On Wednesday, the Yamaha Factory Racing team launched the YZR-M1 WGP50th MotoGP prototype in Assen that will be used by team riders Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies this weekend and at Laguna Seca. The bike was launched on stage with the Yamaha team members as the Japanese motorcycle marque celebrates 50 years of Grand Prix racing.
The special red and white livery was not the only thing on display for the MotoGP media; Yamaha also has an expo at Assen that shows its history in Grand Prix racing from the 1960s to modern times. Th
Joining Lorenzo and Spies on the Assen stage were Yamaha Tech 3 riders Colin Edwards and Cal Crutchlow. Bringing the past to life with them were the first ever Yamaha World Champion Phil Read and the first non-Japanese rider to race with Yamaha, Cees Van Dongen.
Jorge Lorenzo (Yamaha MotoGP) says: “It is very special to be here celebrating this event. I met Phil Read earlier this year and we talked about the many things that remain the same with Yamaha, and also the things that are very different! I’m very proud to ride with this livery and will try my hardest to deliver the result.”
Ben Spies (Yamaha MotoGP) says: “I love this new livery so much; I wish we could ride with it all year. This is now my third year with Yamaha but it feels like I’ve been in the family much longer.
“So many of my heroes from when I was a child were on Yamaha bikes so to be here now is an unreal feeling. I can’t wait to run the livery at Laguna in front of my home crowd, it’s going to be quite a show!”