The Main Event
The Yamaha factory team unveiled their new motorcycle for MotoGP in 2019 on the 4th of February in Jakarta Indonesia with title sponsor Monster Energy really leaving a mark on the visual design of the YZR-M1. With strong flashes of blue beneath a main body of black adorned by the bright green Monster Energy logos, this years Yamaha is quite a step from last years Yamaha, visually speaking. With testing going strong for Yamaha already, 2019 appears to be a very profitable effort if Yamaha can utilize their tools to maximum effect.
One thing seems apparent in the launch of the Yamaha MotoGP assault, which is that they clearly mean business. With an all new look and the extremely talented riders of Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, Yamaha will be sorely disappointed to finish the season in anything other than first position in both manufacturer and rider championships.
The Young Pretenders
Petronas Yamaha SIC [Sepang International Circuit] team unveiled their 2019 satellite machine on the 28th of January a week exactly before Yamaha themselves unveil their factory effort for the upcoming season. Riders Fabio Quartararo (#20) and Franco Morbidelli (#21) looked very pleased to show what seemed to be what some considered to be a disappointing livery, having expected a chrome silver instead of the matte grey visible at the launch. Nevertheless the bike and livery still look good and are most definitely a good addition in diversity of colour on the MotoGP grid.
Petronas were last seen as a title sponsor with the Foggy Petronas SBK team run by non other than WSBK legend Carl Fogarty but failed to make a lasting impression on the history books. Petronas will be looking to get a better return on their investment in this Malaysian outfit in the more popular MotoGP and with quality riders such as Frenchman Fabio Quartararo and Italian prodigy Franco Morbidelli things look hopeful for the junior Yamaha team.
Remaining 2019 MotoGP launches :
Red Bull KTM Factory Racing / Tech3 – 12th February
Pramac Ducati Team – TBC
Aprilia Racing Team Gresini – TBC