Fiat-Yamaha

All good things must come to an end. Although the Fiat-Yamaha MotoGP collaboration has seemingly brought a great deal of success to both manufacturers since Fiat's sponsorship of the Yamaha team first began in 2007, the time has come for the two outfits to go their separate ways.

The biggest single reason why Italian automaker Fiat is pulling its support seems to stem from the lack of an Italian rider on the Yamaha factory squad now that Valentino Rossi is firmly entrenched in the Ducati paddock. Apparently, winning, as Yamaha convincingly did in 2010 with Spanish rider Jorge Lorenzo in the lead, isn't all it's cracked up to be without that little extra bit of home-country star power.

At this point, it appears that Yamaha will begin the 2011 race season without a title sponsor, with Lorenzo and American teammate Ben Spies racing under its own banner. No hard feelings, of course.

[Source: Fiat-Yamaha via Asphalt & Rubber | Photo: Drew Phillips]