The squad - now entitled 'Yamaha Monster Motocross Team' - has secured a three-year joint programme with the American beverage manufacturer.

"It's fantastic to have Monster Energy on board with us," said Yamaha Motor Europe's Racing Division manager Laurens Klein Koerkamp. "Our results with the team over a long period have shown that we can offer Monster - as a partner - the top level successful image that they are looking for in Europe.

"During the discussions it was clear we were speaking to a company dedicated to supporting us in getting the best results and above all passion for off-road sport. Monster is a young and fresh brand, relatively new to Europe. It will be also exciting from a marketing point of view to work with them and raise their awareness on this side of the world," he added.

The works YZ450FMs of Joshua Coppins and David Philippaerts will thus run a new design and livery for 2008, which will be unveiled on Friday evening prior to the first grand prix in Holland on April 6th.

The factory Yamaha team has won three of the four riders' world titles since the MX1 class was born in 2004 - and only lost out in 2007 after a shoulder injury for runaway title leader Coppins.

Monster Energy first appeared on the market in 2002 and now has a large presence within the AMA paddock. The company is the title sponsor for the Supercross championship and also backs several Kawasaki teams in both AMA motocross and road racing.

2008 looks set to see the distinctive Monster logo burst onto the European scene, due to sponsorship of the Kawasaki MotoGP and CAS Honda motocross teams, in addition to the newly announced Yamaha deal.

"We view the partnership between Monster Energy, Yamaha and the Rinaldi brothers as a European version of Monster Energy's relationship with Mitch and Pro Circuit," said Monster Energy spokesman Scott Sepkovic.

"The Rinaldi Yamahas enjoy great racing heritage on the GP circuit, dating back to championships won by Donny Schmit and Bobby Moore.

"Monster Energy is looking forward to teaming up with this fine racing tradition as we continue to expand the Monster Energy brand globally.

"Here's to a strong and healthy season for Josh Coppins and David Philippaerts [and] the best of luck to both racers at their quest for the MX1 class championship.

"We're pumped to have Yamaha Motor Europe and their team on board with Monster Energy."

 

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