Japanese manufacturer Yamaha has presented its new YZR-M1 bike for the upcoming 2018 MotoGP season. The bike, sporting a familiar blue paint scheme with prominent branding – now white as opposed to green - from title sponsor Movistar, was unveiled in the Matadero Madrid modern art centre.
The team will be represented by an unchanged rider line-up in the upcoming campaign, made up of seven-time premier-class champion Valentino Rossi and Grand Prix winner Maverick Vinales. Rossi will be entering the second season of his current two-year deal, while Vinales announced during the event that he has signed a new contract and will now remain with Yamaha until at least 2020.
Yamaha last took the riders' and manufacturers' honours in the premier class back in 2015, as Jorge Lorenzo beat teammate Rossi to the title. The year after, the works outfit couldn't defend either crown, although it did top the teams' classification.
Last season marked the arrival of Vinales as replacement for Ducati-bound Lorenzo, but while the newcomer won his first two races with the team, both his and Rossi's title challenges petered out as they struggled to get the most out of the 2017-spec bike – leading to Yamaha's worst MotoGP season in many years.
"We are quite convinced that if we can make the bike more consistent, for both our riders, we can challenge, for sure, for the title," said team manager Massimo Meregalli. That is our main goal for this season."
Yamaha's on-track preparations for the upcoming season will continue on January 28-30, during MotoGP's first official pre-season test at Sepang.
Article Source : Motorsport