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Teams & Riders

The 2018 program of Yamaha factory and support teams and riders

Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 7272) is actively engaged in racing efforts all over the world in order to develop technologies and personnel under three main principles: raising the value of the Yamaha brand, acquiring advanced technologies and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

In MotoGP last season, Yamaha notched up its 500th Grand Prix victory since it began racing in the World Championship in 1961, with Maverick Viñales finishing the season in 3rd while Valentino Rossi was ranked 5th. Other achievements included the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team lifting the Endurance World Championship (EWC) title at the series’ Suzuka 8 Hours finale, where the Yamaha Factory Racing Team also took victory for the third year in a row—a first for Yamaha.

Starting in Asia since 2015, Yamaha has also continued its efforts to develop young riders by creating a tiered step-up structure with the goal of allowing aspiring riders, no matter where they are from, to make their way to the top of motorcycle racing. As a result, riders who showed promise in the All Japan Road Race Championship and the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) last season have begun entering European road racing categories, demonstrating steady forward progress.

Under the three basic principles, Yamaha will once again engage in motorsports in 2018 with a global perspective, aiming to take numerous victories and communicate our “Revs your Heart” brand slogan.

Road Racing

In the MotoGP World Championship in 2017, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP factory team clinched Yamaha’s 500th GP win. Maverick Viñales achieved a personal-best season finish of 3rd while his teammate Valentino Rossi took one victory among his six podium finishes on his way to 5th overall. Both riders will once again be on the starting grid in 2018.

In MotoGP last season, Yamaha notched up its 500th Grand Prix victory since it began racing in the World Championship in 1961, with Maverick Viñales finishing the season in 3rd while Valentino Rossi was ranked 5th. Other achievements included the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team lifting the Endurance World Championship (EWC) title at the series’ Suzuka 8 Hours finale, where the Yamaha Factory Racing Team also took victory for the third year in a row—a first for Yamaha.

Starting in Asia since 2015, Yamaha has also continued its efforts to develop young riders by creating a tiered step-up structure with the goal of allowing aspiring riders, no matter where they are from, to make their way to the top of motorcycle racing. As a result, riders who showed promise in the All Japan Road Race Championship and the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) last season have begun entering European road racing categories, demonstrating steady forward progress.

Under the three basic principles, Yamaha will once again engage in motorsports in 2018 with a global perspective, aiming to take numerous victories and communicate our “Revs your Heart” brand slogan.

Road Racing

In the MotoGP World Championship in 2017, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP factory team clinched Yamaha’s 500th GP win. Maverick Viñales achieved a personal-best season finish of 3rd while his teammate Valentino Rossi took one victory among his six podium finishes on his way to 5th overall. Both riders will once again be on the starting grid in 2018.

The Monster Yamaha Tech3 satellite team will field three-time podium finisher, Rookie of the Year and 6th ranked Johann Zarco. As Jonas Folger has withdrawn from competing this season, Zarco’s teammate will be Moto2 podium finisher Hafizh Syahrin, who will be making his MotoGP debut this year. All four Yamaha riders and both teams will be using the YZR-M1, aiming to win the Triple Crown for Yamaha in 2018.

The Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team is set to contest the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship (WorldSBK) in 2018 with riders Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark. Last season both stood on the podium as Lowes finished 5th overall and van der Mark 6th. They also played a major role riding for Yamaha Factory Racing Team in the Suzuka 8 Hours, where they helped Yamaha take its first-ever third consecutive victory. In 2018 they will take to the track on the potent YZF-R1 superbike—now in its third season in the class—in a bid to win the WorldSBK title for Yamaha for the first time since 2009.

Yamaha will also participate in the FIM World Supersport Championship (WorldSSP) with the GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team fielding the latest YZF-R6 and reigning champion Lucas Mahias, who took two wins among his eight podiums on his way to the title. Alongside him will be Federico Caricasulo, who finished last season ranked 5th, and 2017 World Supersport 300 (WSSP300) title runner-up Alfonso Coppola as they look to bring Yamaha back-to-back titles.

The Endurance World Championship (EWC) is already underway with the Bol d’Or held in September 2017. Having won their third title last year and the first race of the season already, the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team are aiming for another crown while the YART Yamaha Official EWC Team, which ranked third last season, will again be lined up alongside them on the grid.

To further the development of the endurance-spec YZF-R1 as well as aim for a consecutive EWC title for Yamaha, Takuya Fujita, who was on the Yamalube Racing Team (Yamaha’s All Japan youth development team) last season in the premier All Japan JSB1000 class, will make the step up to the world stage as a member of the YART team beginning from the second round of the season.

In the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, Cameron Beaubier, who won successive Superbike titles in 2015 and 2016 and ranked 3rd last season, will be joined by 2016–2017 Supersport champion Garrett Gerloff. Both will be riding the YZF-R1 on the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing team.

The Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) is a vital part of Yamaha’s bid to develop young riders, and Yuki Ito and Keminth Kubo will again contest the premier SuperSports 600 (SS600) class aboard the YZF-R6 as Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN. Last season Ito came very close to lifting the title but finished 4th, while rookie challenger Kubo finished 17th. Just as last season, Yamaha will be focused on clinching the title while developing its two riders.

Held before each SS600 class race, the Asia Production 250 (AP250) class will feature Yamaha teams managed by local subsidiaries. Yamaha will be working to develop its riders through various avenues of support for them to make the next step in their racing careers to Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN or other higher classes.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp held in cooperation with Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy will be held once again in 2018.

First started in 2016, over the previous four times the Camp has been held in the past two years, 23 riders from 12 different countries around the world—primarily from Asia—were selected to participate. Of those, Thai rider Apiwat Wongthananon joined the VR46 Master Camp Team in last year’s FIM CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship, and will remain with the team to compete again in 2018. Indonesian rider Galang Hendra Pratama will also make his full season debut in the World Supersport 300 class as Coppola makes the step up to the World Supersport Championship, reflecting the positive results already being achieved in Yamaha’s endeavours to discover and develop new talents.

Motocross/Supercross

In the Motocross World Championship, last season’s 6th ranked Romain Febvre and 7th ranked Jeremy Van Horebeek will ride once again for the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team aboard the factory-spec YZ450FM as they aim to take the premier-class title.

In addition, the Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP Team will field a three-man team with Shaun Simpson and Arnaud Tonus joined by MX2 championship runner-up Jeremy Seewer as he makes the step up to MXGP competition. All three will ride the YZ450F.

In the MX2 class, Vsevolod Brylyakov and Jago Geerts are joined by Ben Watson in the Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team, all riding the YZ250F with their eyes on taking the championship win.

The Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s riders in the AMA Supercross Championship’s premier 450cc class, which got started in January earlier this year, are young talent Cooper Webb—now in his second season in 450s—and class veteran Justin Barcia, who returns to Yamaha for the first time since 2015. Both are contesting the championship aboard the all-new 2018 YZ450F.

The Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing team and other entries are participating in both the East and West Division 250cc Supercross championships aiming for their respective titles with the YZ250F.

For the AMA Motocross Championship season that gets underway in May, the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team will compete aboard the 2018 YZ450F in the pinnacle 450cc class. Its rider line-up will be the same as in Supercross with Cooper Webb and Justin Barcia taking on the challenge.

The 250cc class will also have the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing team and other entries on the roster running YZ250F machines.

Enduro

In the Enduro World Championship, the Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team keeps the same rider line-up as last season, with Loic Larrieu competing on the WR450F in the EnduroGP class and Jamie McCanney on the WR250F in the Enduro 2 class.

Main Yamaha Race Teams for 2018

Road Racing

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
MotoGP World Championship
Maverick Viñales Movistar Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1
Valentino Rossi
Johann Zarco Monster Yamaha Tech3
Hafizh Syahrin
FIM World Superbike Championship
Alex Lowes Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team YZF-R1
Michael van der Mark
FIM World Supersport Championship
Lucas Mahias GRT Yamaha Official WorldSSP Team YZF-R6
Federico Caricasulo
Alfonso Coppola
FIM Endurance World Championship
David Checa GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team YZF-R1
Mike Di Meglio
Niccolò Canepa
Broc Parkes YART Yamaha Official EWC Team
Marvin Fritz
Takuya Fujita
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship
Cameron Beaubier Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing YZF-R1
Garrett Gerloff
Asia Road Racing Championship: SS600 Class
Yuki Ito Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN YZF-R6
Keminth Kubo
Decha Kraisart Yamaha Thailand Racing Team
Chalermpol Polamai
Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin Hong Leong Yamaha Malysia
Mohd Ramdan Bin Mohd Rosli
Asia Road Racing Championship: AP250 Class
Anupab Sarmoon Yamaha Thailand Racing Team YZF-R25
Peerapong Boonlert
Kanatat Jaiman
Richard Taroreh Yamaha Racing Indonesia
Mohd Faeroz
Asia Road Racing Championship: UB150 Class
Wahyu Aji Trilaksana Yamaha Racing Indonesia Jupiter MX KING

Motocross/Supercross

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
FIM MXGP World Championship
Romain Febvre Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team YZ450FM
Jeremy Van Horebeek
Shaun Simpson Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP Team YZ450F
Jeremy Seewer
Arnaud Tonus
FIM MX2 World Championship
Vsevolod Brylyakov Kemea Yamaha Official MX2 Team YZ250F
Ben Watson
Jago Geerts
AMA Supercross: 450cc Class
Cooper Webb Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZ450F
Justin Barcia
AMA Supercross: 250cc Class
Aaron Plessinger Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing YZ250F
Dylan Ferrandis
Colt Nichols
Mitchell Oldenburg
Justin Cooper
AMA Motocross: 450cc Class
Cooper Webb Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZ450F
Justin Barcia
AMA Motocross: 250cc Class
Aaron Plessinger Monster Energy/Yamalube/Star/Yamaha Racing YZ250F
Dylan Ferrandis
Colt Nichols
Mitchell Oldenburg
Justin Cooper

Enduro

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
FIM Enduro World Championships: EnduroGP
Loic Larrieu Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team WR450F
FIM Enduro World Championships: Enduro 2
Jamie McCanney Outsiders Yamaha Official Enduro Team WR250F

2018 Rider Profiles

Road Racing

MotoGP World Championship

Maverick Viñales

Nationality Spanish
Born Jan. 12, 1995
Racing team Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
Racing career
2011 3rd in MotoGP World Championship 125cc class
2012 3rd in Moto3 World Championship
2013 Moto3 World Champion
2014 3rd in Moto2 World Championship
2015 12th in MotoGP World Championship
2016 4th in MotoGP World Championship
2017 3rd in MotoGP World Championship

Valentino Rossi

Nationality Italian
Born Feb. 16, 1979
Racing team Movistar Yamaha MotoGP
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

Johann Zarco

Nationality French
Born July 16, 1990
Racing team Monster Yamaha Tech3
Racing career
2010 12th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
2011 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
2012 23rd in Moto2 World Championship
2013 28th in Moto2 World Championship
2014 19th in Moto2 World Championship
2015 16th in Moto2 World Championship
2016 9th in Moto2 World Championship
2017 10th in Moto2 World Championship

Hafizh Syahrin

Nationality Malaysian
Born May 5, 1994
Racing team Monster Yamaha Tech3
Racing career
2010 12th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
2011 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
2012 23rd in Moto2 World Championship
2013 28th in Moto2 World Championship
2014 19th in Moto2 World Championship
2015 16th in Moto2 World Championship
2016 9th in Moto2 World Championship
2017 10th in Moto2 World Championship

World Superbike Championship

Alex Lowes

Nationality British
Born Sep. 14, 1990
Racing team Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
Racing career
2008 16th in European Superstock 600 Championship
2009 26th in European Superstock 1000 Championship
2010 12th in British Supersport Championship
2011 20th in British Superbike Championship
2012 4th in British Superbike Championship
2013 British Superbike Champion
2014 11th in World Superbike Championship
2015 10th in World Superbike Championship
2016 12th in World Superbike Championship
2017 5th in World Superbike Championship

Michael van der Mark

Nationality Dutch
Born Oct. 26, 1992
Racing team Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team
Racing career
2010 30th in European Superstock 600 Championship
2011 3rd in European Superstock 600 Championship
2012 European Superstock 600 Champion
2013 4th in World Supersport Championship
2014 World Supersport Champion
2015 7th in World Superbike Championship
2016 4th in World Superbike Championship
2017 6th in World Superbike Championship

MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship

Cameron Beaubier

Nationality American
Born Dec. 6, 1992
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing
Racing career
2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion
2016 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion
2017 3rd in MotoAmerica Superbike

Garrett Gerloff

Nationality American
Born Aug. 1, 1995
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing
Racing career
2015 3rd in MotoAmerica Supersport
2016 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion
2017 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion

Asia Road Racing Championship: SS600 Class

Yuki Ito

Nationality Japanese
Born Nov. 14, 1991
Racing team Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN
Racing career
2006 19th in All Japan Road Race Championship 250cc class
2007 12th in All Japan Road Race Championship 250cc class
2008 9th in All Japan Road Race Championship 250cc class
2010 Entry in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2011 19th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2012 5th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
12th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2013 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
8th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2014 2nd in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
12th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2015 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
16th in All Japan Road Race Championship JSB1000 class
2016 13th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
2017 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class

Keminth Kubo

Nationality Thai
Born May 21, 1999
Racing team Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN
Racing career
2016 Motegi Road Racing Championship ST600 Champion
2017 17th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class

Motocross

MXGP World Championship

Romain Febvre

Nationality French
Born Dec. 31, 1991
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
Racing career
2012 13th in MX2 World Championship
2013 12th in MX2 World Championship
2014 3rd in MX2 World Championship
2015 MXGP World Champion
2016 4th in MXGP World Championship
2017 6th in MXGP World Championship

Jeremy Van Horebeek

Profile
Nationality Belgian
Born Nov. 28, 1989
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP Team
Racing career
2007 16th in MX2 World Championship
2008 8th in MX2 World Championship
2009 11th in MX2 World Championship
2010 9th in MX2 World Championship
2011 17th in MX2 World Championship
2012 3rd in MX2 World Championship
2013 7th in MX1 World Championship
2014 2nd in MXGP World Championship
2015 5th in MXGP World Championship
2016 6th in MXGP World Championship
2017 7th in MXGP World Championship

AMA Supercross/Motocross Championships: 450cc Class

Cooper Webb

Nationality American
Born Oct. 11, 1995
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Racing career
2014 5th in AMA Supercross 250cc West Division
3rd in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2015 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
11th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2016 AMA Supercross 250cc West Division Champion
AMA Motocross 250cc class Champion
2017 13th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
7th in AMA Motocross 450cc class

Justin Barcia

Nationality American
Born Mar. 25, 1992
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Racing career
2009 5th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2010 2nd in AMA Supercross Lites East Division
5th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2011 AMA Supercross Lites East Division Champion
12th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2012 AMA Supercross Lites East Division Champion
2rd in AMA Motocross 250cc class
2013 4th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
3rd in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2014 5th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
22th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2015 15th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
3rd in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2016 21th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
4th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2017 17th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
13th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
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