"Create Kando and Tell the World about Excellence of Yamaha"
－Mr. Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing(YMR)
Moto GP - the pinnacle class of world championship road racing ? is watched and loved by motorcycle fans around the world. We spoke with Mr. Lin Jarvis of Yamaha Motor Racing (YMR), who makes it his mission to promote the Yamaha brand through MotoGP racing.
Mr. Jarvis, you belong to Yamaha Motor Racing (YMR). What line of business is YMR in and what does the company aim to do?
YMR's business is 100% dedicated to Yamaha's participation in MotoGP. We always say that there is the hardware and the software: the hardware coming from Japan, which is the development and production of the technology of the motorcycle, and the software is basically everything else. YMR is based in Italy and in charge of the software. At YMR we manage the Yamaha Factory Racing Team, which is currently called the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, and we take care of team organisation, logistics, sponsor management, marketing, media, riders' contracts, and coordination of market promotions with Yamaha's global network.
What is the significance and value of participating in motorcycle races, focusing on MotoGP, to the current Yamaha and its brand?
Well, I think there are really three reasons why we race: first, racing is an ideal test bed to develop and improve Yamaha's technologies. Many new developments were first seen and had their origin in MotoGP before they were later passed on to our products for Yamaha's customers, from engines to electronics and chassis designs. A lot of these technologies, such as the cross plane crankshaft engines and the electronic software, are currently used on Yamaha's sports bikes. So the development of technology is very important. The second reason is to promote the brand, the Yamaha name, around the world and to showcase our brand excellence through achieving top results and winning races and championships. Third, we're creating "Kando." Racing is one of the most exciting ways to experience motorcycling and we have an incredible following from passionate fans around the world. It is very important to create this excitement for our business and our customers and fans.
Yamaha has been committed to the "VR46 Riders Academy" and road races in Asia in order to discover and train young talents. There are some promising riders from ASEAN countries fostered in such an environment. What do you think about this development?
Yamaha is always looking for new talent, and in racing this is essential. We know which riders are the stars of today, but we also need to look for the future protagonists. As the market is growing in Asia, there is more and more interest in hosting races throughout the region and at the same time to develop new talent and to bring young talented riders to the world stage. It's not easy and it is a big step to take. Yamaha is supporting the ARRC, Asean Cup races, and this is a very important way to stimulate key markets in these regions and what we are doing with the VR46 Riders Academy is giving the opportunity to each market to take an additional step and reach another, higher level. So through the efforts of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team and the VR46 Riders Academy we give a limited number of these top riders the chance to have a unique training opportunity under European circumstances and under the guidance of Valentino Rossi to hopefully become world class riders in the future.
Please share with us your impression of the level of enthusiasm for racing and motorcycles in each area and its regional characteristics.
It's quite difficult to describe the differences from region to region. What I can better describe are the similarities: with the MotoGP World Championship we travel all over the world, we visit so many countries, so many markets, and we experience so many cultures… Yet the passion of the fans is the one thing that's constant. Despite the difference of each market, each nationality and each race, the thing that bonds it all together is the fans' deep-down passion for motorcycling, racing, and MotoGP.
YMR and its factory team have staff from all over the world. What do you think is important in managing them in this rather multinational setting?
That's very true: we are quite a compact group of people ? probably if we count everybody involved in each race we are a group of about 50 people ? but we have staff from Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Ireland, and Slovenia. So that's a pretty diverse group. I think the most important thing required to manage multi-cultural environments is to be able to listen, because I think you need to listen to everybody's different perspectives and it's very important to understand another person's point of view. I think the management is a matter of adapting to and respecting each different culture and viewpoint, while trying to get everybody on board and pointing in the same direction. I think our team does a very good job which has resulted in the successes we have been able to achieve over many years.
What does Yamaha mean to you? Please share with us your thoughts and feelings for Yamaha.
For me, I would say Yamaha is a way of life. I'm saying this also because I spent basically my whole career with Yamaha. It is a company that provides opportunities to grow, thanks to many diverse experiences. I am not only referring to doing different types of work in the company, but also to the amazing variety of products that we make that are able to bring you in contact with so many types of people and environments. These products are purposely built for transport ? and fun - on the water, on the snow, on the road, and on the racetrack. Yamaha is a very exciting and dynamic company and also a very human company that respects human aspects and combines them with the excitement of high-tech products.