2011 MotoGP News
When Valentino Rossi gave his farewell kiss to the Fiat Yamaha MotoGP M1 machine at the final round in Valencia, it was a bit more symbolic than thought.
As expected, the title sponsor for the 2010 MotoGP Yamaha team of Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo has not renewed for 2011.
The Fiat Yamaha team is no longer a partnership, Yamaha says. On their Twitter page, it says "The team will change title sponsor and therefore it won’t be Fiat Yamaha Team anymore."
There was a prelude to the split in partnership in a New Year’s Eve post on the Fiat Yamaha Facebook page, which said: "Tomorrow a new year will start but not for ‘Fiat Yamaha Team,’ we want to thank you all again for these amazing years together and inform that this page won’t be updated anymore and the wall will be closed. All our memories will stay here but we won’t have new ones to share."
Fiat, a car manufacturer from Italy, was expected to end the MotoGP partnership if Rossi left Yamaha. It has only be two months since Rossi confirmed his switch to Ducati, and now Fiat has reported on this split with Yamaha.
Together, Fiat and Yamaha won three titles in 2010 with the Lorenzo / Rossi lineup: the MotoGP Championship with Lorenzo, the Manufacturer’s award and also the Rider’s award. This also was the third consecutive year that Fiat and Yamaha claimed all three titles in the premier class; Rossi rode the Fiat Yamaha M1 to victory during the 2008 and 2009 seasons.
There has been speculation that Air Asia may take the sponsorship role, but nothing has been confirmed.
For 2011 MotoGP, the Yamaha factory team consists of Lorenzo and his new teammate, Ben Spies, who took the 2010 Rookie of the Year award.