Cigarette brand Camel’s parent company, Japan Tobacco, recently announced they would withdraw from MotoGP but have backtracked and will fund Yamaha next season.
World champion Rossi and team-mate Colin Edwards will ride for the newly-christened Camel Yamaha team, although the official branding will only be seen at a handful of races.
As with Formula One, MotoGP teams are banned from displaying tobacco advertising within the European Union, leaving just seven other venues.
The team’s managing director Lin Jarvis, who recently saw Gauloises depart as title sponsors, was pleased to secure a valuable source of funding for 2006.
“Yamaha are very excited to enter into this new partnership with Japan Tobacco. Japan Tobacco has been involved in motorsport at the highest level for many years and has been an active sponsor at the top level in the MotoGP class for the past three seasons,” he said.
Meanwhile, Design guru Adrian Newey began his new career with Red Bull Racing yesterday and set himself an initial task of learning how the Milton Keynes-based team do business.
Red Bull pulled off a major coup by persuading title-winning designer Newey to switch from McLaren.
He officially began work as chief technical officer yesterday ahead of a trip to testing in Spain today. Newey has little chance to exert his formidable influence on the team’s 2006 car, which has already been completed, but hopes to use the coming months to integrate with his new colleagues.
He said: “I expect to spend my initial period with the team observing how things are done here, getting to know people and finding my feet in this new environment.
“The technical team is very strong and has a good reputation, so my aim at the start will simply be to understand how Red Bull Racing operates.”
Red Bull’s new car is tested in full for the first time at Jerez today, along with Renault’s 2006 challenger.