, Dylan Ferrandis, who makes his 450cc debut with two 250SX West titles and one 250MX title under his belt, and Malcolm Stewart in his third season of 450SX action.

In the 250SX classes, Justin Cooper and Colt Nichols remain with the team from last season, while two-time 250SX champion Jeremy Martin, Christian Craig, Jarrett Frye and Nate Thrasher join the team for 2021 to complete a six-rider lineup. Their goal is none other than to secure both the East and West 250SX titles this season on their YZ250Fs.

The Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing team will also compete in the AMA Motocross Championship set to begin on May 30. Plessinger and Ferrandis will ride YZ450F machines in the 450MX class, while Cooper, Nichols, Martin, Craig, Frye and Thrasher will all contest the 250MX class on YZ250Fs.


Main Yamaha Race Teams for 2021

Road Racing

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
MotoGP World Championship
#20 Fabio Quartararo Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1
#21 Franco Morbidelli
#46 Valentino Rossi PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
#4 Andrea Dovizioso
World Superbike Championship
#54 Toprak Razgatlıoğlu Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team YZF-R1
#55 Andrea Locatelli
#31 Garrett Gerloff GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team
#3 Kohta Nozane
Endurance World Championship
#7 Karel Hanika YART Yamaha Official EWC Team YZF-R1
#7 Marvin Fritz
#7 Niccolò Canepa
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship
#32 Jake Gagne Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing YZF-R1
#2 Josh Herrin

Motocross/Supercross

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
MXGP World Championship
#91 Jeremy Seewer Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP YZ450F
#259 Glenn Coldenhoff
#919 Ben Watson
MX2 World Championship
#193 Jago Geerts Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 YZ250F
#959 Maxime Renaux
#198 Thibault Benistant
AMA Supercross: 450cc Class
#7 Aaron Plessinger Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team YZ450F
#14 Dylan Ferrandis
#27 Malcolm Stewart
AMA Supercross: 250cc Class
#6 Jeremy Martin Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team YZ250F
#32 Justin Cooper
#29 Christian Craig
#64 Colt Nichols
#59 Jarrett Frye
#91 Nate Thrasher
AMA Motocross: 450cc Class
#7 Aaron Plessinger Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team YZ450F
#14 Dylan Ferrandis
AMA Motocross: 250cc Class
#6 Jeremy Martin Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 250 Team YZ250F
#32 Justin Cooper
#29 Christian Craig
#64 Colt Nichols
#59 Jarrett Frye
#91 Nate Thrasher

2021 Rider Profiles

Road Racing

MotoGP World Championship

#20 Fabio Quartararo

Nationality French
Born April 20, 1999
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
 
Racing career
2015 10th in Moto3 World Championship
2016 13th in Moto3 World Championship
2017 13th in Moto2 World Championship
2018 10th in Moto2 World Championship
2019 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2020 8th in MotoGP World Championship

#21 Franco Morbidelli

Nationality Italian
Born Dec. 4, 1994
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP
Racing career
2014 11th in Moto2 World Championship
2015 10th in Moto2 World Championship
2016 4th in Moto2 World Championship
2017 Moto2 World Champion
2018 15th in MotoGP World Championship
2019 10th in MotoGP World Championship
2020 2nd in MotoGP World Championship

#46 Valentino Rossi

Nationality Italian
Born Feb. 16, 1979
Racing team PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
Racing career
1996 9th in MotoGP World Championship 125cc class
1997 MotoGP World Champion, 125cc class
1998 2nd in MotoGP World Championship 250cc class
1999 MotoGP World Champion, 250cc class
2000 2nd in MotoGP World Championship 500cc class
2001 MotoGP World Champion, 500cc class
2002 MotoGP World Champion
2003 MotoGP World Champion
2004 MotoGP World Champion
2005 MotoGP World Champion
2006 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2007 3rd in MotoGP World Championship
2008 MotoGP World Champion
2009 MotoGP World Champion
2010 3rd in MotoGP World Championship
2011 7th in MotoGP World Championship
2012 6th in MotoGP World Championship
2013 4th in MotoGP World Championship
2014 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2015 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2016 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2017 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2018 3rd in MotoGP World Championship
2019 7th in MotoGP World Championship
2020 15th in MotoGP World Championship

#4 Andrea Dovizioso

Nationality Italian
Born Mar. 23, 1986
Racing team PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
Racing career
2002 16th in MotoGP World Champion, 125cc class
2003 5th in MotoGP World Champion, 125cc class
2004 MotoGP World Champion, 125cc class
2005 3rd in MotoGP World Champion, 250cc class
2006 2nd in MotoGP World Champion, 250cc class
2007 2nd in MotoGP World Champion, 250cc class
2008 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2009 6th in MotoGP World Championship
2010 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2011 3rd in MotoGP World Championship
2012 4th in MotoGP World Championship
2013 8th in MotoGP World Championship
2014 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2015 7th in MotoGP World Championship
2016 5th in MotoGP World Championship
2017 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2018 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2019 2nd in MotoGP World Championship
2020 4th in MotoGP World Championship

World Superbike Championship

#54 Toprak Razgatlıoğlu

Nationality Turkish
Born Oct. 16, 1996
Racing team Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team
Racing career
2014 13th in European Superstock 600 Championship
2015 European Superstock 600 Champion
2016 5th in FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
2017 2nd in FIM Superstock 1000 Cup
2018 9th in World Superbike Championship
2019 5th in World Superbike Championship
2020 4th in World Superbike Championship

#55 Andrea Locatelli

Nationality Italian
Born Oct. 16, 1996
Racing team Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Official Team
Racing career
2014 Contested Moto3 Championship
2015 20th in Moto3 World Championship
2016 9th in Moto3 World Championship
2017 28th in Moto2 World Championship
2018 15th in Moto2 World Championship
2019 18th in Moto2 World Championship
2020 World Supersport Champion

#31 Garrett Gerloff

Nationality American
Born Aug. 1, 1995
Racing team GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team
Racing career
2015 3rd in MotoAmerica Supersport Championship
2016 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion
2017 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion
2018 5th in MotoAmerica Supersport Championship
2019 3rd in MotoAmerica Supersport Championship
2020 11th in World Superbike Championship

#3 Kohta Nozne

Nationality Japanese
Born Oct. 29, 1995
Racing team GRT Yamaha WorldSBK Team
Racing career
2010 9th in All Japan Road Race Championship J-GP3 class
2011 7th in All Japan Road Race Championship J-GP2 class
2012 3rd in All Japan Road Race Championship J-GP2 class
2013 All Japan J-GP2 Champion
2014 8th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2015 7th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2016 5th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2017 5th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2018 4th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2019 3rd in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2020 All Japan JSB1000 Champion

MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship

#32 Jake Gagne

Nationality American
Born Aug. 27, 1993
Racing team Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
Racing career
2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Champion
2016 10th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
2017 24th in World Superbike Championship
11th in MotoAmerica Superbike
2018 17th in World Superbike Championship
2019 8th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
2020 2nd in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship

#2 Josh Herrin

Nationality American
Born May 23, 1990
Racing team Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
Racing career
2006 11th in AMA Supersport Championship
2007 7th in AMA Supersport Championship
2008 5th in AMA Supersport Championship
2009 2nd in AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Championship
2010 3rd in AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Championship
2011 2nd in AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike Championship
2012 4th in AMA Superbike Championship
2013 AMA Superbike Champion
2014 Contested Moto2 World Championship
2015 2nd in MotoAmerica Supersport Championship
2016 5th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Champion
2017 8th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
2018 3rd in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
2019 5th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship
2020 6th in MotoAmerica Superbike Championship

Motocross/Supercross

MXGP World Championship

#91 Jeremy Seewer

Nationality Swiss
Born July 18, 1994
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
Racing career
2014 10th in MX2 World Championship
2015 5th in MX2 World Championship
2016 2nd in MX2 World Championship
2017 2nd in MX2 World Championship
2018 8th in MXGP World Championship
2019 2nd in MXGP World Championship
2020 2nd in MXGP World Championship

#259 Glenn Coldenhoff

Nationality Dutch
Born Feb. 13, 1991
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
Racing career
2013 5th in MX2 World Championship
2014 13th in MX2 World Championship
2015 8th in MXGP World Championship
2016 7th in MXGP World Championship
2017 10th in MXGP World Championship
2018 7th in MXGP World Championship
2019 3rd in MXGP World Championship
2020 8th in MXGP World Championship

#919 Ben Watson

Nationality British
Born June 5, 1997
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
Racing career
2018 4th in MX2 World Championship
2019 10th in MX2 World Championship
2020 5th in MX2 World Championship

AMA Supercross/Motocross Championships: 450cc Class

#7 Aaron Plessinger

Nationality American
Born Jan. 25, 1996
Racing team Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team
Racing career
2015 5th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
6th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2016 2nd in AMA Supercross 250cc East Division
5th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2017 3rd in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
4th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2018 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
AMA Motocross 250cc Champion
2019 16th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
21st in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2020 11th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
7th in AMA Motocross 450cc class

#14 Dylan Ferrandis

Nationality French
Born May 31, 1994
Racing team Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team
Racing career
2012 10th in MX2 World Championship
2013 9th in MX2 World Championship
2014 4th in MX2 World Championship
2015 15th in MX2 World Championship
2016 7th in MX2 World Championship
2017 5th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
6th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2018 21st in AMA Supercross 250cc East Division
8th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2019 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
2nd in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2020 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
AMA Motocross 250cc Champion

#27 Malcolm Stewart

Nationality American
Born Oct. 27, 1992
Racing team Monster Energy Star Yamaha Racing 450 Team
Racing career
2011 8th in AMA Supercross Lites East Division
11th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2012 10th in AMA Supercross Lites East Division
11th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2013 10th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
13th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2014 6th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
16th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2015 7th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
2016 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
2017 15th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
2018 11th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
2019 30th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
2020 7th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
Back to
Top