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Feb 6, 2013

Yamaha Classic Racing Team To Be Retired After 2013 Season

The Yamaha Classic Racing Team.
The Yamaha Classic Racing Team Prepares For Its Final Season

Yamaha Classic Racing Team (YCRT) founder Ferry Brouwer has announced that 2013 will be the final season for the unique team of legendary racing bikes and riders from Yamaha's golden era. After nearly a decade of activity the time has come for Ferry to retire from the project.

Born out of a strong belief by both Ferry and Yamaha that the iconic machines of the past should not just be on display but also play a part in keeping Grand Prix history alive by running on track, the last ten years has seen the team entertain thousands of racing fans both modern and historical. Unique Yamaha machines such as the 125 cc RA31A and 250 cc RD05A works four cylinders of 1968, the 750 two stroke (OW31), the 1979 GP500 championship winning YZR500 and numerous other legendary bikes were ridden from the Isle of Man TT to Spa Francorchamps and countless other classic events by living legends. Riders including Giacomo Agostini, Steve Baker ,Phil Read, Dieter Braun, Michelle Duff, Pentti Korhonen, Carlos Lavado, Rodney Gould, Chas Mortimer, Jos Schurgers, Svend Andersson, Akiyasu Motohashi, Tommy Robb, Kel Carruthers, and not to forget Kent Andersson have all taken to the tracks on their glorious machines. The team and riders were also a key element in Yamaha's celebration of 50 years of Grand Prix racing in 2011, putting on a special display at the Assen TT for the MotoGP fans.

Ferry's relationship with Yamaha goes back many years to the 1960s as a mechanic for the Japanese manufacturer's first Grand Prix World Champion, Phil Read and the legendary Jarno Saarinen. He remained a close part of Yamaha's early racing days before moving on to found and grow Arai Helmet Europe. He was the organizer of the 1998 Centennial event at the Assen circuit, and from organizing that came with the idea to create a running classic team for demonstration purposes. This team grew and changed, becoming more and more Yamaha until by 2004 it had become purely Yamaha and shortly after resulted in a program officially supported by Yamaha Motor Europe and the head office in Japan. The success of the team, the incredible machines and the participation of the legends who rode them originally owes to the dedication of Ferry and his close relationship to Yamaha.

Those wishing to see the team in action one last time can catch them at various events during the coming year, with the farewell event being at this year's Classic TT on the Isle of Man from the 23rd to 26th August. A number of the special machines from the team are under discussion to be taken over by Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd in Japan to become part of their historic collection.

Ferry Brouwer - Owner, Yamaha Classic Racing Team
"It's a truly sad moment bringing this incredible project to a close. It has been a fantastic experience, working with both the beautiful, iconic machines, Yamaha and these really special riders. We've been running a classic racing team since the 1998 Centennial Event, then from within the Centennial team it became the Yamaha Classic Racing Team. It may seem like not so many years have passed but we have achieved so much and been seen by so many that we have much to reminisce about already!"
Ferry Brouwer

Shigeto Kitagawa Responsible for External Affairs, Motorsports Development Division Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd & Yamaha Motor Racing President.

"We know that there is nothing which continues forever in this world, there are no words to say how surprised I was to hear that the Yamaha Classic Racing Team will come to an end this year. The passion with which Ferry filled YCRT after he established it in 2002 and up to the present, and the great efforts offered to the world of classic racing are immeasurable.

We deeply appreciate that Ferry dedicated more than ten years of his life as a brand ambassador for Yamaha and a witness to the great history of motorcycle racing, we will be proud of him eternally. To be honest however, I cannot stop imagining the day when he will return unexpectedly to this racing world because his racing spirit is not considered to like the quiet life so much for a long time. Thank you very much Mr. Ferry Brouwer for all your efforts!"

Andrew Smith - Vice President Sales & Marketing Operations, Yamaha Motor Europe

"It's difficult to imagine a season of racing activities for Yamaha without Ferry and YCRT being involved. They have become in recent times so much a part of our company representing both our history and the equally important link to the present day! Ferry and the whole YCRT team's genuine enthusiasm and commitment to our company and brand has been an inspiration to not only Yamaha employees throughout Europe but also our factory in Japan. At the same time they have reignited the "memories" of exracers and fans both past and present of what racing used to be the unique excitement , smell and of course the sound.

On behalf of Yamaha and all race enthusiasts we would like to say a big 'Thank You' to Ferry and all members of YCRT, thanks for the great memories and please be assured you will always remain part of Yamaha. Enjoy your next challenges!"

2013 Event schedule at present:

April 27th-28th, Stafford Show, Stafford, UK
June 1st-2nd,Coupe Moto Legend, Dijon, France
June 15th-16th ,Retro-Moto Legend, St-Cergue , Switzerland
July 6th-7th ,Bikers' Classics, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
August 10th-11th , Schotten Grand Prix, Schotten, Germany
August 23rd-26th Classic TT, Isle of Man