Yamaha ends factory Dakar Rally motorcycle programme

Yamaha has announced the end of its factory presence in the Dakar Rally's motorcycle class following last month's 2022 event, as well as the FIM Cross-Country Rallies series.

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The Japanese marque has been a mainstay of the Dakar since the event's inception in 1979, scoring nine wins in the motorcycle class since then.

However, its last triumph came all the way back in 1998, when Stephane Peterhansel took the last of his six Dakar wins on two wheels on a Yamaha.

Success has been harder to come by in recent years amid the domination of KTM and Honda, with its last podium finish having come in 2014, when Olivier Pain finished third.

Adrien van Beveren was Yamaha's top finisher on the 2022 edition in Saudi Arabia last month in fourth place.

Despite ending its works motorcycle presence, Yamaha will not abandon the Dakar completely, as it has pledged to continue supporting the SSV class.

"While the Dakar Rally has mainly succeeded in remaining close to its roots, even when it moved out of its spiritual home of Africa, the world in which it exists has changed considerably," said Yamaha Motor Europe President Eric de Seynes.

"Our off-road customers now have different expectations and they look for different products, and we must cater for these if we are to stay connected.

"It is for this reason we have decided to end our long history on two wheels at the Dakar Rally and in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, while simultaneously strengthening our commitment to racing the Dakar on four wheels with the Yamaha YXZ1000R SSV."

Outside of the Dakar, Yamaha has enjoyed some success in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies series, with Helder Rodrigues being crowned riders' champion with the marque back in 2011.

Van Beveren was second in the points last year behind KTM's Matthias Walkner, while teammate Ross Branch scored a victory in Rally Kazakhstan.


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