2017 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Launch
The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP officially unveiled its YZR-M1 in 2017 colors with new teammates Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales during a ceremony at sponsor Telefonica’s headquarters in Madrid, Spain.
The two M1 pilots were together with General Manager of Motorsports Division & YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Kouichi Tsuji; Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis; and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Team Director, Massimo Meregalli, who discussed YZR-M1 development over the winter break while the testing band was in place.
The team is set now for the first official pre-season MotoGP test of 2017, January 30-February 1 at Sepang.
As for Rossi, the nine-time World Champion finished second overall for the past three seasons. The 37-year-old Italian is ready for his 10th title.
“The pre-season test in Sepang will be an interesting moment, we will get a good idea of our level and it‘s also the first time I‘ll get to take the YZR-M1 out on track in its 2017 colors. This is the fourth year that Movistar will be our team‘s title sponsor. In the last three years, we enjoyed some fantastic battles and great results and this season the target remains the same: to be competitive again and fight for the victory in every race. I have a new strong teammate and I think we can have a lot of fun this season.”
Rossi’s new teammate, Vinales, has two years in the premier class, the Spaniard previously competing for the Suzuki team. In 2016, he secured his first premier-class win at Silverstone, and claimed thirds in France, Japan and Australia. The 22-year old is anxious to get back on the YZR-M1.
“After the test in Valencia and Malaysia I got off the bike feeling very happy because I was on the level I wanted to be at. The whole Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team can‘t wait to start the season because we know we can be at a 100% level and compete at the front. Today we revealed the bike and it looks beautiful, I wish I could start riding it right now,” Vinales says.
“When I was a kid, I used to watch Valentino riding his M1 and now I‘m here at the team launch, it‘s like a dream come true! I‘m so happy and motivated and I‘m ready to give it my all. I want to thank Yamaha, Movistar and of course the team. They have welcomed me very warmly, so it is a great start to the season already.
“Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised by the family-feel, because on the outside you see a very serious and professional team, but as soon as I went inside the box I felt incredible. I‘m really pleased to be here, at Telefónica Headquarters in Madrid, and thanks to everyone for coming to support us. It‘s going to be a great year!"
Check out the videos of the 2017 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team members interviewed above!