As a prelude to the pre-season MotoGP test that begins Tuesday at Sepang International Raceway, Yamaha Factory Racing unveiled Monday its livery for the 2011 season.
The Yamaha team of reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo and 2010′s Rookie of the Year Ben Spies were at the unveiling along with the YZR-M1, which features a Yamaha corporate blue color scheme incorporating theYamaha "speed block" design.
During the colors presentation, many of Yamaha Factory Racing’s top MotoGP players spoke, including Yamaha Boss Lin Jarvis, new team director Massimo Meregalli, and team manager Wilco Zeelenberg. They were joined by Shigeto Kitagawa, the president of Yamaha Racing, and team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha MotoGP) says: "I’m very happy to be here again preparing to start another season riding with Yamaha. Winning the World Championship last season was an incredible feeling, but now we start again. I have a great crew and with the hard work of the Japanese engineers over the winter I feel confident we can fight for more success this year."
Ben Spies (Yamaha MotoGP) says: "We worked really hard last year to earn the seat with the Yamaha Factory team so it’s a great feeling to be here alongside Jorge. It’s obviously a special year for Yamaha with the 50th Anniversary of GP racing celebrations so I’m really stoked to be part of it.
"The bike’s feeling really good, we’ve got a few days more of testing now to really shake it down and fine tune the set up and we’ll be ready to go. I’m loving the corporate blue colour scheme, I’m a big fan of the design."
Lin Jarvis (Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Srl) says: "I’m proud to be here for the 2011 Yamaha Factory Racing launch and the start of a new era for the team.
"This is an important year for us being our 50th anniversary of involvement in Grand Prix racing and we start the season not only with the reigning MotoGP World Champion but also welcoming Ben Spies, last year’s Rookie of the Year to the Factory Team. It’s fitting that we will line up for the start of this special year in our corporate colors."
The Sepang pre-season test, which is the second of three, will be from Tuesday – Thursday (Feb 22-24). The third and final test will occur at Qatar on March 13, a week before the opening round of the 2011 MotoGP season under the lights at Qatar on March 17.
In 2011, Lorenzo and Spies will be defending Yamaha’s third consecutive triple crown title.