1961-2021: 60 years of World Grand Prix racing for Yamaha
Racing has been an integral part of Yamaha’s DNA from the day that the factory was incorporated on July 1st, 1955. At the time, the company proved its products on the racetrack just days after Yamaha Motor Company was founded, when the YA-1 won the Mount Fuji Ascent Race at its very first attempt on July 10th.
Just two years after Yamaha’s debut GP, Fumio Ito took the brand’s first ever GP winon the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and the company has never looked backsince that day. 1964 saw Yamaha win its first World Championship as well as its first Constructor’s title with Phil Read in the 250cc class, the first of many victories in that decade. It was the beginning of an incredible journey for everyone involved in the company’s race program, and during the past 60 years Yamaha has established itself as one of the most successful manufacturers with over 500 Grand Prix race wins, along with 38 rider titles, 37 constructor titles and 7 team titles.
In 1964 the competition department debuted their 250cc Grand Prix racer with a new white fairing with a solid red stripe and red front fender. This bold, simple and dynamic red/white colour scheme soon established itself as the instantly recognisable Yamaha look in Grand Prix road racing, and was the forerunner to Yamaha speed block: arguably the most famous and best loved colour scheme ever featured on a racing motorcycle.
And to celebrate Yamaha’s long and illustrious Grand Prix racing history, the company has created a World GP 60th Anniversary livery for the 2022 R1, R7, R3 and R125 models.
Just like Yamaha’s famous World Championship winning machinery, the World GP 60th Anniversary R1, R7, R3 and R125 feature pure white bodywork with a strong horizontal red stripe and white vertical lines creating the red speed block. This authentic race bike colour scheme features an all-red front fender and gold coloured wheels just like winning Yamaha’s factory bikes, and this timeless look is completed with a yellow front number plate, an anniversary emblem and a red stripe running along the top of the fuel tank and the tail.