MotoGP: Yamaha Loses Petronas Sponsorship

12/30/2011 @ 10:47 am, by Jensen Beeler14 COMMENTS

Calling it the “natural conclusion” of their partnership, Yamaha’s MotoGP team and Malaysian oil giant Petronas have split ways after three years of racing sponsorship. Concluding a deal that is reportedly worth $8 million a year to the factory MotoGP team, Yamaha’s loss of Petronas will surely be felt in the team’s pocketbook, assuming of course that the Japanese manufacturer cannot replace the company with another on its sponsor roster.

After losing title sponsor Fiat for the 2011 season (due almost entirely to Yamaha’s inability to retain Valentino Rossi), Petronas and Yamaha Motor Kenkana Indonesia (Yamaha’s Indonesian arm) were left as the team’s main backers and official sponsors. Now with the loss of Petronas, many of the names on the side of the Yamaha YZR-M1 are those belonging to the tuning fork brand, leaving the financial burden for Yamaha’s MotoGP racing effort to come squarely out of one Yamaha coffer or another.

Surely to be taken as a sign of the decreased value of racing in MotoGP to race sponsors, this news has to be especially troubling for Yamaha, as it continues to lose its biggest sponsorship accounts, one after another. While it would appear that the Japanese manufacturer will have to foot another $8 million a year out its internal budget, the only silver lining to the situation could be the hope that the loss of Petronas is making way for a more lucrative sponsor. We wouldn’t hold our breath on that one though.

“The relationship between Yamaha and Petronas has been a great success, we have enjoyed some major achievements together in the MotoGP class,” said Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing. “Now that the partnership has reached its natural conclusion I would like to thank our friends at Petronas for the support during their time with us and wish them well for the future.”

“We are happy to have had this opportunity to work with the Yamaha Factory Racing team over the past three years,” stated Mohammad Medan Abdullah, Senior General Manager of Petronas Group Corporate Affairs Division. “In that time, we have enjoyed the benefits of strong brand exposure through the privilege of being associated with a team that shares our values and passion. The team has achieved many successes through a high level of competitiveness and stretched performance standards and we wish the team continued success in the future.”

Source: Yamaha Racing

  • irksome

    And here I thought that Petronas was a Harry Potter spell

  • aaaannnnnddddd….I just spit water on my keyboard.

  • kei

    “Yamaha Motor Kencana INDONESIA (Yamaha’s Malaysian arm)”

    oh god why…..

  • Whoops…I’ve got Malaysians on the brain..wait that sounds wrong.

  • MikeD

    Oh well…the fastest way to get over a sponsor is to get under another…right ? LMAO.
    Good luck with your next boyf…i mean sponsor, Yamaha.


    It is very easy to get all of the SPONSORS back, Yamaha just need to RE-SIGN ROSSI, LOLLLLLLL,,,, BLAH BLAH BLAH,,,,,,


    Jarvis: where are you now?
    Rossi: I am in italy, why?
    Jarvis: can you help us to find new sponsors, please??
    Rossi: it is very easy dude, what you need is to re-sign me. Oh, sorry, I forgot you have your new future hero right now. I know him, he is not my friend unfortunately.

  • While Lorenzo being incredibly fast and Spies learning more and more everyday in Gp both of them combined don’t have have the charisma of Rossi or the late Sic (R.I.P.!) … Thats too bad cause a sport once full of characters is now turning into ROBOT racing…Kinda like F1 which is impossible to watch without falling asleep!! Credit to Lorenzo he rode the wheels of the Yami. this year only problem is once the helmets off he just another JERK in the paddock … :/

  • The funny thing is of course you could say this is one more leg being knocked out from under the chair holding MGP up as a ‘prototype-only’ class: But just as surely as I’m sitting here typing this, 5 to 10 years from now, the CRT machines will cost WAY more than the current mounts, because remember friends one of the Great Commandments: Money Buys Speed.

    I also hope HRC threatening to walk in the face of the CRT’s isn’t inspired by their previous S**T-fit when they walked away from AMA: Boy, THAT was a smart move ! Hey, have ya heard the one where all of their new V4 stuff is gonna look like JetSkis ? ? ? ?

  • petron

    glad to hear that..petronas should do that thing since Rossi left the Yamaha team and sponsor the italian team…as malaysian, i feel very happy…save our money from sponsoring the team without any chance to win the title…

  • Westward

    The biggest problem with MotoGP is coverage and exposure. Outside of motorcyclist, who else is interested in the sport? The casual observer will never purchase access to the channel that displays it or the website that offers it, if they don’t know what they are getting.

    Can’t blame sponsors for leaving a sport only motorcyclist know exists…

  • rann_32

    Hehehehehehe, Lorenzo finally seen do not have the power to bring sponsors. All of them leave one by one. See Ducati, remained loyal sponsors. All because of the VR 46.

  • RD

    “Rossi’s not a GOD, he can be beaten” Jorge’s comments in “Fastest”. Well, he may be beaten but nobody commands more brand association than #46. If and when they get a replacement, it won’t be a FIAT or Petronas deal. Spain’s a mess, so a Spanish corporate is as scarce as hens teeth. Ben Spies is a bikers Racer but as the previous commentor said, he speaks to BIKERS and hardly anyone else.

    Think about what benefit Petronas got out of their deal though. When FIAT left, their name didn’t get any bigger. In fact, they ran corporate blue and their anniversary red and white for some rounds but besides that,, the Petrona’s. Logo was hidden on the bellypan, next to YAMALUBE ? For 8Million ? Made sense to leave !

    Certain spots are reserved for Title sponsors, I get that, but you got nothing else, so why not make and exception to the rule ?

  • donno

    Don’t forget Petronas already buys the italian Selenia oil company and its products are all renamed Petronas, and now Petronas brand is big in Italy too…

    Maybe the sponsorship is moving to Ducati?

    True Yamaha took Petronas’ sponsorship for granted, not even a special livery for malaysian round, and now petronas left (for good).