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GP Week : Issue 179
MOTOGP >>> NEWS MOTOGP >>> NEWS Return of Rossi no boost to sponsorship The factory Yamaha team will be racing in blue for a third year in succession, still without a title sponsor in spite of winning the title last year with Lorenzo, and regaining the services of superstar Valentino Rossi. The new livery was revealed on the eve of Jerez tests – revised from last year with a larger white section at the bottom of the cowling, and the addition of a Monster logo on the fairing flank ... the only significant sponsorship gain. But they did have a new slogan: “Yamaha Revs Your Heart” , tomakeupforit. Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis said that existing sponsors including Iveco had boosted their contribution, and welcomed the support of Monster, who had previously only been there as personal sponsor to Ben Spies. He repeated his belief that MotoGP should be concentrating on South-East Asia to find support, for it was there that motorcycle sales were strongest while the world recession had brought massive cut-backs in Europe and America. It made no difference, he said, that there were now three GPs in the USA. Notably there had been record crowds at the Malaysian GP last year, and it was time to consider a return to Indonesia. Races were run there in 1996 and 1997. The well-attended launch featured the usual weasel words, with the riders promising that the atmosphere would be different now, compared with the increasingly toxic relationship in 2010, which culminated in Rossi departing the team for his disastrous Ducati misadventure. CRUTCHLOW: ‘I WON’T BE HELPING THE FACTORY GUYS’ Top satellite rider Cal Crutchlow, who posted third-fastest time I the dry on day two at Jerez, has pledged that he won’t entertain any possible requests for help from the factory Yamaha riders, should they come later in the season. “My contract is with the Tech 3 team, not with Yamaha,” the British rider said. “I have no interest in helping anybody else.” His goal was to be top satellite rider, though even there he thought the balance was shifted in favour of the Hondas, with the bikes of Bradl and Bautista starting the year identical to the factory machines. His bike was the same as that used by Lorenzo at the start of last year, “but actually we’re more than a year behind,” he said. “I believe they have more new stuff to test here, their third upgrade this year – so I’m more like a year and a half behind. “I’m not complaining, not angry, not disappointed. And I’m not saying that if I had a factory bike I’d win. It’s the way it is, and I have to do the best I can with what I have. “But if I can be competitive on what I have, then if they give me something else I could be even more competitive.” But he was not expecting anything. “Yamaha have their policy: a factory team is a factory team, and the satellite team is something else,” he said. NEW SLOGAN BUT NO NEW MONEY FOR YAMAHA 15 GPWEEK.com // 15 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: