Yamaha has announced it has signed an important sponsorship deal with Japanese oil giants JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation ahead of the 2012 MotoGP World Championship season.
JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation, the company behind the Eneos brand of products and service stations, come on board as an 'official' sponsor in place of Petronas, who announced towards the end of 2011 that it was ending its association with the manufacturer.
The deal coincides with the opening pre-season MotoGP test at Sepang, which commences tomorrow [Tuesday], where Yamaha riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies will take to the track aboard the 1000cc Yamaha YZF-M1.
Though the deal doesn't represent title backing for Yamaha, it is nonetheless a welcome boost for the former champions, following the loss of FIAT as its primary sponsor at the end of 2010.
It remains to be seen whether Yamaha will honour the deal with an updated livery for 2012, reflecting Eneos' corporate hues of red, orange and white.