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Developing the title-winning machine: The Yamaha M1 explained

Developing the title-winning machine: The Yamaha M1 explained

Masahiko Nakajima details the intricacies of the 2008 Yamaha M1, used by Valentino Rossi to take the MotoGP World Championship crown.

An underpowered 2007 bike was updated to become a title-winning machine in 2008, with Yamaha addressing their early 800cc teething problems over preseason. The Fiat Yamaha version of the M1 placed on the podium at all-but-one of the eighteen races undertaken this year (only absent in Assen, where the satellite machine used by Colin Edwards finished in the top three) , a testament to the development made in conjunction with riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo.

Fiat Yamaha Project Director Masahiko Nakajima gave a detailed presentation of the bike at the final race of the season in Valencia, explaining the changes made for 2008 to gathered journalists.

`We determined last season that our engine performance was quite poor, in terms of maximum speed and engine performance,´ admitted the Japanese director in a separate interview. `We had to concentrate the power whilst retaining good fuel consumption, so our focal point was taking away mechanical friction inside the engine. Power loss is quite a lot inside an engine.´

Nakajima also touches upon the differences between the 2007 and 2008 pneumatic valve motor -and how the M1 was adapted for a first run on Bridgestone tyres- in the accompanying video.

The 2009 version of the bike has already been debuted by the factory riders, at the first test following the season finale.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2008, Jorge Lorenzo, Valentino Rossi, Fiat Yamaha Team

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