The Factory Yamaha team have unveiled their brand-new Monster Energy livery for the 2019 MotoGP season.
Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales unveiled the striking new paint scheme in a special presentation held in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. Monster Energy became Yamaha’s title sponsor following the departure of Spanish telecommunications company, Movistar.
The introduction of Monster Energy means that the livery has changed quite dramatically from recent seasons, with the majority of the bike finished in black. This is combined with the traditional blue of Yamaha, with a pin-striped design along the side of the 2019 YZR-M1. The globally recognisable Monster Energy ‘claw’ can be seen prominently on the side of the machine.
Seven-time premier class champion, Rossi, is pleased to see Monster Energy join forces with the factory team and is now focused on the upcoming test at Sepang. He commented:
“The team presentation is always an event that I enjoy. It is the first time that we can show off our full package for the new season and, most importantly, this event signals that the start of the preseason is close! I’ve taken a bit of time to relax and train these last couple of months, but, like the fans, I’ve mostly been looking forward to starting the new season. The upcoming test in Sepang is very important, because it’s the first opportunity for the team to get together to try everything Yamaha has been working on over the winter. Our performance improved towards the end of last season, but we want and need to make some more big steps, so we need to get to work.
“I’m happy that Monster Energy is joining our team in a new role this year. They have been Yamaha’s and my sponsor for a long time, so we know each other well and we share the same passion for racing, which is important. I’m sincerely looking forward to the new season and to riding again, I want to get back aboard my M1! I feel as good and determined as ever, nothing changed in that area, and I believe that, with some hard work, we can improve upon last year and be back on top.”
A notable change on Vinales’ M1 is that he has switched to the number 12 for the 2019 campaign. His number is also in white, rather than the red we have been accustomed to. The 24-year-old sees the launch of the new-look team as a fresh start for everybody:
“This year’s team presentation was very special, because there are many changes compared to last year. The most noticeable of course are the new team colours and the bike livery. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t help but feel excited to start the new season. It will be a completely fresh start for all of us: new title sponsor, new team colours, and for me a new rider number. It all came together very nicely, so now all we have to do is get the preseason underway! The winter months were a good opportunity to prepare for 2019 season.
“I had some time to relax and reflect, but a good part was spent training, so I’m ready to start riding my M1 again. We ended last year’s season stronger than we started, so it will be important to keep that momentum going as we prepare for the first race in Qatar in April. Our first chance to see where we stand is at the Sepang Test in a few days’ time. I’m looking forward to it, because I have high expectations for this year. My motivation hasn’t changed, and I plan on going all out this season – ‘Beast Mode On’!”
As discussed by both riders, the new livery will be seen out on track for the first time on Wednesday (February 6), with both Rossi and Vinales making their debuts on the new M1 at the pre-season test at Sepang.
The newly-named Monster Energy Yamaha team will be hoping to rebound from a disappointing 2018, in-which they recorded their longest-ever win drought (25 races) – eventually ended by Vinales at Phillip Island.