Yup, it’s official folks: Yamaha will run without a title sponsor for the 2011 MotoGP season (at least initially), as the team’s official race livery was unveiled at Sepang today (actually, we’re releasing these photos ahead of the official announcement, so in a way this post is coming from the future), along with the official unveiling of the 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1 MotoGP race bike.
Trading a corporate sponsor for a “50th Year in Road Racing Championship Grand Prix” emblem, Yamaha has seemingly been unable to woo a title backer onto its carbon fiber fairings after Fiat’s departure, despite winning the team, rider, and manufacturer Championships in the 2010 season. Check out the full gallery after the jump.
Today’s announcement speaks not only a tremendous volume about the economic climate around MotoGP and motorcycling as a whole, but also about where the star power currently resides in the MotoGP World Championship. While Yamaha has struggled to patch together a variety of sponsors, obviously the lack of a title sponsorship has dominated the news.
Contrast this result with Ducati, whose retention of Valentino Rossi’s services has lead to a plethora of deals directly with the Ducati Corse crew (here & here), but also other corporate dealings have likely been helped by the Italian Duo’s synergistic relationship.
2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team Structure & Livery:
2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Jorge Lorenzo & Ben Spies
2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Jorge Lorenzo
2011 Yamaha MotoGP Team – Ben Spies
Source: Yamaha Racing