The 2017 Yamaha MotoGP squad unveiled their updated livery today amid the pageantry and fanfare typically associated with the major manufacturer’s start of a new season.
The riders – Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales – were in attendance and their likenesses initially appeared as overlays in what might be described as “Tron-like” characters on the venue’s video screens. The riders were eventually invited on stage to talk about the year ahead and seemed friendly and supportive of one another – for now. Expect that to change quickly as the season gets started.
Valentino was sporting the close shaved haircut from years past – a likely sign he is ready to turn back the clocks and get back to his championship winning ways. When asked about his game plan for achieving a remarkable 10th title – VR46 explained that strong performances and consistency will be key. However, Rossi acknowledged young Maverick’s end of year testing atop the time sheets and fully expects the young Spaniard to immediately fight for the championship.
Both riders answered a few questions from the event hosts and were then each treated to videos from their respective team members who introduced themselves and spoke about their hopes for the 2017 season.
Yamaha’s executive team was introduced next and included Kouichi Tsuji (GM – Yamaha Motorsports); Lin Jarvis (YMR Managing Director); and Massimo Meregalli (MotoGP Team Director).
Of note – Tsuji – san focused on the 2017 Yamaha M1, specifically, and explained that the 2017 bike was designed with the characteristics Yamaha has been known for through the years – handling, braking stability, agility, and corner speed. He also said that while the bike may look very similar to last year’s bike – the M1 is completely different “on the inside” and will also focus on aerodynamic compensation after the new rule banning winglets was put into effect.
Lin Jarvis focused on team dynamics saying that there is a strong emphasis being placed on collaboration and cooperation inside the team for 2017. Jarvis explained that Yamaha’s goal is to capture the rider, team, and constructor’s championships. He also said that stability in the garage would go a long way in helping Maverick to acclimate quickly since the existing team of mechanics and engineers is already a highly functional unit.
We’re just over a week away from the first test of the new year at Sepang! Should be a great year!
Photo Credit: Chris Bishop© Copyright 2017nolarocks, All rights Reserved. Written For: Motorcycle Road, Track & Trail