With this year marking Yamaha’s sixtieth anniversary of its first ever Grand Prix endeavour, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team is raring to start the 2021 World Championship action. To set the tone for a new season that’s full of endless possibilities and which they will be tackling with a new rider line-up, the team found an innovative way to open its doors to the fans and media. Making use of the latest technology, they gave a virtual reality presentation to show off their eager young riders Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, the 2021 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1s, as well as the team’s close relationship with title sponsor Monster Energy Company.
The team presentation was led by renowned TV F1 presenter Federica Masolin, who is also an avid MotoGP fan. She chatted with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.’s MotoGP Group Leader Takahiro Sumi, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal & Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director Massimo Meregalli, Factory Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, and Monster Energy's Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Mitch Covington, before showing the 2021 Yamaha YZR-M1s, inviting the participants to share their thoughts on the upcoming MotoGP action.
Viñales joined the Factory Yamaha crew in 2017 and immediately took two back-to-back GP victories. He went on to third place in the rider standings that year. Though the following season proved to be tough, the Spaniard kept his motivation high and won the race at Phillip Island. He finished 2018 in fourth place overall, just five points behind his teammate in third position. In 2019, he scored two further Grand Prix victories, one in Assen and one in Sepang, and collected the overall bronze medal once more at the end of the season. 2020 was another challenging year. Though the Spaniard was in contention for the championship title until two races before the end, he ultimately finished in sixth place.
Quartararo is a new entry to the Yamaha Factory Team, but he is already a household name amongst MotoGP fans thanks to his successful years as part of the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. In his MotoGP debut year 2019, he scored seven podiums in total (five second places and two third places), to end his first season on a YZR-M1 in fifth place, earning him the Rookie of the Year title. The young Frenchman started 2020 with a bang too, securing his first premier class win at Round 1 in Jerez, and he repeated his dominant performance again the very next week at the same track. His third victory came in Catalunya, but he was unable to put his mark on the end of the season. He finished eighth in the overall 2020 standings.
The colour scheme of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bike remains the same for 2021, with the team’s YZR-M1, the pit box, and the riders’ leathers sporting a ‘Monster Energy black’ to ‘Yamaha Factory Racing blue’ gradient. The perfect blend between Yamaha’s aesthetic and Monster Energy's instantly recognisable claw branding is also represented in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team logo and on the team uniforms.
Yamaha has a long-term global alliance with the team’s title sponsor, Monster Energy Company, based on their mutual passion for racing. A multiple-year title-sponsor agreement with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team was signed in the summer of 2018 and came naturally, as Monster Energy Company sponsors multiple Yamaha teams (among them the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team since 2013) and riders (including Viñales and Quartararo) in various racing classes.
The team is also pleased to announce that throughout the 2021 racing season the bike will continue to feature the slogans of Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., starting from the extended Qatar Official Test held on 6th-7th March and 10th-12th March 2021.
Newly confirmed Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Cal Crutchlow will be joining Viñales and Quartararo at the Losail International Circuit. After a seven-year interval, the vastly experienced premier class rider will return to riding the YZR-M1 on 5th March 2021 in the Shakedown Test.
With the 2021 season shaping up nicely, currently projected to count 19 GP rounds, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is delighted to confirm the continuation of its relationship with numerous sponsors and partners, including:
ENEOS - http://www.noe.jxtg-group.co.jp/index.html
Yamalube - http://yamalube.com/
Blue Core - https://global.yamaha-motor.com/showroom/bluecore/en/sp/
Akrapovič - http://www.akrapovic.com/
Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing - http://www.yamaha-motor.co.id
Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc. - https://www.yamaha-motor.com.ph
Thai Yamaha Motor - https://www.yamaha-motor.co.th
Oakley - https://www.oakley.com
Alpinestars - https://www.alpinestars.com/
Abarth - http://www.abarth.com
Gilles Tooling - http://www.gillestooling.com
Racing Boy RCB - https://www.racingboy.com.my
Furukawa Electrics - https://www.furukawa.co.jp/en/
Marelli - http://www.magnetimarelli.com
D.I.D. - http://www.did-daido.co.jp
NGK Spark Plugs - https://www.ngkntk.co.jp
BMC Air Filters - http://www.bmcairfilters.com
2D - http://2d-datarecording.com
Beta Tools - http://beta-tools.it
Yamaha Corporation (Yamaha Music) - https://www.yamaha.com
Michelin - https://www.michelin.com/eng/
Pont Grup - http://www.pontgrup.com
For 2021, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have formed a new alliance with VR46 Racing Apparel. They will be the manufacturers of all official team wear all provided with a prominent VR46 Racing Apparel logo. Identical official team wear products will be on sale to Yamaha fans throughout the global dealer network and at racetrack merchandize sales points.
Moreover, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team continues to support Yamaha’s bLU cRU programme, encouraging a younger generation of on-road riders to follow their dream to become the next MotoGP star. Viñales and Quartararo are ambassadors of the programme and will serve as role models for all Yamaha’s young talents.
Lastly, with an eye on continuous innovations and technical progression, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will be working closely together with Valentino Rossi, Franco Morbidelli, and the Petronas Yamaha SRT team throughout the 2021 season. Rossi will be riding a full factory YZR-M1 in Petronas Yamaha SRT colours, whilst Morbidelli will be riding the A-Spec YZR-M1. Both satellite riders will receive full support from YMC engineers in 2021, and their input will continue to contribute to the further development of the YZR-M1 throughout the season.