After World Champion Jorge Lorenzo signed off his victorious MotoGP season by taking nine wins in 2010 and shedding his dominate teammate Valentino Rossi, the Spaniard is now the prime commander of the 2011 YZR-M1 motorcycle.
The first weekend of MotoGP testing in Sepang saw Lorenzo and new teammate Ben Spies ride the new race bikes shod in a carbon fiber bodywork, while the Texan’s M1 was void of much branding or title sponsorship.
It has yet to be released whether or not Fiat will return as the premier sponsor for both riders. The Yamaha MotoGP team is set to unveil the final livery for 2011 Yamaha YZR-M1 on Feb. 21 at Sepang test in Malaysia, the day before the start of the second MotoGP testing sessions.
The new graphics, colors and sponsorship will first be released to the motorcycle media who are scheduled to be present at the GP test in Malaysia.
Yamaha will hold a press conference at the Sepang circuit on Monday Feb. 21 at 6:00pm (Malaysian time) and shortly thereafter photos of the 2011 bikes will appear online here at UltimateMotorCycling.com
The following Yamaha personnel are scheduled to be in appearance to discuss the forthcoming MotoGP season:
- Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory M1 rider
- Ben Spies, Yamaha Factory M1 rider
- Masahiko Nakajima, General Manager Motorsports Development Division
- Kouichi Tsuji, MotoGP Group Leader & 2011 YZR-M1 Project Leader
- Shigeto Kitagawa, President of Yamaha Motor Racing
- Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing
- Maio Meregalli, MotoGP Team Director
- Wilco Zeelenberg, MotoGP Team Manager
For Yamaha, 2011 is a special season marking the 50th anniversary of the start of the company’s World GP participation. The French GP on May 21, 1961 was Yamaha’s first World GP race.
Since, Yamaha has won many races and series titles. Particularly in the pinnacle GP500 and subsequent MotoGP classes, Yamaha has taken 182 victories as of the end of the 2010 season, and six Yamaha riders have won the Rider Championship a total of 15 times.
As well, Yamaha has won the MotoGP Manufacturer Championship title 13 times.