Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales have unveiled the factory Yamaha team’s 2020 MotoGP livery.
The covers were taken off in a special presentation held in Monster Energy Yamaha’s garage at Sepang. The team are here preparing for the three-day official test which gets underway tomorrow.
The 2020 livery is almost identical to last year’s bike, when Monster Energy became the title sponsor for the team. The livery is blue and black, with the green Monster Energy logo featured heavily.
Vinales became the first rider to confirm his plans for 2021 last week when he signed a new two-year deal with Yamaha. The Spaniard ended last season third overall and was a constant threat to Marc Marquez and Fabio Quartararo.
“At the end of last season we were in decent shape, so I’m really excited to start working again on our goal to get the title and as many wins as possible,” Vinales said. “The last time I rode it here in Malaysia was during the 2019 season and we won. It’s a really positive memory and it also means we have a good starting point here in terms of set-up, so we should be able to get straight to work tomorrow on day one of the Sepang Test.
“I’ve used the winter months really well. I’ve done a lot of physical training and riding to make sure my body and mind are in top shape. We need to work hard and be focused on our goal right from the start, so that’s exactly what we’ll do!”
2020 marks Rossi’s 15th year with Yamaha, however it will be his last in the factory team. A day after Vinales’ future was confirmed, it was announced that the Italian will be replaced by Quartararo next year.
Rossi will decide on his future in the summer months, with a potential switch to the Petronas Yamaha satellite team on the cards if he chooses to continue.
“For some reason the winter months always seem a lot longer than the summer months during the MotoGP season – those seem to just fly by,” Rossi said. “Anyway, I’m happy to be on track and to start riding again. I’ve been able to relax during the stop and also do some fun riding events, but now it’s time to get serious about 2020.
“I’m very curious to see what steps we can make during the Sepang Test. For sure, Yamaha have prepared some new things for us to try, and anyway the first laps of the year on a MotoGP bike after the winter break are always a unique sensation – it’s always something I really enjoy. For sure we have a lot of work ahead of us, but the team and I are ready for it.”
Both Rossi and Vinales will be hoping that Yamaha have been able to increase the outright speed of the M1 over the winter months. The bike was one of the slowest in a straight line last season.