European motocross and off-road fans received their first glimpse of the all-new YZ450F this afternoon at a sun-blessed and hot Franciacorta in Italy; scene of the 63rd Motocross of Nations and already a packed event with a huge crowd dwarfing the banks of the new venue for Saturday’s practice and qualification programme. 2008 MX1-GP World Champion and Yamaha Monster Energy factory rider David Philippaerts was joined by Yamaha Monster Energy Ricci MX Team’s Davide Guarneri – his team-mate in the Italian trio, completed by 2009 number one Tony Cairoli – as the pair unveiled the exciting new motorcycle to a large collective of Italian public. The YZ’s inauguration to European eyes marked the first time the bike had been presented on the continent.
After passing comment on recent tests carried out with the machine he will steer in the 2010 MX1-GP World Championship, Philippaerts then swept to Pole Position in front of an adoring throng in the MX Open category. Cairoli was victorious in the MX1 Heat giving the all-Yamaha team a perfect start to the most renowned and prestigious motocross event in the world.
"This is a totally new bike and I could feel the difference as soon as I rode it," Philippaerts declared after helping the covers off the fuel-injected and completely revised YZ450F. "I was pestering the team for some time to let me have a go and when we went out for the first time I was not disappointed. I really like the balance of the bike, it feels more agile. The power delivery is strong and the fuel injection clearly gives more traction. It is totally different to what I have been riding. It is something for the future of Yamaha’s motocross and I feel the lift in performance of what was already a good bike. I finish my season here but I have the new Yamaha at home and I think I will already be out riding when I get back!"