News 12 Jun 2014

Yamaha unveils special retro livery for Italian MXGP

Van Horebeek helps celebrate Yamaha's four-stroke legacy.

Source: Yamaha Racing.

Source: Yamaha Racing.

Yamaha Factory Racing will mark the company’s vital role and place in the history of off-road motorcycle development by unveiling a dedicatory livery in the classic ‘red/white’ colours for the MXGP of Italy at Maggiora this weekend.

Works rider Jeremy Van Horebeek – currently third in the MXGP FIM Motocross World Championship with eight consecutive podium finishes – will run the scheme on his YZ450FM. The design is a near replica from that of Andrea Bartolini’s revolutionary 1997 YZM400F prototype that changed the face of motocross.

The mythical setting of the Maggiora circuit, north of Milan, was chosen as a fitting location for Yamaha to celebrate a momentous achievement of their competitive heritage.

It was back in ’97 when Yamaha took to the track with the firm’s potent four-stroke technology that melded a new kind of engine power with advanced, light handling expressed by the concept ‘four-stroke power with two-stroke handling’.

In the United States Doug Henry was using the same machinery to announce the ‘four-stroke era’ to audiences in supercross and then captured the prestigious 1998 AMA motocross title thanks to five wins with the ground-breaking production version.

Andrea Bartolini and Peter Johansson ushered in a new wave to the FIM Motocross World Championship with grand prix victories in 1997 and 1998 and the Italian conquered the 500cc world title a year later.

Christophe Charlier is hoping to be fit for the Grand Prix of Germany on 21-22 June after minor knee surgery, but his YZ250FM will also carry the famous colours in Italy while being displayed under the team’s awning.

The Maggiora gesture comes almost 20 years since Yamaha last shifted the earth in MXGP and with Belgian Van Horebeek currently an unmovable force at the forefront of the premier class it was an apt moment to create a very visual slice of Yamaha’s four-stroke legacy.