Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team gave racing fans from all over the world a first glimpse of its team colours for the new season during the official team launch at Telefónica‘s headquarters in Madrid, to kick-start their 2017 campaign. The Italy-based team travelled to Madrid in the last week of its ’winter break‘ before heading overseas for the first official IRTA MotoGP pre-season test of 2017 in Sepang. During this on-track outing, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 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”. The Valencia test already showed great promise for this formidable team; all members are eager to reclaim the MotoGP World Championship crown.
Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi impressed chasing the premier class trophy in the last three years, securing the Vice-Champion Title every season. He is determined to compete once more at the front this year and 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.
Last year Rossi meant business right from the start of the season and in Argentina he climbed the rostrum for the first time. Though struck by external circumstances on occasion, ’The Doctor‘ never lessened his attack and went on to secure nine further podium finishes, with wins in Jerez and Catalunya, remaining a key protagonist in the 2016 challenge until the overseas leg at the end of the year. His and his teammate‘s consistent drive brought Yamaha its seventh FIM MotoGP Team Title.
Young Spanish talent Maverick Viñales is a fresh face in the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP 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.
It‘s not only the new rider line-up that‘s cause for celebration, Yamaha Factory Racing and Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica‘s collaboration also deserves recognition. The two companies signed a five-year partnership agreement in the premier class of road racing in 2014, underlined with Movistar becoming the team‘s title sponsor. In the past three years Yamaha and Telefónica‘s shared values and passion for innovation laid the groundwork for success, resulting in a Triple Crown in 2015 and the Team‘s Title in 2016.
Presenting the 2017 team were MotoGP‘s Dylan Gray and Izaskun Ruiz, who welcomed to the stage Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales for a Q&A session. They were later joined by General Manager of Motorsports Division & YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Kouichi Tsuji, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Team Director, Massimo Meregalli, who went into detail on the technical development of the bike as well as the new rider line-up and its promising prospects.
Luis Miguel Gilperez, President of Telefónica España, was also put in the spotlight and further explained Movistar‘s strategy and its dedication to MotoGP before it was time to reveal the bike. The ceremony saw the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 revealed in its new colours with a refreshed livery. Besides the new Movistar logo, 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, while the deepened Yamaha blue gives the bike a chic finish. Further revelations include the new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team logo. Its new design is a testament of how much value the team assigns to the Telefónica and Yamaha collaboration and puts the Movistar‘s ’M‘ in a more prominent role. This sentiment is also reflected in the YZR-M1‘s 2017 livery, which features the new Movistar-logo on either side of the fairing and the front of the bike.