The Yamaha factory racing team – now called Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team – has just revealed its MotoGP bike. Both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales were present at the unveiling in Jakarta, Indonesia where they took the covers off the 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1.
Monster Energy has replaced Movistar as the main sponsor of the team; and with it comes a huge change in the colour scheme of the race bike. While many believed that the race bike would lose a major chunk of its iconic blue colour that is not the case. It is only part of the front-end, faring and tail that has now gone black. These black sections, as one would expect, have the Monster logo on them in its signature fluorescent green. When asked about the new colour schemes, riders, Rossi and Vinales both expressed that they liked it. Rossi added that he is a fan of the colour black because it is the colour of the football team (Inter Milan) he supports.
The race suits that both riders will wear in 2019 have a similar theme. While the bottom-half remains blue, the top-half features a lot of black. Both riders also have large Monster logos in the chest region.
Lin Jarvis (MD, Yamaha Motor Racing), Kouichi Tsuji (president, Yamaha Motor Racing) and Mitch Covington (VP sports marketing, Monster Energy Company) were also part of the event. While speaking about the new partnership, Lin Jarvis explained how it would not only be the finance from Monster Energy that would be appreciated but also their technical input. While talking about the 2019 YZR-M1, Kouchi Tsuji said “We are working on developing the electric side of the race bike. We used to work only 90 percent and now we want to change that and use technology the technical team in Europe has developed.”
Vinales and Rossi, who are both signed with Yamaha till 2020, will make their debuts riding the Monster Energy M1s in the first pre-season test at Sepang, Malaysia on February 6-8, 2019. One can expect Yamaha to look to rebound from what was a disappointing 2018, where they managed only one win.