Yamaha Racing Team 1972

Category: General Yamaha history
Published Date

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......


125 ccm 250 ccm 350 ccm 500 ccm
Kent Andersson YZ623C TD3 The YZ623C's received a dry clutch after the 3rd race in Belgium, Mettet
Chas Mortimer YZ623C TD3 YZ634A from Yugolavia onwards
Rodney Gould YZ635 TR3 YZ634A from Yugolavia onwards
Jarno Saarinen TD3/YZ635 YZ634
Barry Sheene YZ635 TR3 After Austria Barry left Yamaha and the YZ635 went to Jarno
Hideo Kanaya TD3 YZ634
Kanaya won immediately his first race in Europe, the German G.P. on the Nurburgring on a standard TD3. At the end of the season 1972 a YZ634 went to Sonauto France for Christian Bourgeois.


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!


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