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In Jakarta, Indonesia, Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi unveiled their brand-new 2019 YZR-M1s to the world as Monster Energy and Yamaha combine to create a fresh look for the Iwata factory – the team now officially known as Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP.
Monster black joins Yamaha blue to create a stunning new livery for both Viñales and Rossi, with the phrase ‘Beast Mode On’ a signal of Yamaha’s intentions in 2019 after a difficult 2018. That intention? For both the Spaniard and the Italian to compete for the World Championship.
Lin Jarvis – Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Manager: “The season was quite tough, when we started 2018 we hoped to be at a better level. It was a long and hard season, but we recognised what problems we had. Having gone past that period we have a renewed spirit. We’re ready to start this new season. If we can start the Sepang Test well then I think we’ll be in good shape for the season.
“With any team structure, there are always changes that need to be made. In Japan we have seen there’s a new organisation, headed by Kouichi Tsuji. Another change that is important is the interaction between Japan and Europe. We are expanding in Europe, in Italy, and that interaction will be important. I’m confident with the technical, personnel and riders, along with the partners we have, we’ll have a good season.
“We’re kicking off in a positive way, the merging of the brands gives us a new energy - literally. ‘Beast mode on’ is something we need to adopt if we want to become world champions.”
Mitch Covington – Monster Energy Vice President of Sports Marketing: “When we have the potential to move into the naming rights place, it was a natural progression. We’ve been with the Tech 3 team for many years, the factory team too, and with both the riders. It was a really easy decision, we feel at home and we hope Yamaha feel at home with Monster on the back.”
Maverick Viñales: “It was a great winter. I felt really good and it’s a pleasure to be here. I saw the bike and it’s beautiful. Normally I try to start and feel prepared. It doesn’t matter how last year went, it’s a new start. We’ve seen many changes within the team, Stefan will enable me to do my best. I feel like I have really good experience with my people, with all the changes I think I can do it.
“All the athletes I cheer for have Monster. I feel really proud and now incorporating Monster on the bike, it feels really good.”
Valentino Rossi: “Yeah you know, in this moment you are always very excited. It’s a shame because the holidays have finished, but we are ready. We have to work hard because in the last period our opponents made a good step. In modern MotoGP the key is the tyres, we always work to save the tyres. It’s a difficult job, it’s very precise, you have to work on your style and work hard with your engineers. This is the objective this year.
“For me it’s a long time with Monster and I always feel very comfortable. I like the colours, the green and black are good with the blue of our Yamaha - it’s aggressive, we’re like Men in Black. I’m very proud, it’s important to have Monster as a main sponsor.”
And it won’t be long before you get to see the new-look YZR-M1 being put through its paces on track, as the Sepang Test kicks off on Wednesday 6th February. Keep up to date with all the action with motogp.com, as we’ll bring you reports, reactions, interviews, highlights and After the Flag episodes after each of the three days.
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