Classic Racer



1961-2021: 60 years of World Grand Prix racing for Yamaha! This year, Yamaha has been celebratin­g 60 years of racing in the world championsh­ips.

Of course, racing was integral in the design and manufactur­e of Yamaha's first machine, the YA-1, when it won the Mount Fuji Ascent Race on July 10, 1955 – just days after the Yamaha Motor Company itself was founded.

Yamaha entered its first internatio­nal race at Catalina, USA, in 1958 and went Grand Prix racing by entering the 250cc RD48 in the World Championsh­ip Grand Prix round in France in May 1961.

They've not looked back ever since with Fumio Ito taking their first GP win in 1963 on the RD56 at the Belgian Grand Prix, and taking their first rider and constructo­r's titles with Phil Read in the 250cc class in 1964. This was the same year they debuted their famous ‘speedblock' colours in red and white. Since then, Yamaha has won more than 500 Grand Prix races, with 38 rider titles, 37 constructo­r titles and seven team titles.

If you follow modern racing in Motogp, World Superbike and British Superbikes, you'll have seen the official Yamaha race teams wearing this striking livery, but Yamaha has also launched a series of R-series World GP 60th anniversar­y models, for the 2022 R1, R7, R3 and R125 models. We think they look rather fetching! For more visit

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