Yamaha: does a strong Sepang Test await?

A vital year lies ahead for the Iwata factory as Rossi and Viñales get back to work testing the 2019 YZR-M1 in Malaysia

A difficult 2018 has been and gone for Yamaha Factory Racing as attentions now turn to a vital 2019 season, with testing for both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales getting back underway in Sepang.

Viñales’ win at the Australian GP softened the blow of last season, but if anything, it was a sure sign that Yamaha was back heading in the right direction. The Spaniard then kicked off preseason by topping the Valencia Test, while finishing fourth overall when the paddock went testing in Jerez.

For Rossi, 9th and 11th on the combined timesheets at the Valencia and Jerez tests signalled that he wasn’t as happy as his teammate, and upon reflection claimed: “We have work to do in all areas.”

The YZR-M1 engine was their main focus in the initial 2019 tests, so have Yamaha been able to go down the correct development path? The Sepang Test on the 6th, 7th and 8th February will answer some questions about what shape Yamaha are in ahead of the new season. Keep up to date across all three days with motogp.com. 

Watch every 2019 race LIVE & OnDemand and enjoy the whole motogp.com video library, including technical features, exclusives interviews and classic races, with the MotoGP™ VideoPass