Yamaha Goes Monster

Cycle News Staff | March 27, 2009

It wasn’t much of a secret that Josh Hayes and Josh Herrin’s factory Yamahas would be shod in Monster Energy livery for 2011, but the official announcement was made today with the team set to enter the 2011 AMA Pro Road Racing Championships under the guise of Monster Energy Graves Motorsports Yamaha.Yamaha’s official team will take over the Monster sponsorship package after the M4 Suzuki team of Martin Cardenas and Chris Ulrich lost the energy drink sponsorship in the off-season. Last season, Ulrich and long-time Monster-sponsored John Hopkins rode with sponsorship from Monster in the Superbike class with Cardenas sporting the energy drink’s colors in the Daytona SportBike class.Today’s Yamaha announcement also confirmed that Chris Clark will return to the Yamaha fold under the Yamaha Extended Service/Pat Clark Sports/Graves Yamaha banner.Tommy Aquino will also ride on the Yamaha Extended Service team in the Daytona SportBike class. Last year, Aquino rode on the official Graves team alongside Herrin, who will obviously be giving up his personal Red Bull sponsorship to accommodate Monster.”Creating the Monster Energy Graves Motorsports Yamaha team connects our brand with one of the most respected racing programs and two of the best riders in the country,” said Alex Dunstan, motorsports manager for Monster Energy, in a release from Yamaha. “Having the American Superbike number-one plate represent the number-one energy drink in the U.S.is a natural fit for our company and we look forward to kicking off the season at Daytona.”In addition to the factory Graves team and the Clark team, Yamaha will also field HT Moto Racing and Team LTD Racing, with Hayes’ wife Melissa Paris riding the HT Moto Racing R6 in the Daytona SportBike class.Team LTD Racing will field Huntley Nash in the AMA Daytona SportBike class and Thomas Puerta and David Gaviria in the AMA Supersport class.”Last season we showed what the R1 is capable of by winning the American Superbike title and we can’t wait to get started in 2011,” said Keith McCarty, division manager for Yamaha’s Racing Department. “From our new partner Monster Energy to all of our associated teams, we feel we have once again assembled the best teams in the paddock.”