Nine-time motorcycle Grand Prix world champion Valentino Rossi has revealed the livery for his 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team YZR-M1 factory racer. Rossi is the most successful Yamaha rider in premier class history, with four MotoGP titles for Yamaha. 2020 marks Rossi’s 15th season riding a Yamaha. Rossi has also ridden for Honda, where he won three MotoGP titles, and Ducati.
Although it has already been announced that 2020 is Rossi’s swan song on the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team—he will be replaced by Fabio Quartararo—the nearly 41-year-old veteran Italian racer is determined to remain competitive. Rossi debuted in GP racing in the 125GP class in 1996.
“For some reason, the winter months always seem a lot longer than the summer months during the MotoGP season,” Rossi observed. “Those seem to just fly by! Anyway, I’m happy to be on track and to start riding again. I’ve been able to relax during the stop, and also do some fun riding events, but now it’s time to get serious about 2020. I’m very curious to see what steps we can make during the Sepang Test. For sure, Yamaha have prepared some new things for us to try and, anyway, the first laps of the year on a MotoGP bike after the winter break are always a unique sensation. It’s always something I really enjoy. For sure, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team and I are ready for it.”
After difficulties over the last two years for the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis is promising more for 2020: “If you scratch beneath the surface, you will find many changes that Yamaha and the team have made to improve the bike, the performance of our riders, and the total working efficiency of our team. We are excited to start this new season, and we believe we can achieve great things this year.”
Team Director of Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Massimo Meregalli is also optimistic for the 2020 MotoGP season: “Yamaha’s Japanese engineers have dedicated a lot of time and effort to developing the M1, and now our riders and engineers will put the new items to the test for the first time.”
Valentino Rossi’s teammate on the 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team is Maverick Viñales, the 2013 Moto3 World Champion. Supporting the pair as the team test rider is three-time MotoGP World Champion Jorge Lorenzo, who retired at the end of last year’s season. Lorenzo won his three MotoGP titles aboard a Yamaha.