The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team staged a team presentation event today at the Sepang International Circuit. To celebrate the start of the 2020 MotoGP season, the team let the media into their pit box for a photo opportunity and held a special press conference.
By opening the doors to their garage for the photo opportunity event, the team offered the media and the fans watching the live stream a good look at the world of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP. Factory riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were both present and sat on their Yamaha YZR-M1s, making everybody all the more excited to kick off the three-day official 2020 IRTA MotoGP preseason test in Sepang, Malaysia, that will start tomorrow.
Viñales joined the Factory Yamaha crew in 2017 and immediately took third place in the rider standings that year. Though the 2018 season proved to be tough, the Spaniard kept his motivation high and won the race at Phillip Island. He finished that season 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.
Rossi is famously Yamaha‘s most successful rider. This will be his 15th season with the manufacturer since he first joined the Factory Team in 2004. The nine-time World Champion won four championships with Yamaha in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009, and is as eager as ever to score GP victories as he enters his eighth consecutive year with Yamaha since his return in 2013.
The colour scheme of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bike remains the same for 2020, 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 M1 also features subtle blue stripes that add a further dynamic to the sleek design. 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 the team gear.
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 Rossi) in various racing classes.
The team is also pleased to announce that throughout the 2020 racing season the bike will continue to feature the slogans of Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., Yamaha Motor Vietnam Co., Ltd., and Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc.
The photo opportunity in the garage was followed by a press conference, during which General Manager of Motorsports Development Division & President of Yamaha Motor Racing, Hiroshi Ito; Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director & Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal, Lin Jarvis; Yamaha MotoGP Group Leader, Takahiro Sumi; and Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director, Massimo Meregalli shed light on their expectations for the upcoming season. They were joined by Viñales and Rossi, who also expressed their full motivation and eagerness to get to work.
Newly confirmed Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Jorge Lorenzo also got a moment in the spotlight. He already made his first kilometres on the YZR-M1 in the shakedown test held on 2-4 February 2020, after a three-year interval. He completed his first test with satisfactory results, and his vast riding experience is expected to be a huge asset to Yamaha‘s engineers over the course of year.
The 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 Rossi continue to be ambassadors of the programme and will serve as role models for the riders in lower classes.