The strong association between Yamaha Motor Europe and Monster Energy has been extended further with an alliance now forged in the MX2 Motocross GP class through the official backing of the Yamaha Ricci Motocross Team.

Building on their status as reigning FIM MX1 Motocross World Champions with David Philippaerts, the Yamaha/Monster combination will now support Ricci riders Nicolas Aubin and Davide Guarneri in their quest for the MX2 crown, and also watch the development of Lo?c Larrieu on his grand prix debut campaign.

Aubin finished third overall in the 2008 campaign and, like Guarneri, already knows the feeling and requirements needed to taste grand prix victory. Larrieu will open his world championship career after several triumphs in the '08 European series and in the wake of scoring decent points in his outing at the French Grand Prix last summer.

"I am really happy with this new deal because Monster Energy is an important sponsor, not only for the team but also within the sport," said team owner Ilario Ricci. "It is a young brand and this fits in nicely with our riders at this special time when I feel we have one of our best chances to win the world championship."

"After a fantastic season last year with the MX1-GP world championship, to extend our partnership with Yamaha and enter the MX2-GP class seemed like a natural step for us," said Monster Energy Sports Marketing manager for Europe Jamie Dobb. "The team's drive for success as well as Nicolas and Davide's thirst to win, matches our own and we wish them the best of luck with their championship ambitions this season."

"We are very pleased with this expansion of our cooperation with Monster Energy," said Yamaha Motor Europe Racing Division manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. "Monster Energy is a strong upcoming brand in Europe and is quickly gaining popularity, especially amongst youngsters. Therefore, we are happy that Monster Energy is now also backing one of our main MX2-GP teams.

"Last year our cooperation has been very fruitful with the world championship of David Philippaerts of course and the launch of an exclusive replica production machine of the successful GP racer and we are very motivated to expand the success in 2009."

Monster Energy is also title sponsor of the Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP team and a personal sponsor of Fiat Yamaha world champion Valentino Rossi.

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