The Yamaha MotoGP Team gave racing fans from all over the world a first glimpse of its team colours for the new season. The official team launch was at Telefónica‘s headquarters in Madrid.
The Italy-based team travelled to Madrid in the last week of its winter break before heading overseas for the first official MotoGP pre-season test of 2017 in Sepang. During this on-track outing riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales will help Yamaha‘s engineers fine-tune the development work of the YZR-M1 that was carried through during the “off-season”.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi impressed chasing the premier class trophy in the last three years. He secured the Vice-Champion Title every season. Rossi is determined to compete once more at the front this year. His fans from all over the world will be cheering him on as he pursues his quest to make his title win tally a nice round ten.
Valentino Rossi said:
“After the winter break, the team launch is always a very exciting time for everybody. Not only for us, the riders and the team, but also for the fans. Sincerely, I‘m just as happy as they are to start the new season, I have missed riding my bike. The pre-season test in Sepang will be an interesting moment. We will get a good idea of our level. And it‘s also the first time I‘ll get to take the YZR-M1 out on track in its 2017 colours. This is the fourth year that Movistar will be our team‘s title sponsor. In the last three years, we enjoyed some fantastic battles and great results and this season the target remains the same: to be competitive again and fight for the victory in every race. I have a new strong teammate and I think we can have a lot of fun this season.”
Young Spanish talent Maverick Viñales is a fresh face in the Yamaha Team. He joins the factory crew after gaining two years of experience in the premier class. His 2016 season highlights included a superb win at Silverstone and three third places, in France, Japan and Australia, allowing him to finish fourth in the final standing. He followed up his strong end of the season with a stunning debut on the YZR-M1 at the Valencia test, topping the time sheets both days, establishing that his switch to Yamaha was the right decision.
Maverick Viñales said:
“After the test in Valencia and Malaysia I got off the bike feeling very happy because I was on the level I wanted to be at. The whole team can‘t wait to start the season. We know we can be at a 100% level and compete at the front. Today we revealed the bike and it looks beautiful, I wish I could start riding it right now! When I was a kid, I used to watch Valentino riding his M1. Now I‘m here at the team launch, it‘s like a dream come true! I‘m so happy and motivated and I‘m ready to give it my all.”
“I want to thank Yamaha, Movistar and of course the team. They have welcomed me very warmly, so it is a great start to the season already. Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised by the family-feel, because on the outside you see a very serious and professional team. But as soon as I went inside the box, I felt incredible. I‘m really pleased to be here, at Telefónica Headquarters in Madrid, and thanks to everyone for coming to support us. It‘s going to be a great year!”
— Yamaha MotoGP (@YamahaMotoGP) 19 January 2017
The ceremony saw the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 revealed in its new colours with a refreshed livery.
The Blue Core logo (Yamaha’s new generation engine development designed to extract maximum performance and fuel economy) is added as a new design element on the bike. The deepened Yamaha blue gives the bike a chic finish.
Managing director of the Yamaha team Lin Jarvis said:
“Over the last three years we have demonstrated that our team is very competitive. The bike‘s striking new livery features cleaner lines, more blue. We see today not only as the official start of the 2017 season but also the start of a next chapter with our exciting new rider line-up.”
“We have Maverick Viñales joining us as he searches for his first MotoGP class title and Valentino Rossi, who has his eyes set on World Championship title number ten. Both are eager to reach their goals and hungry to win races. I‘m confident we are in for another exciting and highly competitive season.”