2022 Yamaha R-Series models World GP 60th Anniversary livery

POSTED: 15/09/2021

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 1 July 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 10 July.

Spurred on by this success, Yamaha entered its first international race at Catalina, USA in 1958. By now, the company was developing some of the most competitive two-stroke machines, and the decision was made to experience the ultimate test of rider and machine by entering the 250cc RD48 race bike in the World Championship Grand Prix round in France in May 1961. Competing at the highest level put the company firmly on the map and marked the beginning of the brand’s transformation into one of the world’s most successful and innovative motorcycle manufacturers.

Just two years after Yamaha’s debut GP, Fumio Ito took the brand’s first ever GP win on the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and the company has never looked back since 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 programme, 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.

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