Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Photos
Ahead of the opening round of 2014 MotoGP, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP unveiled its YZR-M1 prototypes that Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi will pilot this season.
The two Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1 motorcycles debuted at Qatar’s Losail International Circuit, along with Lorenzo, Rossi, Kouichi Tsuji, General Manager of Yamaha Motor Co.’s Motorsports Division, Yamaha Motor Racing’s Managing Director Lin Jarvis and Telefónica Spain’s Director of Media, Luis Velo.
The main change in 2014 is the addition of Movistar as the title sponsor of Yamaha MotoGP team; Movistar and Yamaha signed a five-year contract earlier this year. Other sponsors include Eurasian Bank, Fiat Professional, Eneos, Semakin Di Depan (Yamaha Motor Indonesia), Monster Energy, Suissegas, Yamalube and TW Steel.
The YZR-M1 has been very competitive throughout the preseason MotoGP tests, and Lorenzo has won the last two races at Losail. Since joining the premier class in 2008, Lorenzo has always started from the front row and never finished off the podium in Qatar.
Nine-time world champion Rossi has an equally impressive record at the Losail circuit, claiming three wins and taking second last year after a fantastic battle with then rookie Marc Marquez.
Following are some quotes from the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP launch:
Jorge Lorenzo says: “Finally we can start the engines! The forthcoming championship is about to kick off and that sounds great after a long winter. As we were able to improve our performance at Phillip Island with the new tires I feel quite confident for the very first race. I undertook three surgeries during the wintertime to take out some plates and metal pieces from the collarbone and the hand so I returned to full fitness quite late. In general I feel nearly at 100 percent and I guess in Qatar we won’t have any problems to push to the maximum.
“Concerning the track needless to say this is a good layout for both my Yamaha and me. I won here the past two races in a row and this is a circuit that suits in a good way the M1. The only thing we have to wait and see is the behaviour of the new tires; especially on this surface; there is usually plenty of sand because it’s surround by the desert. The championship is going to be even tighter than last season was and at the beginning just Márquez begins as the favorite contender.
“Afterwards I guess Dani or me are in a good position but also Valentino who is even hungrier than in 2013. Regarding Marc’s pace we should wait before saying anything about it. He is so strong and quick. Maybe he won’t start at a perfect level but I’m pretty sure he is going to be close to 100%. This 2014 season is going to be exciting and thrilling. I start in a very good position, filled with positive energy and optimism. The bike with the new changes is working really well and we solved the little problem of the engine, fixing the electronics in order to mitigate the aggressive behavior on the starts.
“Now it’s response is softer than at the beginning of the season in Malaysia and also we can count on a “complete” seamless gearbox, that is also a good news for us. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, following the unveiling of the new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP livery. I love the new bike and the new colors. Posing with the new bike today has been the best incentive to kick-off the season!”
Valentino Rossi says: “I’m so happy because we are finally here at the start of the first race weekend of the year. We have worked very hard in the testing to make some of my issues from last year better and we have found some really good speed. I have been able to be very competitive and been with the fastest riders during testing. I’m very happy with the work done to my M1 over the winter that has helped me to be fast; we have a competitive bike to fight for the podium this weekend.
“I have a great feeling with the bike and I can’t wait to start the season tomorrow. Our competitors are also quite fast and so I think there are going to be some very exciting races. I am really looking forward to some great battles and fighting for the podium! When I received the news of the arrival of Movistar, I was very happy. It is a great thing to start the year with such a fantastic sponsorship announcement. We must all be very happy for that.
“Yamaha are very excited, and I am as well. I hope that Movistar will enjoy the journey with us this year and bring luck and podiums! Surely it is a greater incentive to do even better. As for the bike and the new livery, I like it a lot. It’s really nice, really “racing!”. We start the season in the best possible way, showing our fans a beautiful livery. Now we must do our best to collect good results on track!”
Lin Jarvis (Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing) says: “This is one of the most exciting starts to a season that I can remember. This winter has been very intense behind the scenes. Our engineers have been working tirelessly to improve every aspect of the bike’s performance and our riders have been preparing themselves physically and mentally for this very important new season.
“Our management team have also been working non-stop to conclude all discussions and negotiations back in the office, and our Team staff and Marketing and Communications staff have been working frantically, burning the midnight oil to get the Team ready today with our new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP branding. It is great to welcome Movistar back in the world of MotoGP and I am delighted to have so many passionate sponsors and partners on board with us for this new campaign. We will do our maximum to get the results everybody craves for. We are ready, we are hungry and we are excited to go racing!”