Yamaha ends Dakar Rally factory bike program

The Japanese brand has been a mainstay of the Dakar since the event’s inception in 1979, claiming nine victories in the motorcycle category since then.

However, his last triumph was in 1998, when Stéphane Peterhansel claimed the last of his six Dakar victories on two wheels on a Yamaha.

Success has been harder to come by in recent years amid KTM and Honda dominance, with its last podium finish dating back to 2014 when Olivier Pain finished third.

Adrien van Beveren was Yamaha’s top finisher at the 2022 edition in Saudi Arabia last month in fourth place.

Despite the end of its factory motorcycle presence, Yamaha will not abandon the Dakar altogether, as it is committed to continuing to support the SSV class.

“While the Dakar Rally has mostly managed to stay close to its roots, even when it has left its spiritual home of Africa, the world in which it exists has changed significantly,” said Eric de Seynes, president of Yamaha Motor. Europe.

“Our off-road customers now have different expectations and they are looking for different products, and we have to meet that if we want to stay connected.

“It is for this reason that we have decided to end our long history on two wheels in the Dakar Rally and in the FIM Cross-Country Rallies World Championship, while simultaneously reinforcing our commitment to racing the Dakar on four wheels with the Yamaha YXZ1000R SSV.”

Outside of the Dakar, Yamaha have had some success in the FIM series of off-road rallies, with Helder Rodrigues crowned riders’ champion with the brand in 2011.

Van Beveren finished second in points last year behind KTM’s Matthias Walkner, while teammate Ross Branch took victory in Rally Kazakhstan.

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