Valentino Rossi’s Yamaha team have surprised MotoGP by unveiling Camel as their new title sponsors.
Cigarette brand Camel’s parent company, Japan Tobacco, recently announced they would withdraw from MotoGP but have backtracked and will fund Yamaha’s factory effort 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.
He said: “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.”