The manufacturer’s AMA Road Racing, Supercross and Motocross teams will be operated by outside partners. As a result, some of Yamaha’s internal race department staff positions at their Cypress, Calif., headquarters have been eliminated.
Yamaha already maintains close partnerships with outside racing operations on its AMA racing teams. Those relationships will be expanded in 2010.
L&M Racing will continue to partner with Yamaha in the AMA Supercross and Motocross series. L&M racer James Stewart won the 2009 AMA Supercross championship for Yamaha and will defend his title in 2010 on the new YZ450F. Yamaha will also strengthen its off-road racing efforts by working with additional satellite teams.
In AMA Pro Road Racing, the Graves Motorsports team operated Yamaha’s Daytona Sportbike racing program in 2009 and “will now assume additional responsibilities for Team Yamaha within the current AMA class structure”, according to a release from Yamaha. That statement likely means Graves Motorsports will take on the American Superbike series in 2010.
Ironically, Yamaha announced its lesser role in AMA racing days after the manufacturer’s most triumphant weekend ever in international racing, with factory riders winning the 2009 MotoGP, World Superbike and World Supersport titles on the same day.