“I heartily welcome the extension of the agreement with FIAT for another two years. We will be working to continue the great partnership that resulted in winning the triple crown in 2008,” admitted Yamaha Racing's executive officer of engineering operations, Masao Furusawa. The Japanese manufacturer has ended their first part of collaboration with FIAT with 2 world titles, both in 2008.
It was an all-Yamaha year for 2008 actually, with the Japanese manufacturer securing a comfortable world title, Fiat Yamaha Team finishing top of the table in the teams' classification and Valentino Rossi grabbing his 5th MotoGP title in the drivers' standings. Not only that, but rookie Jorge Lorenzo walked out of the 2008 season with the Best Newcomer of the Year award, as he finished the year in 4th place.
“We are very happy to be able to continue out successful partnership with the team for two more years. Sponsoring the Yamaha Racing Team has become a true asset of our brand strategy that sees us closer than ever to youngsters and in harmony with their interests and passions for the future,” said an official statement from Fiat Automobile's Delegate Administrator Lorenzo Sistino.
Fiat Yamaha Team have already concluded their first testing session for next season, shortly after the Valencia Grand Prix two weekends ago. Furusawa admitted earlier last week that the Japanese manufacturer will be focusing on improving the new bike's cornering performances throughout the winter, while also having to accommodate the new tires provided by Bridgestone – which became sole tire supplier in the MotoGP for the upcoming 3 years.