Yamaha Motor Europe NV has officially announced its support for the Yamaha Classic Racing Team, founded and managed by former Yamaha GP mechanic Ferry Brouwer. In addition to a financial element, the support will include technical as well as promotional aspects.
The Yamaha Classic Racing Team (YCRT), born out of passion for racing heritage is aimed at conserving Yamaha's history from their early golden years of road racing. This truly magnificent period started in the sixties and continued into the seventies. Ferry Brouwer, now 59 yrs old has been into racing since he was 6 years old after being introduced to it by his father. He's been a big fan of Yamaha road racing 2 strokes ever since, and worked as a Yamaha factory mechanic from 1968 to 1973 for riders such as Jarno Saarinen, Phil Read, Chas Mortimer and Tepi Lansivuori. In 1982, Netherlands based Dutchman Ferry founded "Arai Helmet Europe BV". His passion for classic racers never died however and he remained active in that field, working on an impressive collection of classic Yamaha racers and founding a dedicated team to race his machines.
In 1998 Ferry was the driving force behind the "Assen Centennial TT", bringing together many famous former GP stars to ride their restored racers.
Recently he retired from Arai and now focuses all his time on the Yamaha Classic Racing Team (YCRT). He owns an impressive list of 14 classic Yamaha racers, all in superb condition, and has plenty of plans to extend this line up
The machines are of course the real stars, some of them painstakingly restored production machines, all in absolute mint condition and completely original. Others are reconstructions of works machines that had to be built from scratch, as the original work bikes were, as was the custom of the day, destroyed.
Examples include the unique YZ634 350 cc 2 cylinder 2 stroke bike, the factory racer in 1972 and the 500cc YZR500 OW45 GP bike ridden so successfully by Kenny Roberts in 1979. The 1972 screaming 2 stroke YZ623C 125cc and the YZ634A 500cc 2 stroke GP bike of the same year are race bikes that were completely recreated by the team. Yamaha fully endorsed the building of these replicas. The absolute stars of the team are the breathtakingly beautiful 125 (RA31A) and 250 cc (RD05A) works 4 cylinder machines which in the hands of Phil Read gave Yamaha a double world championship in 1968.
The Yamaha Classic Racing Team riders form an incredible roll call of those glorious racing days. Amongst the regular riders such as Dieter Braun, Svend Andersson, and former Yamaha Factory riders Michelle Duff, Rodney Gould and Chas Mortimer, guest appearances will take place at events with star riders as Giacomo Agostini, Steve Baker, Christian Sarron and Luca Cadalora. They will ride the machines of the Yamaha Classic Racing Team in the style that made them winners in their time.
Yamaha Motor Europe's Racing Division Manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp stated, "The relation between Yamaha, the Yamaha Classic Racing Team and Ferry Brouwer has been close for many years and continues to grow in strength. The step to make it official is a logical one. The passion for the Yamaha brand, the technology of the bikes and its racing history is something we all share To be able to see these iconic, historical machines still racing at these events remains a very special and unique opportunity. It's fantastic to see that also younger people are attracted by the technology of the past and can appreciate the variety of machinery of former days, 4 cylinder 250cc or even 125cc engines as well as 750 2strokes, etc. Our aim is not so much to increase the quantity of our classic racers appearances, but to ensure that our racing history remains available in riding condition for Yamaha racing fans to enjoy now and in the future.
Ferry Brouwer commented, "1973 was the last time I worked with Yamaha as mechanic for Jarno Saarinen on the official factory team. Exactly 35 years later I am so happy to be officially associated with Yamaha again. But not just me; through YCRT guys like Rod Gould, Chas Mortimer, Michelle Duff are also back with Yamaha. The official support from Yamaha is recognition of what we do, but above all recognition from Yamaha to and for Yamaha's own history. Once again Yamaha is leading the way as a Japanese manufacturer they definitely live and act by their own slogan "Touching your Heart" as an enormous amount of people's hearts will be touched by seeing those classic machines riding again. We wish to be a source of inspiration for others carrying the past into the future."