As first reported by Motorsport.com earlier this year, Yamaha will join forces with the VR46 Master Camp to field two bikes in the intermediate class of the world championship to open up an avenue to develop young riders.
Yamaha has worked with VR46 on its Master Camp scheme since 2016, and has spent the last five seasons in the FIM CEV.
In a release issued by Yamaha, the team will be wholly owned and funded by Yamaha Motor Company, while VR46 will take charge of the management side and will be helmed by Gelete Nieto as sporting director.
The team will field VR46 Master Camp participant and Moto2 wildcard in 2021 Keminth Kubo, as well as World Supersport rider Manuel Gonzalez.
Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT
Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images
Alessio Salucci, VR46 riders’ academy director said: “The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp is a project that is very dear to VR46’s heart.
“The idea of the programme was born in Valentino’s office in the VR46 headquarters in Tavullia.
“It was created out of a conversation that Valentino and [Yamaha boss] Lin Jarvis had there.
“They had the shared goal of helping international young Yamaha talent, much like the VR46 Riders Academy does for local Italian riders.
“Since the start of the project in 2016, every single year the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp training programme and the CEV team are stepping up their game to reach higher levels.
“This new Moto2 World Championship team is a new challenge for us as well as our two young talents: Kubo and Gonzalez.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank Yamaha Motor Company, Thai Yamaha Motor, and Yamaha Motor Europe for making this possible.
“This collaboration shows once again how motivated Yamaha is to help the next generation of racing stars.
“I can’t wait to start this exciting chapter of the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp programme.”
The team will be one of three VR46 squads in grand prix racing next year, with the official VR46 team continuing to race in Moto2 in 2022 as well as stepping up to MotoGP with Luca Marini and Marco Bezzecchi at the helm.
Yamaha’s decision also falls in line with that of KTM and Honda, who operate outfits in Moto2 despite having no actual technical presence in the Triumph-powered class – with Ajo KTM and Honda Team Asia running Kalex chassis.
It is unclear yet what chassis the new Yamaha VR46 Master Camp team will use in 2022. It will make its on-track debut at the Valencia pre-season test in February.