Yamaha Motor Europe held a press conference at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari circuit in Imola, Italy, ahead of the fifteenth round of the MXGP World Championship to officially announce its strategic racing plan and new team structure for the 2020 FIM Motocross World Championship.
With motorcycle racing of all levels being the driving force behind Yamaha’s racing strategy, Yamaha Motor Europe is constantly working to strengthen the Yamaha Racing Pyramid; a proven strategy that has been constructed to provide a smooth progression for young riders coming into the world of racing, from entry-level all the way to the top, MXGP and MX2.
The bLU cRU program is the base of the Racing Pyramid. It supports riders that wish to take the step in their early careers by creating a bridge between national and international level racing. As a symbol of this strategic approach, Yamaha Motor Europe reached a three-year agreement with FIM Europe that will see 120 of the fastest and most promising bLU cRU riders line their YZ65, 85 and 125 motorcycles up at one of the most prestigious motocross events of the year. This year it will be the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations in Assen, The Netherlands.
From this event, fifteen riders will progress to the bLU cRU Masterclass – five in each category, 125cc, 85cc and 65cc, where one rider in each discipline will win support from Yamaha Motor Europe for the following European Motocross Championship season. For the YZ125 bLU cRU FIM Europe Cup winner, he or she will be placed on the Official EMX125 team, which is a team that is another step higher on the racing pyramid.
Moving up the pyramid, the second step is made up of Yamaha’s Official EMX125 and EMX250 teams. These teams introduce the next generation of racers to the highly competitive world of elite motocross by racing at the European rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship. These teams cultivate and feed talent to the top two tiers of the pyramid, MX2 and MXGP.
As a result of the successful relationship between Yamaha and Monster Energy, Yamaha Motor Europe has been able to increase its commitment to the MXGP and MX2 teams. This has enabled the riders to achieve some impressive results. Since 2015, Yamaha’s top-level teams have accumulated 35 race wins, 98 podium finishes and 17 Grand Prix wins.
2020 Factory Structure
For the past 28-years, Yamaha’s Factory set-up has been led by Yamaha legend Michele Rinaldi. A lot of the aforementioned success can be attributed to Rinaldi’s influence, not only as a Team Owner and Manager, but also as a technical partner and development leader for the Yamaha Motor Company in Japan.
In 2020, Rinaldi and his highly skilled team will focus on the research and development of Yamaha’s Factory YZ450FM and YZ250FM motorcycles from the team’s headquarters in Parma, Italy. Some of his best technicians will travel to all rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship to support the new Factory MXGP and MX2 teams onsite.
Rinaldi will remain at the helm of the Yamaha Factory R&D unit. He will also be a key member on the Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Committee, where his valuable knowledge, years of experience and advice will be used to guide Yamaha’s future racing operations.
As a professional, passionate and results driven team that shares Yamaha’s philosophy in every aspect, from the start of 2020 the Monster Energy Wilvo Yamaha MXGP Official Team will become the new Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MXGP team. The team led by Louis Vosters will be based at the spectacular Wilvo Yamaha workshop in Bergeijk, The Netherlands.
The team will retain its current contingent of riders, Gautier Paulin and Arnaud Tonus, and will be bolstered by a third rider in the form of Jeremy Seewer. All four riders currently make up the top-four in the 2019 MXGP World Championship Standings, with Seewer leading the way in second position, 37-points clear of Paulin in third, and a further 43-points clear of Tonus in fourth.
Strengthening Yamaha’s upgraded racing strategy, the Monster Energy Kemea Yamaha MX2 Team owned by Hans Corvers will be morphed into the Monster Energy Yamaha Factory MX2 Team. The team will line-up in 2020 with the same talented riders from this season, Jago Geerts and Ben Watson.