Yamaha has today confirmed that they are prepared to lease engines to private teams to run under the new MotoGP rules to come into effect from 2014. The Japanese factory has agreed a deal with series owner Dorna, with Yamaha agreeing to supply private teams with leased engines on a per-year basis. The agreement is for three seasons, from 2014 through 2016.
No details have as yet been released about pricing, but the lease will not be cheap. Paddock insiders suggest that the cost will be around 1 million euros per year for a package from Yamaha. That package will come with virtually no support, and without development, which the teams will have to fund themselves.
Though the announcement from Yamaha only mentions an agreement to lease engines, one source indicated that the price will include both and engine and a chassis, as a complete package. The chassis will not come directly from Yamaha, but be built by a chassis manufacturer such as FTR or Kalex, under supervision and with input from Yamaha engineers. The package as a whole will have strong Yamaha branding, with Yamaha believed to be keen to extract the maximum marketing value from the package.
Which teams will agree to the deal is as yet unknown, but there are strong indications that the Forward team will sign up for the Yamaha deal. Colin Edwards still has very strong ties to the factory, and Yamaha have great faith in his abilities as a development rider. A deal could see Edwards leading development of the leased package, with indirect factory involvement, as part of a two-man team, as is currently the case for the NGM Forward team. With FTR as current chassis supplier to the team, this would indicate that the Buckingham-based firm would also be the engineering firm chosen to build the chassis for the Yamaha lease package.
The agreement for Yamaha to lease engines is part of the overall package agreed with Dorna for 2014 and beyond. The leased engines - or bikes - will run as a so-called "non-MSMA" entry, which means that they will have 12 engines at their disposal, as well as 24 liters of fuel. The non-MSMA entries will have to use both the spec Magneti Marelli electronics hardware, and the spec software provided by Dorna, and developed by Magneti Marelli.
Below is the press release from Yamaha announcing the deal:
Yamaha Confirms MotoGP Engine Lease Agreement
Doha (Qatar), 6th April 2013
Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd can confirm it has entered into an agreement with the MotoGP World Championship Promoter, Dorna Sports S.L., to supply YZR-M1 engines on an annual lease basis to participating teams in the MotoGP Championship.
The initial program will operate for the 2014-15-16 seasons.
The agreement comes as a result of Yamaha’s work with Dorna and the sport’s governing body, the FIM, to further promote the MotoGP World Championship.
The lease agreement facilitates an increase in competitive engines being available for teams competing in the premier class. The teams will then be free to develop their own bikes around the Yamaha engine or contract an independent chassis manufacturer to construct the complete bike.
Full details of the engine lease supply offer will be available shortly to serious prospective enquirers.
Interested teams are requested to contact Dorna or Yamaha Motor Racing directly.