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Teams & Riders

The 2019 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 under its three main principles of raising the value of the Yamaha brand, acquiring advanced technologies, and promoting the healthy spread of motorcycle racing.

The results of those efforts in 2018 included Valentino Rossi placing 3rd overall in the MotoGP World Championship with teammate Maverick Viñales finishing 4th, an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory at the Suzuka 8 Hours season finale of the Endurance World Championship (EWC), and title wins in the respective premier classes of the All Japan Road Race Championship, the Asia Road Racing Championship, and the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North America Championship. In addition to these achievements, we brought Kando* to people around the world.

Also, since 2015, Yamaha has been creating a tiered step-up structure to develop young riders from Southeast Asia and around the world. Our efforts in this area have shown steady progress and results as several riders have made the jump from Asia to Europe in pursuit of new challenges.

As Yamaha Motor began racing when it was founded in 1955, 2019 marks the beginning of our 65th year of racing. And once again, Yamaha will put its maximum effort forward in contesting the world’s principal racing series, contributing to nurturing the next generation of racers, promoting motorsports culture, and communicating our “Revs your Heart” brand slogan.


*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.

Road Racing

In this year’s MotoGP World Championship, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP factory team will feature Valentino Rossi, who took five podium finishes for 3rd overall in 2018, line up on the grid with teammate Maverick Viñales, who also stood atop the podium five times including one victory on his way to 4th overall, as they lead the charge for Yamaha this season.
Following the signing of a new partnership contract to become a Yamaha satellite team, the PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team will field 2017 Moto2 World Champion Franco Morbidelli, now embarking on his second season in the premier class after finishing 15th and as Rookie of the Year in 2018, and Fabio Quartararo, who ranked 10th overall in Moto2 last season with a career-first win at the Catalunya Grand Prix.
With these two teams and four riders all on the YZR-M1, Yamaha will seek to clinch the MotoGP World Championship title.

The Pata Yamaha Team will again contest the World Superbike Championship this season with Michael van der Mark and Alex Lowes, who both notched up their first wins in the series last season and also helped bring the Yamaha Factory Racing Team its fourth straight Suzuka 8 Hours win.
Also, the new GRT Yamaha Supported Team will welcome Marco Melandri, who finished 5th last season, and 2018 World Supersport Champion Sandro Cortese as he makes the step up to the pinnacle class. These four riders will be aiming to take Yamaha’s first championship victory in the class since 2009 aboard the YZF-R1, which has been further refined through technical collaboration and support with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team in Japan.

Finishing 16th overall last season but with a win at the 8 Hours of Slovakia Ring, the YART Yamalube Yamaha Team is already contesting the 2018-2019 Endurance World Championship (EWC) with the YZF-R1. In a solid start to their campaign to win the title, riders Broc Parkes, Marvin Fritz and Niccolò Canepa made a dramatic comeback to take 2nd in the gruelling Bol d'Or 24-hour endurance race that kicked off the season in September 2018.

In the premier Superbike class of the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship, the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team will compete with the YZF-R1 and feature Cameron Beaubier, who clinched his third title last year after taking back-to-back wins in 2015 and 2016, and Garrett Gerloff, who placed 5th last season in his rookie year in the class.

The Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) will debut ASB1000 this year as its new premier class. Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN will move up to the new class and run the YZF-R1 with riders Yuki Ito, who placed 9th in the SS600 class last season, and EWC regular Broc Parkes. The Yamaha Thailand Racing Team will also move up to the litre-bike class with 2018 SS600 Champion Ratthapong Wilairot and Apiwath Wongthananon, who returns from two years in the ultra-competitive CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship. Yamaha’s goal is to lift the first-ever ASB1000 championship crown and boost its presence in Southeast Asia, where motorsport enjoys a passionate fanbase.
The intermediate SS600 and AP250 feeder classes serve an important role in personnel development, and teams run by Yamaha’s subsidiaries will be contesting both. Yamaha has been supporting teams in these classes since 2015, and one of the standouts has been Anupab Sarmoon of the Yamaha Thailand Racing Team. From being a constant frontrunner in the AP250 class to taking consecutive wins at the Suzuka 4 Hours and making wildcard appearances in the All Japan JSB1000 class, he has gained experience and grown as a rider, and will make the switch to the CEV Moto2 European Championship this season. Yamaha will continue its rider support and development efforts to bring talent from the ARRC to the world stage.

Held in cooperation with Valentino Rossi’s VR46 Riders Academy, the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp rider development programme completed its first three-year agreement begun in 2016, and a new three-year agreement has been finalised to continue the project. Over the next three years, six Master Camps are set to be held in Italy.
Over the previous six times the Camp has been held in the past three years, 32 riders from 13 different countries around the world—primarily from Southeast Asia at first—were selected to participate. Of those, Wongthananon was chosen to ride in the CEV Moto3 Junior World Championship for two seasons, and Thai rider Keminth Kubo, who showed impressive growth during his time in the ARRC’s SS600 class, will move to the CEV Moto2 European Championship alongside Sarmoon for this season. Indonesian star Galang Hendra Pratama also completed his first full season in the World Supersport 300 Championship last year, claiming a win in the process, and will vie for the title again this season. In these ways, the project is producing riders ready and capable of battling at the world level.
This step-up framework will be strengthened and expanded over the next three years from 2019 with the Master Camp at its focal point to find and hone racing talent from around the world.


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

Motocross/Supercross

In the Motocross World Championship’s top class of MXGP, the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team will aim for the championship victory with factory-spec YZ450FMs ridden by Romain Febvre, who podiumed several times in 2018 to take 6th despite injuries, and Jeremy Seewer, who finished a strong 8th place in his rookie season in the premier class last year.
In addition, the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team will field Arnaud Tonus and Gautier Paulin aboard the YZ450F, while the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 team will have Ben Watson and Jago Geerts racing on YZ250F machinery.

In the AMA Supercross Championship that got underway on January 5, 2019, the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team’s line-up for the premier 450cc class features Justin Barcia and Aaron Plessinger, both riding the YZ450F. Barcia finished 10th in 450SX in 2018 while Plessinger has stepped up to the top class this season after clinching the 250SX West and 250MX titles last year. The Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing team is participating in both the East and West Division championships of 250cc Supercross, aiming for their respective titles with the YZ250F.

For the AMA Motocross Championship that begins in May, the Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team will compete aboard the YZ450F in the pinnacle 450cc class with the same rider line-up of Barcia and Plessinger for the outdoors title challenge. In the 250cc class, the Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing team will campaign on the YZ250F while Japanese motocross star Yusuke Watanabe will also compete in the class again this year.
Watanabe made steady progress as a rider on Yamaha’s youth team for rider development in the All Japan Motocross Championship, winning the 250cc IA2 class title in 2017. He began a new challenge last season both to further his growth as a rider and to serve as a model case of a Japanese rider heading overseas to compete by entering the AMA Motocross Championship. For his second year in the series, he will be aiming to pick up points and break into the higher positions.

To follow Yusuke Watanabe’s challenge in the AMA
https://race.yamaha-motor.co.jp/sp/amamx/en/


Main Yamaha Race Teams for 2019

Road Racing

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
MotoGP World Championship
#46 Valentino Rossi Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1
#12 Maverick Viñales
#21 Franco Morbidelli PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
#20 Fabio Quartararo
World Superbike Championship
#60 Michael van der Mark Pata Yamaha Team YZF-R1
#22 Alex Lowes
#33 Marco Melandri GRT Yamaha Supported Team
#11 Sandro Cortese
Endurance World Championship
#7 Broc Parkes YART Yamalube Yamaha Team YZF-R1
#7 Marvin Fritz
#7 Niccolò Canepa
MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship
#1 Cameron Beaubier Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZF-R1
#31 Garrett Gerloff
Asia Road Racing Championship: ASB1000 Class
#23 Broc Parkes Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN YZF-R1
#76 Yuki Ito
#56 Ratthapong Wilairot Yamaha Thailand Racing Team
#24 Apiwath Wongthananon
Asia Road Racing Championship: SS600 Class
#45 Peerapong Boonlert Yamaha Thailand Racing Team YZF-R6
#127 Kasma Daniel Kasmayudin HONG LEONG YAMAHA MALAYSIA
#50 Ahmad Afif Amran
Asia Road Racing Championship: AP250 Class
#56 Sawapol Nilapong Yamaha Thailand Racing Team YZF-R25
#86 Suttipat Patchareetorn
#901 M Faerozi YAMAHA Racing Indonesia
#96 Anggi Setiawan
Asia Road Racing Championship: UB150 Class
#89 Wahyu Nugroho YAMAHA Racing Indonesia Jupiter  MX KING
#570 Aldi Satya Mahendra
#123 Mckinley Kyle Paz UMA RACING YAMAHA PHILIPPINES TEAM Sniper150
#17 Masato Fernando

Motocross/Supercross

Rider(s) Team(s) Machine
MXGP World Championship
#461 Romain Febvre Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP YZ450FM
#91 Jeremy Seewer
#4 Arnaud Tonus Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP YZ450F
#21 Gautier Paulin
MX2 World Championship
#919 Ben Watson Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 YZ250F
#193 Jago Geerts
AMA Supercross: 450cc Class
#51 Justin Barcia Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZ450F
#7 Aaron Plessinger
AMA Supercross: 250cc Class
#34 Dylan Ferrandis Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing YZ250F
#39 Colt Nichols
#66 Mitchell Oldenburg
#32 Justin Cooper
AMA Motocross: 450cc Class
#51 Justin Barcia Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing Team YZ450F
#7 Aaron Plessinger
AMA Motocross: 250cc Class
#34 Dylan Ferrandis Monster Energy/Star/Yamaha Racing YZ250F
#39 Colt Nichols
#66 Mitchell Oldenburg
#32 Justin Cooper
#TBA Yusuke Watanabe TBA

2019 Rider Profiles

Road Racing

MotoGP World Championship

#46 Valentino Rossi

Nationality Italian
Born Feb. 16, 1979
Racing team Monster Energy 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
2018 3rd in MotoGP World Championship

#12 Maverick Viñales

Nationality Spanish
Born Jan. 12, 1995
Racing team Monster Energy 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
2018 4th in MotoGP World Championship

#21 Franco Morbidelli

Nationality Italian
Born Dec. 4, 1994
Racing team PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
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

#20 Fabio Quartararo

Nationality French
Born April 20, 1999
Racing team PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team
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

World Superbike Championship

#60 Michael van der Mark

Nationality Dutch
Born Oct. 26, 1992
Racing team Pata Yamaha 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
2018 3rd in World Superbike Championship

#22 Alex Lowes

Nationality British
Born Sept. 14, 1990
Racing team Pata Yamaha 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
2018 6th in World Superbike Championship

MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Race Championship

#1 Cameron Beaubier

Nationality American
Born Dec. 6, 1992
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Racing career
2015 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion
2016 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion
2017 3rd in MotoAmerica Superbike
2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion

#31 Garrett Gerloff

Nationality American
Born Aug. 1, 1995
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing Team
Racing career
2015 3rd in MotoAmerica Supersport
2016 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion
2017 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion
2018 5th in MotoAmerica Superbike

Asia Road Racing Championship: ASB1000 Class

#23 Broc Parkes

Nationality Australian
Born Dec. 24, 1981
Racing team Yamaha Racing Team ASEAN
Racing career

2001

16th in World Superbike Championship
2002 11th in World Superbike Championship
2003 13th in World Supersport Championship
2004 2nd in World Supersport Championship
2005 6th in World Supersport Championship
2006 4th in World Supersport Championship
2007 2nd in World Supersport Championship
2008 4th in World Supersport Championship
2009 18th in World Superbike Championship
2010 15th in World Supersport Championship
2011 4th in World Supersport Championship
2012 5th in World Supersport Championship
2013 Australian FX Superbike Champion
2014 23rd in MotoGP World Championship
2015 10th in Endurance World Championship
2016 6th in Endurance World Championship
2017 3rd in Endurance World Championship
2018 16th in Endurance World Championship

#76 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
10th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2013 4th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
11th in All Japan Road Race Championship ST600 class
2014 2nd in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class
8th 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
2018 9th in Asia Road Racing Championship SS600 class

Motocross

MXGP World Championship

#461 Romain Febvre

Nationality French
Born Dec. 31, 1991
Racing team Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP
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
2018 6th in MXGP World Championship

#91 Jeremy Seewer

Profile
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

AMA Supercross/Motocross Championships: 450cc Class

#51 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
22nd in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2015 15th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
3rd in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2016 21st in AMA Supercross 450cc class
4th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2017 17th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
13th in AMA Motocross 450cc class
2018 10th in AMA Supercross 450cc class
4th in AMA Motocross 450cc class

#7 Aaron Plessinger

Nationality American
Born Jan. 25, 1996
Racing team Monster Energy/Yamaha Factory Racing 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 class Champion

#TBA Yusuke Watanabe

Nationality Japanese
Born Dec. 14, 1995
Racing team TBA
Racing career
2013 9th in All Japan IA2
2014 15th in All Japan IA2
2015 6th in All Japan IA2
2016 3rd in All Japan IA2
2017 All Japan IA2 Champion 
2018 55th in AMA Motocross 250cc class
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