JX Nippon Oil & Energy proudly supports Yamaha Factory Racing and works with the Yamaha MotoGP team to promote the ENEOS brand and technology worldwide.
Yamaha Factory Racing features award-winning #25 Maverick Viñales, and nine-time World Champion #46 Valentino Rossi. Team Yamaha is a strong contender for the championship, and have dominated the podium as one of the most winning teams in MotoGP history!
Born in Urbino, Italy on February 16th, 1979, Rossi was riding bikes from an early age thanks to the encouragement of his father Graziano, himself a former Grand Prix winner. Following an early start in go-karts, Rossi junior progressed to mini-motos and quickly showed a talent for two-wheels, becoming regional champion in 1992. What followed has been one of the most notable careers in MotoGP history, including nine Grand Prix World Championships.
Rossi is already known as one of the greatest of all time. He equals Mike Hailwood and Carlo Ubbiali, who both wrote nine titles to their names in all classes, only Giacomo Agostini and Angel Nieto have more. Furthermore, with 55 wins from 189 races Rossi remains the most successful Yamaha racer of all time since he joined the Japanese factory. Finally Rossi is the only rider to win premier class titles on five different types of motorcycles (500cc 4-cylinder two-stroke, 990cc 5-cylinder four-stroke, Yamaha 990cc 4-cylinder four-stroke, Yamaha 800cc 4-cylinder four-stroke and a Yamaha 1000cc 4-cylinder four-stroke).
In both 2015 and 2015 he was narrowly defeated, missing first place by only fractions, although he helped Team Yamaha score Team World Championships in both years. 2017 saw technical challenges that led to a late season injury, although he still finished 5th overall and saw the team score 2nd, with a record-breaking 500 total wins reached during the season. The racing world is watching for Rossi to make this his lucky 10th Championship season!
Viñales was born in Figueres, Spain, on January 12th, 1995. He began racing in minimotos at just three years of age before moving onto motocross. In 2002 his passion for speed brought him to circuit racing in 2002. He competed in the Catalonian 50cc Championship and followed it up with several successful seasons in the 70cc “metrakit” bikes.
Viñales got hold of the Catalonian 125cc Champion Title in 2007, successfully defended his crown in 2008 and also won the Mediterranean Trophy. In 2008 he also competed at selected events in the German IDM 125GP Championship for RZT Racing aboard an Aprilia RS 125 R, achieving a best result of seventh. In 2009, he moved up to the CEV Buckler 125GP series, partnering with Miguel Oliveira in the Blusens-BQR team. Viñales secured the Rookie of the Year award, finishing the season as the runner-up to Alberto Moncayo in the championship standings by just four points. Viñales claimed four successive podiums during the season.
In 2017, Viñales joined Team Yamaha and immediately proved himself a strong asset, scoring numerous wins and podium placements. He eventually claimed 3rd place in Team World Championships, helping his team score 2nd. With a strong start, Viñales should be one to watch in 2018.
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