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In their pit box at the Sepang International Circuit, Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales showed off their 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP machines.
The nine-time World Champion and two-time 2019 race winner donned their leathers to pose with their new YZR-M1s, which have an almost identical livery to that of last season. Team Principle and Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis, both Viñales and Rossi’s crews and new test rider Jorge Lorenzo joined the factory riders in the garage as Yamaha presented their 2020 challenger.
Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director: “Today we officially ‘introduced’ the 2020 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team line-up. Monster Energy has been a team partner since 2013 and it was just 12 months ago in Jakarta when they stepped up to become the main sponsor of our Factory MotoGP Team. We have thoroughly enjoyed working closely together throughout the first year and we are now ready to further expand our collaboration and achieve greater sporting successes in this second season. The 2019 bike design and team ‘look’ was very well received by both Monster Energy and Yamaha fans around the world, so we decided to keep the strong image unchanged for 2020. However, that is the only thing that remains unchanged. 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.”
Massimo Meregalli, Team Director: “After the winter break it’s nice to have the entire team together again for the first time in months. It has that same buzz as the first day of school. We are about to start the 2020 preseason testing period, which is always a crucial and busy time for the team. 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. At the Valencia and Jerez tests at the end of last year we already got a sense of in which direction we’re heading. During the upcoming test we will be looking to confirm our earlier findings and search for further areas of improvement, so we can start the 2020 season in March in the best shape possible.”
Presenting Monster Energy Yamaha's 2020 lineup
Maverick Viñales: “At the end of last season we were in decent shape, so I‘m really excited to start working again on our goal to get the title and as many wins as possible. For sure, I‘m looking forward to riding my M1 again. The last time I rode it here in Malaysia was during the 2019 season and we won. It’s a really positive memory and it also means we have a good starting point here in terms of set-up, so we should be able to get straight to work tomorrow on Day 1 of the Sepang Test. I‘ve used the winter months really well. I’ve done a lot of physical training and riding to make sure my body and mind are in top shape. We need to work hard and be focused on our goal right from the start, so that’s exactly what we‘ll do!”
Valentino Rossi: “For some reason the winter months always seem a lot longer than the summer months during the MotoGP season – 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.”
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