Yamaha usually goes about racing in two ways. If they can get a superstar, they go for titles. If they can't, they try to flood the starting gate with as many blue fenders as possible.
They're definitely into the latter mode right now, as this is the first time in a decade Yamaha doesn't pack a Stewart or Reed type star heading into Anaheim 1 (and before Reed, they had McGrath). While the JGR boys could maybe, just maybe, pull out a win in 2013, most of these teams are centered around just putting bikes in the main event.
It's good news for some second-tier riders. With so much talk recently about purses and privateer support, you have to applaud Yamaha for helping out so many riders who would otherwise be searching for work. Chisholm was bounced through the RCH and JWR deals before ending up with nothing, Velocity3 puts him back to work. Kiniry didn't have offers, this saved him (and Chizz is one of the few riders who loves the YZ450F, so he gets what he wants here). Travis Baker was out of work via TLD, now he gets a landing spot. Alex Martin and the perennial privateer team of privateer teams, Eleven10 Mods, finally have some help.
The current line of Yamahas has taken some heat. The YZ250F still uses a carb, and the YZ450F has morphed into the most controversial bike in its class. And it's likely that blue machines won't win any titles this season. But the idea that Yamaha is giving back to the riders who need it most is actually really, really cool. Next time you want to complain that the industry and manufacturers aren't doing anything to help the little guy, remember this press release.