Yamaha Celebrating 50 Years of Racing at Indianapolis Grand Prix

Dennis Chung
by Dennis Chung

Yamaha announced a slate of activities for the Aug. 26-28Indianapolis Grand Prix to mark the manufacturer’s 50th anniversary of Grand Prix racing.

While Yamaha factory racers Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies wearing the special red and white 50th anniversary livery, race fans can purchase matching 50th anniversary gear and other merchandise and souvenirs. Fans can also get their pictures taken on Lorenzo’s MotoGP Championship-winning M1 race bike.

On the Friday and Saturday afternoons, Spies will be signing copies of the new biography, “Ben Spies: Taking it to the Next Level” by Larry Lawrence.

Spies and Lorenzo will be joined by Tech 3 Yamaha’s Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow for a Q&A session.

The weekend will also see the third and final round of the SSB Yamaha Custom Showdown featuring Yamaha motorcycles customized by both professionals and amateurs.

Kids ages 2-12 can take part in Yamaha’s Learn to Ride program to ride Yamaha TT-R 50 and TT-R110 motorcycles with instruction and supervision from Yamaha.

Other highlights include autograph sessions with two-time XDL Champion Bill Dixon and UFC fighter Chris Lytle and musical entertainment from former Yamaha rider James Toseland’s band Crash, Appetite for Destruction and other acts.

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Yamaha Continues Celebration of 50th Anniversary of Grand Prix Racing with Full Slate of Activities at Red Bull Indianapolis GP

Cypress, CA – Yamaha Motor Corporation U.S. is pleased to continue our 50th Anniversary Celebration of Grand Prix Racing with a full list of customer focused activities at the August 26-28 Red Bull Indianapolis GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The Red Bull Indianapolis GP is the third and final round of the SSB Yamaha Custom Showdown custom bike show. Presented by Silver Star Casting Co., Yamalube and SuperStreet Bike Magazine, the show includes Pro built bikes by the country’s premier Sport Bike builders as well as the winning bikes of the 2011 Yamaha Virtual SuperSport Bike Show contest. Hundreds of amateur builders submitted their custom creations online at www.yamaha-motor.com/sport/ssvbs/SuperSportShow.aspx; the very best were selected by Yamaha to bring their motorcycles to compete onsite at one of Yamaha’s three custom bike shows. Along with receiving a $300 travel allowance from Yamaha, amateur builders at Indianapolis are competing for best R1, Best R6 and Best Open Class, and those winners will snatch up the last three spots in the “Yamaha Amateur Builder of the Year” competition, a national online contest judged by consumers and featuring a $1000 cash prize! Voting will open for the Yamaha Amateur Builder of the year following Indianapolis, and fans can log onto www.yamaha-motor.com and vote for their favorite builder. Also at 1 pm on Sunday Yamaha will announce the Yamaha Champion Pro Builder of the Year and award a new YZF-R1 to the Pro Builder who attended all three rounds of the SSB Custom Showdown and accumulated the largest number of combined votes. Altogether Sunday’s awards presentation at 1 pm will be an exciting finale to the SSB Yamaha Custom Showdown presented by Silver Star Casting Co. and YamaLube!

For the kids, Yamaha’s Learn To Ride Program gives children between the ages of 2 – 12 an opportunity to try the TT-R 50 and TT-R 110 in a controlled environment complete with instruction and supervision. Whether a first time rider or seasoned racer, riders of all abilities are encouraged to experience the TT-R’s with class leading features such as electric start, automatic-clutch transmissions and YZ styling. The TT-R demos will take place Friday through Sunday from 9am to 5pm in the Yamaha Display Area. A photo opportunity of all riders’ experiences will be available and full safety gear is provided.

Friday night will see Live music on the Red Bull Energy Stage provided by the bands Crash and Appetite For Destruction. Crash is a past Indy favorite led by former Yamaha rider and World Superbike Champion James Toseland, who in addition to racing motorcycles at the highest level, is also an accomplished keyboard player and singer. Saturday night will see Yamaha MotoGP Champion Jorge Lorenzo, Ben Spies, Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow on the Red Bull Energy Stage for a question and answer session hosted by Moto GP commentators Nick Harris and Gavin Emmett from 5:45-6:15 pm followed by live music performances by Kelly James, DJ Mick Boogie and the band Ghostland Observatory. Following the question and answer session with the Yamaha MotoGP Stars, fans will have the opportunity to win a chance to watch the MotoGP race from the team garage the next day.

In addition Assen MotoGP winner Ben Spies will be on hand from 4:10 – 4:40PM on Friday and Saturday to sign copies of his new book, “Taking it to the Next Level”, in the Yamaha Display Area.

Two- time XDL Championship Series Champion Bill Dixon and his Yamaha R6 will attempt to become the first three-time XDL Champion ever as the XDL Finals take place at the Indiana War Memorial on August 26-27. Bill Dixon trails his competitors by one point and Indy will decide the title. For full information and tickets please click here: http://www.xdlshow.com

In addition, XDL Champion Bill Dixon, and UFC Fighter Chris Lytle will be signing autographs on Saturday from 12:00-12:30 and 3:00-3:30 PM in the Yamaha Display Area.

In recognition of our 50th Anniversary of GP Racing Yamaha will offer a custom line of 50th Anniversary gear for sale that matches the Anniversary livery of our MotoGP machines. Additional Yamaha merchandise, including authorized Ben Spies and Jorge Lorenzo gear and commemorative souvenirs, will also be available. We will continue the Yamaha tradition of giving away limited quantities of our event visors at 1:00PM Friday, 12:00PM & 3:00PM Saturday and 10:30AM & 12:30PM Sunday in the Yamaha Display Area.

There is also an opportunity for a photo aboard the #1 Jorge Lorenzo MotoGP Championship M1. No need for a camera, our helpful staff will snap the photo and make it available to you moments later.

Other attractions in the Yamaha Display area include our Yamaha Hospitality Area and Star Motorcycles Display where you can watch live video of the Grand Prix and check out some cool STAR custom bikes.

To visit our special 50th Anniversary Racing website please click the following link:


To purchase tickets through the Indianapolis Motor Speedway please click here:


All of our 2011 events will be located in the Yamaha Display Area located in the infield area at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Please make plans now to stop by and check out everything Yamaha!

Dennis Chung
Dennis Chung

Dennis has been a part of the Motorcycle.com team since 2008, and through his tenure, has developed a firm grasp of industry trends, and a solid sense of what's to come. A bloodhound when it comes to tracking information on new motorcycles, if there's a new model on the horizon, you'll probably hear about it from him first.

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