Yamaha Racing Heritage Club storms the Sunday Ride Classic
The Yamaha Racing Heritage Club was one of the highlights of the Sunday Ride Classic at the Circuit Paul Ricard on June 11-12, with legends such as Giacomo Agostini, Carlos Lavado, and Christian Sarron entertaining the massive crowds alongside their iconic race bikes.
The Yamaha Racing Heritage Club (YRHC) was at the Le Castellet circuit for its second event of four planned in 2022, following the ASI Motorshow in Varano, Italy. Glorious weather greeted the thousands of fans who came to the Sunday Ride Classic, with the YRHC stand featuring some legendary race bikes from across three decades of racing.
The YRHC was formed to safeguard and celebrate the racing history of the Japanese manufacturer at events like this. It allows owners of classic Yamaha race bikes to become members and access advanced technical support by registering their machines on the official YRHC database.
Eric De Seynes – President Yamaha Motor Europe
“The Sunday Ride Classic has been a fantastic event and another success for the YRHC. Fans have been able to come and meet their heroes and see some iconic race bikes in action over the two days, and it is great to see their enthusiasm. We formed the YRHC to benefit passionate owners of historic race bikes. We aim to not only protect our racing heritage but to showcase the stories and legends behind these bikes and provide members with advanced technical support. Plus, it is a way for us to connect with the owners of these bikes, understand more what we can do for them, and show we are as passionate as them. It is great to see many fans, young and old, here at the Circuit Paul Ricard, and it shows how passionate people are about the history of motorcycle racing.”
The YRHC celebrated all things TZ250 at the Circuit Paul Ricard, the production racer that revolutionized the 250cc World Championship. Two-time 250cc World Champion Carlos Lavado showcased his championship-winning Factory YZR250s from 1983 and 1986 and took to the track on a 1991 TZ250 painted in his Venemotos Yamaha livery.
His great rival and friend, 1984 250cc World Champion Christian Sarron, was also present with the TZ250 that took him to the title, as the two riders regaled the fans with stories about their time battling it out on the world stage.
Jean-Louis Tournadre’s 1982 250cc championship-winning TZ250 was also on display, as well as a selection of historic race bikes brought along by the TZ Club of France, including Patrick Pons’ 1974 TZ350. There were also numerous TZ750s from the 70s ridden by such stars as Sarron, Johnny Cecotto, Hubert Rigal and many more, along with the 1993 YZR500 ROC of “Fast” Freddie Spencer.
It was a weekend to remember for 15-time World Champion Giacomo Agostini who celebrated his 80th birthday (16th June) by leading the Parade Lap for Yamaha on the TZ750D he rode to his last World Championship victory at Hockenheim in 1977.
The crowd sang him “Happy Birthday” before seeing over 30 Yamaha two-stroke race bikes in action as they took to the track. “Ago” also spent time meeting the fans and signing autographs at the YRHC stand, much to the delight of the passionate French crowd. The Italian described being serenaded by the fans and reunited with his bike on a track he loves as, “One of the best days ever.”
The YRHC now turns its focus to the next event on the 2022 calendar, the ADAC Sachsenring Classic, which takes place on the 15th-17th of July at the Sachsenring, Germany. The YRHC will also head to Donington Park, England, on the 30th-31st of July for the CRMC Classic Motorcycle Festival.