Hayate To Lease Yamaha Engine For 2010?

The news that the MSMA is moving closer to allowing engines to be leased has been received with enthusiasm both inside the paddock and out. The move is aimed at reducing costs and expanding the grid, and word from inside the paddock is that it might just work. The proposal is due to come into force in 2011, but rumors are rife that it could happen before then. 

It seems that Yamaha could lease one engine to a team in 2010. That team would be Hayate, allowing the plucky little team which has done so outstandingly with so few means to stay in MotoGP, and bring the grid size up to 18. The news was reported by GPOne.com, and discrete enquiries around the paddock have confirmed the report, though no one would speak on the record. 

The idea of the Hayate team running a Yamaha engine in 2010 makes a huge amount of sense. According to the reports, the new bike would use the existing Hayate / Kawasaki frame, and drop the Yamaha engine into it. Given that the man who designed the Yamaha M1 is Ichiro Yoda, who left Yamaha to redesign the Kawasaki, and is still in charge of the Hayate team, the bikes and the configuration are unlikely to be vastly different. The engine should fit without too much work, as both the Yamaha and Kawasaki engines are inline fours.

By running the engine in 2010, the members of the Grand Prix Commission - and especially the manufacturers and the IRTA - can test out in practice just how well such a proposal would work. And with restricted engine numbers, it should be relatively affordable for the cash-strapped team. Unfortunately - if somewhat understandably - Hayate have lost their star rider, Marco Melandri having signed for San Carlo Gresini. But with so many riders likely to be out of a job and offering their services for free to stay in the series, it shouldn't be hard to find a rider capable of surprising the field once again.

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Comments

"it shouldn't be hard to find a rider capable of surprising the field once again."
Toseland? De Angelis (after today).

Here's a thought. Tech 3 engines don't seem to be as good as Fiat-Yamaha engines. In the same way that Sateliite Honda engines aren't as good as Repsol Honda engines. So Hayate engines should be no better than Tech3's. However, Hayate could take greater risks so could run them closer to the edge? And there lies the sticking point. Do these lease engines come with an electronics specialist from the factory to set them up? How much will the teams be able to alter the maps?

The short answer to your question is yes. The engines will be leased on the same basis as the bikes are now, which means a Yamaha engine specialist and an electronics specialist. And they will probably be as powerful as the current satellite bikes. At least, that is my understanding of them. 

I wonder what (potential) sponsors will think of this? Suppose you have a team that has some chassis, another make of motor, etc etc, and this is being ridden around by a bottom 2nd or a 3rd tier rider, with the likely and expected mediocre or worse results. As a sponsor I'm not so sure I would have much interest in backing such a project.

If Colin Edwards gets the boot from Tech 3 to make space for Benny Elbowz, he would be an outstanding candidate for the Hayate Yamaha...