Following the successful unveiling of the all-new YZ65, Yamaha Motor Europe is honored to introduce its youngest ever officially supported motocross team, the Grizzly Yamaha Junior EMX Team.
The team, launched at the MXGP of Europe at Valkenswaard is made up of three young and talented Dutch riders. 11-year-old Damien Knuiman has been elected to challenge for the title in the EMX65 European Championship and will spearhead the team as the only rider that is already riding a Small-Wheel YZ85. Meanwhile, 11-year old Charlie van Nieuwland and 9-year-old Jayson van Drunen will be racing the highly competitive YZ65 all season long in both Open Dutch and EMX65 European Championships.
The all-new YZ65 is one of the most exciting and technologically advanced youth race bikes in the world. Featuring an all-new engine and chassis, and benefitting from YZ450F-inspired styling, the YZ65 reaffirms Yamaha’s total commitment to the youth motocross scene and the next generation of talent.
Yamaha now provides a complete starting point for young champions. With an ideal step up from the PW50 and TT-R bikes, the YZ65 opens up the wonderful world of motorcycling to younger riders and their families. By starting out with some of the best equipment, YZ65 riders will be able to achieve their real potential on the racetrack – and due to the availability of further YZ motorcycles, and also Yamaha’s bLU cRU rider support program, riders can kick start their careers and progress through the ranks to reach the pinnacle of motocross racing.
Yamaha’s Erik Eggens said: “We are very excited to go racing with the YZ65. Developing a 65cc bike is a good demonstration of Yamaha’s commitment to the next generation of talented racers, especially in off-road, and it’s even more exciting to know that Yamaha has delivered a very competitive 65cc that is capable of winning races. We are taking a step forward with our ‘step-up’ structure by supporting a YZ65 team. The support is not like our Official Team’s, such as MJC Yamaha Official EMX125 for example. It is more of a support network to avoid creating unnecessary pressure for young kids, and this is because we firmly believe that at this age it is important for the kids to enjoy riding, and enjoy racing and even more importantly, it is important for them to enjoy the time spent with their families. This is why we have decided to Officially Support the Grizzly Yamaha Junior EMX Team because we believe that this team shares the same vision.”
Gizzly team owner Bas Gal said: “It is amazing to be officially supported by Yamaha; it is making a great difference for us. Obviously, it has been quite exciting to ride with the preproduction version of the YZ65, and the fact that Yamaha Motor Europe is putting its faith in our team to play such an important role has made it a special experience so far. The communication with Yamaha has been fast and really smooth, you just feel Yamaha brings a lot of experience that helps our team to accelerate as well. It’s not just about Yamaha supplying us bikes and parts, you really get the feeling that you’re part of a bigger program and the Yamaha Family.”
Richard de Beer, Grizzly Yamaha’s Technical Director, said: “I’m truly impressed by the all-new YZ65. Not only the engine and the chassis, but also the suspension set-up is really advanced. I’m confident that we can provide our riders with the package to go out there and have some good fun.”