MADRID, Spain – The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team gave race fans their first look at its new rider lineup on Thursday, during the official team launch at Telefónica‘s headquarters in Madrid.
Nine-time MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi has ended each of the last three seasons as the runner-up in the championship, and is determined to break the bridesmaid’s curse this season and capture his 10th title.
“After the winter break, the team launch is always a very exciting time for everybody, not only for us, the riders and the team, but also for the fans. Sincerely, I‘m just as happy as they are to start the new season, I have missed riding my bike,” said Rossi. “The pre-season test in Sepang (next week) will be an interesting moment, we will get a good idea of our level and it‘s also the first time I‘ll get to take the YZR-M1 out on track in its 2017 colors.”
“This is the fourth year that Movistar will be our team‘s title sponsor. In the last three years, we enjoyed some fantastic battles and great results and this season the target remains the same: to be competitive again and fight for the victory in every race. I have a new strong teammate and I think we can have a lot of fun this season.”
Young Spanish talent Maverick Viñales is a fresh face on the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team. He joins the Yamaha factory crew after gaining two years of experience in the premier class.
His 2016 season highlights included a superb win at Silverstone while riding for Suzuki and three third-places in France, Japan and Australia, allowing him to finish fourth in the final standings.
“After the test in Valencia and Malaysia I got off the bike feeling very happy because I was on the level I wanted to be at. The whole Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team can‘t wait to start the season because we know we can be at a 100 percent level and compete at the front,” said Viñales. “Today we revealed the bike and it looks beautiful, I wish I could start riding it right now. When I was a kid, I used to watch Valentino riding his M1 and now I‘m here at the team launch, it‘s like a dream come true!”
“I‘m so happy and motivated and I‘m ready to give it my all. I want to thank Yamaha, Movistar and of course the team. They have welcomed me very warmly, so it is a great start to the season already. Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised by the family-feel, because on the outside you see a very serious and professional team, but as soon as I went inside the box I felt incredible. I‘m really pleased to be here, at Telefónica Headquarters in Madrid, and thanks to everyone for coming to support us.”
Telecommunications giant Telefónica‘s collaboration with the team continues this year. The two companies signed a five-year partnership agreement in 2014, underlined with Movistar becoming the team‘s title sponsor.
The ceremony on Thursday also saw the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 revealed in its new colours with a refreshed livery.
Besides the new Movistar logo, the Blue Core logo is added as a new design element on the bike, while the deepened Yamaha blue gives the bike a chic finish.
Further revelations include the new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team logo. Its new design is a testament of how much value the team assigns to the Telefónica and Yamaha collaboration and puts the Movistar‘s ’M‘ in a more prominent role. This sentiment is also reflected in the YZR-M1‘s 2017 livery, which features the new Movistar-logo on either side of the fairing and the front of the bike.
“Over the last three years we have demonstrated that our team is very competitive and our partnership with Movistar has delivered great results on and off the track,” said Lin Jarvis, managing director for Yamaha Motor Racing. “Movistar and Yamaha are both brands that have a lot of history in the MotoGP World Championship and we are proud that our collaboration is growing stronger each season.”
“We see today not only as the official start of the 2017 season but also the start of a next chapter with our exciting new rider line-up; it is a new beginning and so Movistar’s slogan “We Choose to Make History” is certainly very fitting and one we will strive to live up to. Both Maverick and Valentino are eager to reach their goals and hungry to win races … and most of all have good battles at the front of the pack. With their dedication and the commitment of our engineers and team staff, I’m confident we are in for another exciting and highly competitive season.”
CREDIT: Yamaha MotoGP Team