PRESENTING... Yamaha officially unveiled their bikes for the 2017 MotoGP season. Image: YouTube
Cape Town - For the 2017 MotoGP season, Movistar Yahama have paired their team posterboy Valentino Rossi with 22-year-old Maverick Vinales.
Viñales leaves the factory Suzuki team after only one year. 37-year-old Rossi has not won a championship in seven years and will be chasing an eighth title in 2017. Every season since his last triumph, Rossi has placed within the top five, but failed to win the title.
Vinales has started his Yamaha career off on a good note as shown in the Valencia test days in November 2016. He beat all the other riders on his new bike at the Valencia circuit.
Vinales replaces former champion Jorge Lorenzo, who departed for Italian team Ducati.
Rossi has been a stalwart for Yamaha for a large part of his career and could be in his final season of the sport. He would want to end it on a high.
Watch the presenting of the two riders below:
Technical facts on Yamaha’s YZR M1:
• 1000cc four-cylinder engine
• Aliminium chassis
• Carbon brakes
• 150kg weight
• 350km/h top speed
• Reach and lean angles of 60 degrees
Quotes from the live event:
Rossi: "Maverick impressed me from the very first day. Unfortunately for me he is already very strong."
Vinales: "The bike was for me was very fast. I was quite surprised that I could go so fast on the Yamaha."
Rossi on topping times in Valencia: "On going to Sepang, work on tyres, electronics, how it is going to feel at the end of the race. Then look to set fastest lap time to qualify."
Rossi's game plan: "Make good races and fight for the victory, stay concentrated and strong. Understand potential of the bike and competitors."
Tip to Maverick, from Rossi: "He already demonstrated that he is very fast, he needs to understand the way to be faster."
Lin Jarvis, racing managing director: "The goal every year is to do the maximum for our brand."
Jarvis: "Team work is one of the important things with energy, collaboration and cooperation. This year we have a brilliant team, we want to win the riders title and constructors title."
Jarvis on making Maverick feel at home: "One of the key points, is that our team stayed the same, we lost one person [Jorge Lorenzo]. Maverick joins an existing team of experts."