Italian site MotoGrandPrix.it is carrying an official Camel press release stating that they are withdrawing from MotoGP sponsorship, leaving the official Yamaha factory team without a name sponsor. After earlier tobacco withdrawals (such as Fortuna and Winston in World Superbikes), it seems that big tobacco is abandoning motorcycle racing as advertising bans become ever stricter around the world. The press release gives no reason for the withdrawal, merely stating their gratitude to all concerned.
This begs the question of who will be sponsoring Yamaha next year. With Valentino Rossi, one of the biggest names in professional sports, you would expect potential sponsors to be lining up in droves to fund Yamaha. But so far, few names have been thronging for the hand of Rossi, Burgess and Edwards. Should any names surface, I'll post them here.
~~~ UPDATE ~~~
Racesport.nl is reporting that Yamaha stated that there is a strong chance that Yamaha may run the factory team under their own flag, without an external sponsor.