- Yamaha's 50th Anniversary in 2011
- Team to have special livery at Assen
Yamaha Prepare to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Grand Prix Racing at Assen
The historic circuit of Assen welcomes MotoGP back this week for what is a very special occasion for Yamaha. The 2011 Assen TT will witness a full livery change by Yamaha Factory Racing as part of ongoing activities to celebrate the iconic Japanese manufacturer’s 50th year of Grand Prix racing. The beautiful red and white colour scheme will be launched to the media on Wednesday close to the Assen circuit, signaling the start of the Yamaha Expo which will run the full TT week.
Assen is my favourite track where I've won in all categories and also last season.
Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will be looking to put the previous race at Silverstone behind them and focus on delivering strong results at Assen, a track favoured by both. Lorenzo has won on the Dutch circuit in all three GP classes; team mate Spies took pole and a race win in 2009 in World Superbike and finished fourth last year in his rookie GP visit.
The Assen circuit, sometimes referred to as the ‘cathedral’ by race fans due to its status and historical significance in racing, is the only circuit to have been part of the Grand Prix World Championship calendar since its inception. The circuit, which celebrated the 80th Anniversary of TT racing last year, has undergone many changes over that time. Initially run on public roads it has evolved into one of the most physically demanding and technical tracks in Grand Prix with high speed chicanes and varied camber changes.
"Assen is my favourite track where I've won in all categories and also last season. This year it is very special coming here because we celebrate the 50th Anniversary! Now we are in second position in the championship, we come here looking to put pressure on the leader. I need to do the same job as I’ve done before with maximum effort. The team is focused and I wish to come back to finish at least on the podium."
“I’ve really been looking forward to coming to Assen again. It’s a track I love and the Yamaha M1 seems to really work well here. It’s a fast track which I really enjoy, I have so many memories of watching the racing on TV here as a kid, it’s a privilege to race here now. I’m still pretty sore from Silverstone’s crash but I’m not going to let it stop me giving 100% as always and going for the best results possible. It’s also going to be really cool to go out on the track in the special livery in front of all the fans.”
Wilco Zeelenberg - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager
“We’ve been looking forward to Assen because of our special livery, I love the bike in white and red. We are currently second in the championship which is not such a bad position; we will see if we can put some heat on the feet of Casey. We made a mistake at Silverstone and now with 18 points deficit it’s a different situation for Jorge compared to most of last season and this year where he’s always been in front. When you lead you can’t be better than that so we need to be on top of everything and I believe he is able to fight with Casey for victory. We were only two tenths behind the front in qualifying at Silverstone so we have proved that our package is getting better and better and closer to the front.”
Massimo Meregalli - Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director
“This is the first of our 50th anniversary race celebrations, I am proud to be part of this unique event and to be a part of Yamaha at this time. The team has worked really hard to prepare for this, we hope racing fans will be delighted with the special livery on not only the bikes but also our uniforms and pit garage. The Assen circuit should be good for us this weekend; our bike should be competitive thanks to the layout and characteristics of the track, it is also one of Ben’s best circuits to ride on. In dry conditions at Silverstone it was clear that the direction we are taking in development is working and we are confident here we can continue this improvement. I’m impatient for Thursday morning to get started.”