Yamaha Motor Europe and the Ricci Racing Team have decided to walk separate paths after a long, hard-working and successful relationship.
Team owner Ilario Ricci and his Italian crew will attempt new challenges for the 2011 FIM MX-GP World Championship and beyond.
Under the control and expertise of Ricci the team have enjoyed a close and positive association with Yamaha and YRRD (Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development) and have posted notable results at the highest level since the beginning of the century and through 14 years of partnership.
Their accolades include a runner-up position in the 2005 MX2-GP category with YZ250F technology steered by the late Andrew McFarlane.
Ricci has also picked up numerous podium trophies thanks to the likes of Alessio Chiodi, Andrea Bartolini and Loic Larrieu and five MX2-GP victories with Davide Guarneri, Nicolas Aubin and McFarlane.
In 2010 they sampled their very first MX1-GP success with the YZ450FM and Ken De Dycker with his double moto triumph in Germany.
“It was a difficult decision because we have been with Yamaha for a long time but we now have something new to try in Grand Prix racing,” said Ricci, who also oversaw three Italian championship title wins with Bartolini, Chiodi and Guarneri.
“I must give thanks to Yamaha, Michele Rinaldi and his YRRD technicians and racing staff. We created some very good memories in the last 14 years.”
“We were able to count on excellent support and a good collaboration with Ilario and his team; he will try something new and of course we respect that,” commented YRRD principal Michele Rinaldi. “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to Ricci Racing for what they have done for Yamaha and the assistance they have given in the development of our motorcycles.”
“After an extended and successful partnership for many years between Yamaha and Ilario Ricci, we will go different directions for the future,” said Laurens Klein Koerkamp, racing manager Yamaha Motor Europe.
“It is a sad feeling after working closely for such a long time but the GP results with the wins and podiums his team have achieved will always remain a part of Yamaha’s history in Motocross. Yamaha wishes Ilario all the best with new challenges in a different setting.”
The Yamaha Monster Energy Gariboldi team will work in closer connection with Yamaha Motor Europe and YRRD (Yamaha Rinaldi Research and Development) for what will be their second FIM MX-GP Motocross World Championship season in 2011 after impressing in their maiden 2010 campaign.
The Italian squad brought the talents of 2009 European Champion Christophe Charlier and promising Finn Harri Kullas to the highly competitive MX2-GP class on YZ250F machinery and both rookies finished in the top eleven of the series’ standings.
Next year the crew will add MX1-GP representation to their ranks with the recent signature of Anthony Boissiere on the YZ450F to give Yamaha a three rider presence in the premier category.
Gariboldi impressed with their set-up and dedication to bringing through the hottest young stars on the European motocross scene; the fruits of their work seen in 2009 when Charlier convincingly won the European title with the YZ250F.
The rise of the team’s profile led to a slot on the GP gate for 2010 and both teenagers have vindicated Team Principal Giacomo Gariboldi’s belief in the potential of his riders and his set-up’s capabilities to keep the Yamaha brand at the forefront of MX2-GP.
Gariboldi will now oversee an important facet of Yamaha’s presence in the Grand Prix paddock with the FIM age rule of 23 years for MX2-GP racers coming into play during 2010.
“I’m delighted to be able to continue the work we have started this season with our top young riders because I’m sure both Kullas and Charlier will benefit a lot from the experience they made in their first world championship and progress from there,” commented Gariboldi.
“The addition of the MX1 rider Anthony Boissiere is a new exciting challenge for the team and we will put all our efforts to make it a success. I have to thank Yamaha and YRRD for the increased support they are going to grant the team for 2011 and hope we can build up together a successful operation for the years to come; all the team’s staff are very excited, motivated and looking forward to the 2011 campaign.”
“After the first year for Giacomo Gariboldi and his team in the World Championship we have decided to expand the relationship,” commented Klein Koerkamp. “During their successful rookie season at world level with Harri and Christophe the team has proven to be professional and well structured and that they can compete in the top regions.
“The team’s technical organisation is well controlled with Massimo Castelli, who has worked with many champions in the past and has worked inside the Rinaldi Group in the past. We are looking forward to see the team mature and Harri, Christophe and Anthony fighting for podium positions.”
“We had a good season in 2010 and to have a stronger connection with Yamaha for next year is really positive news,” said Kullas. “The link with Monster Energy is also great and I think it is a big thing for any young athlete to be associated with such a big energy drink with a cool image.
“I have to make a step up for my second season because I was already almost in the top ten at every race in 2010 and now need to reach for the top five regularly. The MX2-GP class will be very competitive again and I will do my work in the winter to be prepared in the best way.”
“I’ve had a couple of injury problems this year which meant that the season did not go completely as I wanted it,” said Charlier. “But I learnt a lot and I am glad to be working with the team again and to be part of an exciting project.”
For Boissiere his new squad represents a return to the brand with whom he initially burst onto the Grand Prix scene; winning two MX2-GP motos in 2005 on a YZ250F.
Since then he has been a fast competitor in the MX2 and then MX1-GP categories but has fought for full fitness after some unfortunate luck with injuries. 2008 saw the Frenchman gain his first podium trophies with MX2-GP success in France and the Czech Republic.
He moved into MX1-GP for 2010 and it was his potential on the bigger machine that caught the eye and bolstered his profile.
“My first year with Yamaha was in 2004 which was also my first time with a four-stroke and my first season in the world championship,” he said. “2005 is when it became crazy as I won motos at my home GP and also in South Africa and since then I’ve been pushing to get to the same level. I’m really happy to work with the Gariboldi team.
“It is a good structure and the bikes are very competitive. I will be training hard this winter for a good year in 2011.”