One number, one story – 7 for YART Yamaha
The number 7 is inextricably connected to YART Yamaha. Mandy Kainz’s Austrian factory team have been using the number practically since their endurance racing debut nearly 20 years ago.
YART Yamaha first competed in endurance races in 2001. When they signed up as a full-season entry in 2002, Yamaha Austria Racing Team used the number 18, and finished 9th overall in the championship standings. YART Yamaha naturally switched to the number 9 in 2003, claiming their first podium finish in the Imola 200 and 7th place overall in the championship.
Mandy Kainz, who had created YART to race the legendary Yamaha R7 in the Austrian Superbike championship, took this to be a sign. From then on, he decided the team would always use 7 – a lucky number that led them to the FIM EWC world title win in 2009.
The 2010 season was the only time they used a number other than 7. “Yamaha insisted we use the number 1,” explains Mandy Kainz, “but it didn’t bring us good luck and so we went straight back to 7 in 2011.”
YART’s Yamaha #7 has had mixed fortunes since then, but the team have tasted victory afresh over the past two seasons on the Slovakia Ring. And, in December 2019, the number 7 shone like a beacon through the stormy Malaysian sky as the team seized a victory in the 8 Hours of Sepang.
The Yamaha #7’s return to the track with riders Marvin Fritz, Niccolò Canepa and Karel Hanika is eagerly awaited.