Monster Yamaha show off new bike in Sepang ahead of official test

by Robert Jones

Monster Energy Yamaha were the last of the big four to launch their new 2020 machine today following Ducati, Repsol Honda and Suzuki.

It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Japanese team, with Maverick Vinales renewing his deal until 2020, Fabio Quartararo replacing Valentino Rossi for 2021 and their new test rider Jorge Lorenzo taking part in the Shakedown test.

The team staged their presentation at the Sepang International Circuit ahead of tomorrow’s test.

The launch of the new YZF-M1 was available for the media to attend and fans could live stream the event as well.

Yamaha will start 2020 as one of the favorites, if not the outright favorite to push Honda and Marc Marquez all the way after a brilliant second half to the 2019 season.

There is renewed hope for the team and in particular Vinales, who enters his fourth year with the team high on confidence: “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.

For sure, I’m looking forward to riding my M1 again. 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 1 of the Sepang Test. I’ve used the winter months really well.”

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Unlike his younger teammate who felt much more comfortable on last year’s machine, Rossi will be looking to start the season strong with his future up in the air.

Speaking ahead of the new campaign Rossi said: “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.”

If the team can provide both riders with a more consistent package in 2020, podiums and race wins should be the aim from the outset.

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