In 2011, the factory Yamaha MotoGP team had lost two major sponsors.
The first was the Fiat; the car manufacturer was expected to end the partnership with Yamaha if Valentino Rossi left the team. And shortly after Rossi’s confirmation to Ducati, Fiat split with Yamaha, the announcement made in January before the start of the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
Then the Malaysian oil and gas corporation Petronas ended its relationship with the factory Yamaha Factory Racing team at the conclusion of the 2011 MotoGP Championship.
But different news was announced from Yamaha Monday. Yamaha MotoGP signed a contract with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, the company now the official sponsor of Yamaha Factory Racing.
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. has entered into contract with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation (Headquarters: Tokyo, Japan). The agreement welcomes the oil and energy company as a new Official Sponsor of Yamaha Factory Racing’s premier class Team competing in the MotoGP World Championship.
Yamaha says: “The partnership with JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation commences on January 31st in conjunction with the first official test session of 2012 at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia. The test marks the start of the Team’s campaign to reclaim the MotoGP World Championship title.”
For 2012, Yamaha returns with its two-liner lineup of the Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo, the 2010 MotoGP Champion, and the American Ben Spies, who enters his third year of competition in GP.
In 2011, Lorenzo finished second in the championship, and Spies fifth. For 2012, the YZR-M1 factory motorcycle will feature a 1000cc engine following the regulation of engine capacity to be increased from 800 to 1000cc.