Yamaha 60th Anniversary M1

Robin Goodwin’s eye was taken by a Yamaha last weekend but it wasn’t one of the regular visitors to the paddock.

Yamaha’s 60th birthday has seen a wealth of the limited edition bikes sporting their iconic yellow and black speed block design, but the most luscious example of this livery was on the Yamaha M1 of the Japanese MotoGP wildcard Katsuyuki Nakasuga at Motegi last weekend.

Nakasuga’s M1 one-off appearance was a treat for the MotoGP grid with the strikingly simple yellow and black colour scheme standing out against the myriad of advertisement hoardings that is common place on race bikes these days.

In the race the veteran racer and test-rider for Yamaha gave the special livery a respectable 8th position in the difficult conditions on the wet-but-drying track.

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The classic speed block design was conceived in the early 70s, as Yamaha was attempting to break in the US market they adopted the yellow and black colour way, which featured square blocks lined up to resemble a chain, on its race bikes to stand out from the crowd. The historic performance and personalities of riders like Kenny Roberts and Bob ‘Hurricane’ Hannah helped to establish the iconic status of the livery.

Many thanks to Sayaka Miyazaki and William Favero from Yamaha for the images.

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