Sad day for motorcycling: Yamaha leaves Dakar and Cross-Country Rallies participation

Motorcycle Sports

With the end of another edition of the Dakar Rally last january, Yamaha saw Adrien van Beveren and Andrew Short finish in fourth and eighth places, respectively. However, this participation was also the end of a journey of 44 editions, which Yamaha decided to put an end to. The japanese manufacturer announced today that it is withdrawing from future participation in the Dakar and also in the Cross-Country Rallies World Championship.

Yamaha is the only brand that has guaranteed participation since the beginning of the Dakar and since then names like Cyril Neveu, Stéphane Peterhansel, Edi Orioli, David Frétigne, Hélder Rodrigues, Olivier Pain have joined the list of winners or riders who were close to win a Dakar. More recently, Yamaha brought out a new WE450F Rally, with the Monster Energy Yamaha Rally Team coming close to the podium on several occasions, with Adrien van Beveren missing out on the 2018 Dakar just a few kilometers from the end of the Rally.

Although it will not race in any more editions of the Dakar, Yamaha has confirmed that it will continue to be present in the SSV class supporting athletes with the prototype YXZ1000R. On two wheels, the brand says 'the focus will shift to meeting evolving customer requirements in the off-road sector, considering the future introduction of the new Ténéré World Raid'.

'Yamaha has a long and storied history with the Dakar Rally, starting in 1979 at the first ever edition and running unbroken into the modern era. It's also an event that I personally have a real passion for, having twice contested the event and for many years worked closely with Jean-Claude Olivier, who not only raced and won stages at the Dakar but also oversaw Yamaha's most successful pioneer period in the rally. However, 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. 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. However Yamaha's commitment to Rally Raid events with motocycles is not over, but our future engagement must have a closer connection to our customers and their aspirations, developing further the Ténéré 700 potential towards a direction which will enable them to rediscover the more adventurous side of Rallies', the President, Chief Executive Officer, Eric de Seynes of Yamaha Motor Europe said.

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