With the curtain having fallen on the 2002 MotoGP season this afternoon at Valencia, after four years of existance the Marlboro Yamaha Team is no more.

Having reached the end of their long and successful association with Max Biaggi and title sponsor Marlboro, Mr Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, has paid tribute to the Roman and their title sponsor, who will move to Honda and Ducati next season respectively, as well as everyone who has made MYT such a success.

Next year Yamaha's factory MotoGP team will have a new title sponsor and new rider alongside Carlos Checa.

"Today's Valencia GP brings to a close the 2002 MotoGP season and is also our last race with Marlboro, who have been our partner and title sponsor for the last four years," began Jarvis. "Max's third-place finish here gives the Marlboro Yamaha Team second overall in the premier-class riders' World Championship for the second successive year, as well as helping us to second in the inaugural MotoGP Teams' World Championship.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express Yamaha's sincere thanks to Marlboro for having supported our top-racing programme. We have enjoyed many unique and rewarding experiences with Marlboro, and we believe that our project has thrilled and entertained millions of race fans around the world. We wish Marlboro all the best in the future and we look forward to maintaining our friendship for years to come.

"Today also marks the end of an era, with the end of the Max Biaggi/Yamaha partnership. Yamaha would like to express our heartfelt thanks and gratitude for Max's great contribution over the last four seasons, which have seen him achieve two MotoGP victories and six 500cc wins, as well as a great run of championship results - fourth, third and twice second.

"Yamaha have the greatest respect for Max's ability as a motorcycle racer and we wish him continued success in the future, albeit as a competitor (with Honda). Finally I would like to thank every other member of the team, both past and present, for all their tremendous efforts. The Marlboro Yamaha Team has been a special project of which we can all be proud."

MYT are expected to announce who will replace Max Biaggi and Marlboro tomorrow [Monday].



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