For the 1972 Roadrace Season Yamaha Motor N.V. (now Yamaha Motor Europe N.V.) formed an International field of riders together with some enthusiastic Yamaha Distributors.
The "Press launch" of the riders and machines was done on the LeMans circuit, (I do not have the date on hand anymore). The majority of the machines were "works" bikes, some of those you have detected already on my pages.
Jarno Saarinen was sponsored by Arwidson, now Kesko Oy, Finland
Rodney Gould was sponsored by Hostettler, Switzerland
Hegna Norway (now Yamaha Scandinavia) sponsored Kent Andersson
Danfay Ireland sponsored Chas Mortimer
Sonauto (now Yamaha France) sponsored Barry Sheene
and Yamaha Motor N.V. took care of Hideo Kanaya
Ferry Brouwer just informed me exactly about the machines for the team. Please note that until you all read this, Ferry was the only person in the world who knew these details, all other relevant people are not there anymore......
Here is the line-up of the official riders, from the right you can see Jarno Saarinen, Rodney Gould, Kent Andersson, Hideo Kanaya, Chas Mortimer and Barry Sheene.
A good photograph of Jarno Saarinen, who was going to win the 1972 World Championship 250 ccm as we all do know. Sadly his only one we can say.
Another picture of the line-up of riders, the real fans can choose the best for their collection of course. More pictures tomorrow!) Now we see that Barry also had received his "YZ" already. In the back you see Barry's and Rodney's humble Bedford and/or Ford Transit vans. What a difference with todays far too much luxury. Now the guys first need to have a Motorhome, otherwise they cannot even start racing! (Sorry, that is my opinion.....)
Here you see several other riders as well, from the left we have Kent Andersson, Hideo Kanaya, Olivier Chevallier, Adu Celso Santos, Christian Bourgeois, Barry Sheene, Rodney Gould, Thierry Tchernine and Chas Mortimer.
Adu Celso Santos from Brazil was sponsored by Valvoline Oils and both Olivier Chevallier, Christian Bourgeois and Thierry Tchernine were on the list of Sonauto already for some time.
Here is a nice photograph of Hideo Kanaya and Kent Andersson. They were all good friends during that time. Kanaya was a great rider. Had he stayed longer in Europe, he very well could have been Japan's first World Champion.
The last shot is of Jarno, here together with Rodney Gould.
Barry Sheene together with Chas Mortimer, representing the Seventies with their long hair! Watch the famous Yamaha Mini Enduro 50 ccm FT1J parked against the Armcorail!
Although Kent Andersson with his long whiskers was also in fashion! Hideo Kanaya looks a little jealous.....!
Barry Sheene, not yet a World Champion here, in youthful enthusiasm...... This was the first team that did completely away with the old-style dirty black leathers. Inspired by Gary Nixon and the likes, Rodney Gould and Kent Andersson changed the colours in Europe!