Tag Archives: Valentino Rossi

Movistar Yamaha Leads Second Day of Phillip Island Testing

MOVISTAR YAMAHA LEADS SECOND DAY OF PHILLIP ISLAND TESTING

Maverick
Maverick

After a successful first outing around the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit yesterday, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back on the track today to continue their preparations for the 2017 MotoGP season.

PHILLIP ISLAND MOTOGP TEST
Phillip Island, Australia – 16th February 2017

TEST

18:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+11,  AIR 30°C / TRACK 39°C,  SUNNY / HUMIDITY 32%

1st –  MAVERICK VIÑALES,  1’28.847 / 80 LAPS

8th – VALENTINO ROSSI,  1’29.674 / 70 LAPS

Phillip Island (Australia), 16th February 2017

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team seamlessly picked up where they left off yesterday in Australia. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi made the most of the sunny weather conditions on the second day of the Phillip Island MotoGP Official Test. The pair worked on their race pace and compared chassis, ending the day in first and eighth place respectively in the timesheets.

Viñales kept up his impressive form today, showing he is also a force to be reckoned with at the flowing and fast Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit. Just over an hour into the session he became the first rider to drop into the 1‘28s, setting a 1‘28.847s on lap 21.

With his time-attack out of the way, he used the remaining time of today‘s eight-hour session to work on the race pace. The young Spaniard posted several series of consecutive 1‘29s laps to underline his protagonist status. He completed a total of 80 laps, all the while remaining unchallenged at the top of the timesheets and left the track this evening as the fastest man, with a comfortable 0.462s lead over his closest rival.

Teammate Rossi also got his head down today to take the development of his YZR-M1 another step further. He spent the morning session getting a feel for the track and soon worked his way up to fifth place before he moved on to trying new Michelin tyres.

The Doctor completed 43 laps before lunch, but it wasn‘t all work and no play. After his morning stints, the Italian celebrated his 38th birthday at the Phillip Island track with his crew and a birthday cake.

Back on track in the afternoon, the Doctor completed another 27 laps as he crossed various items off his testing schedule. Whilst trying new bike modifications he was unable to improve on his time from this morning. His best lap, a 1‘29.674s, earned him eighth place in the timesheets, 0.827s behind his teammate.

MASSIMO MEREGALLITEAM DIRECTOR

“It was a positive second day of testing for us. We used this session to work mainly on the chassis to make comparisons and try different settings. We also tried a new front fork with both riders and two new tyres for Michelin. Even if we didn‘t do a race simulation, we completed a lot of laps on used tyres. Today Maverick was more comfortable on his bike compared to yesterday and he has been able to post laps under the 1‘29s mark and set the fastest lap of 1‘28.847s. He followed this up with an impressive pace that he kept going throughout the day. Valentino had a good start this morning and set his best lap. He continued this competitive pace in the morning, but in the afternoon he faced some difficulties, trying different settings that didn‘t give the expected results. We have been able to do almost everything on our scheduled testing programme, so tomorrow will be our race simulation day for both riders.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Today we focused a lot on the race pace and honestly we did a great job, we made a big step compared to yesterday. I‘m feeling more comfortable on the track and I‘m getting more grip from the tyres. I think we did a good job today, but we still have some work to do. We need to choose which chassis we like and decide on a few other things. We still have a lot of laps ahead of us. For sure I was trying to go faster at the end of the session today, but in sector three and four there was a lot of wind so I couldn‘t beat the lap time I set this morning, but I‘m happy anyway. I‘ve been fast with both chassis and all the time I‘m riding 1‘29-low and 1‘29-medium. Like I said, we‘ve made a big step today and we‘ll try to make another step tomorrow.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“It was a difficult day for us, especially in the afternoon. This morning was not so bad. We tried some different tyres but we especially focused on the pace and it was quite good. This afternoon we had some important tests to do, try a long run and modify something on the bike, but unfortunately it didn‘t work well and I wasn‘t fast enough. It looks like we followed the wrong direction, so after the interviews we‘ll go back to the box to try to understand better for tomorrow and we hope that we can improve. Being in Phillip Island with the good weather and riding the M1 all day is always difficult, because it‘s hard work, but it‘s also a great pleasure, so I think this is a good birthday gift.”

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp Debuts First Student in CEV Championship

YAMAHA VR46 MASTER CAMP DEBUTS FIRST STUDENT IN CEV CHAMPIONSHIP

Yamaha VR46 Master Camp‘s Apiwat Wongthananon will start his international racing career as a part of the VR46 Master Camp Team in the Moto3 Junior World Championship class of the 2017 FIM CEV International Championship.

Sepang (Malaysia), 31st January 2017

ApiwatWongthananon
ApiwatWongthananon

Yamaha and the VR46 Riders Academy are proud to announce that Yamaha VR46 Master Camp‘s Apiwat Wongthananon will make his European racing debut in the 2017 FIM CEV International Championship. The rider is to be a regular entry in the Moto3 Junior World Championship class as a part of the new-born VR46 Master Camp Team and is eager to become a protagonist right from the start of the season as he gains experience to further his career.

The Yamaha VR46 Master Camp programme was launched last year as a joint effort from Yamaha and the VR46 Riders Academy, dedicated to helping the most talented young Yamaha riders develop their racing careers. The Master Camp included training activities alongside the VR46 Academy riders and Valentino Rossi at his Motor Ranch and fitness instruction in the gym, as well as classes on the technical aspects that come with racing bikes, making for a well-rounded education.

With the agreement of Valentino Rossi, Wongthananon was selected by Yamaha and the VR46 Riders Academy at the end of the second edition of the programme in September last year as the first Master Camp student to take his career one step further.

With help from Yamaha and the VR46 Riders Academy, Wongthananon is given the opportunity to train alongside the VR46 Academy riders and Rossi and to take on the strongest young riders as he goes head-to-head in the World Junior Moto3 class against VR46 Riders Academy‘s Dennis Foggia and Celestino Vietti Ramus.

Wongthananon’s entry in the CEV ​​Championship, that runs from April 30th – Nov 19th, will allow him to familiarize himself with a motorcycle similar to those used in the MotoGP World Championship‘s Moto3 class.

LIN JARVISMANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING

“It is great news that Apiwat signed up with VR46 Riders Academy as the new Master Camp entry in the CEV Championship and it really is a sign of the relevance and importance of the whole Master Camp concept with Yamaha. The target was to raise new talent and  we focused in the first year on getting six riders over from the Asian region. From this group Apiwat was officially nominated, being one of the most talented riders. For him to get the chance to do a full season in the Junior World Championship is really a dream opportunity for him. One year ago he couldn‘t have imaged this turn of events when he was racing in Thailand in the Asian Cup. This is part of Yamaha‘s concept and indeed in line with Yamaha‘s bLU cRU programme*, where we try to create opportunities for young talent around the world so they can progress within Yamaha‘s network of global activities and fulfill their dreams. I wish Apiwat the best of luck and we will certainly be watching his results to see how he gets on.”

ALESSIO SALUCCIVR46 RIDERS ACADEMY

“This project has been a big bet. The first goal was to give a selection of Yamaha riders the chance to experience our Academy, training with our riders and Valentino Rossi. Today the project has become something much bigger and important because one of these riders will now move to Tavullia, live and train with us and he will be competing alongside the VR46 Academy riders in one of the most challenging championships, aiming to become a professional rider. We are therefore very happy to be able to help Apiwat in this path and we will do everything, with the help of the VR46 Riders Academy staff, to give him all the tools to establish itself among the best riders in the world. I’m really proud of this project and wish the best of good luck to Apiwat and our riders for this season.”

APIWAT WONGTHANANON

“I‘m very happy and honoured to have signed with the VR46 Riders Academy. Last year was like a fairy tale, it‘s been a dream come true. My results with the Yamaha Thailand Team were really good and I was able to take first place in the 2016 Asian Championship. I was able to travel to Italy as well to train with the VR46 Academy riders, which was an amazing experience. I was already grateful to be there for even just a short period of time, because I learned so much thanks to the help of the instructors and the staff. To be able to now train with the VR46 Rider Academy on a regular basis is a truly unique once-in-a-lifetime chance that I hadn‘t dare to hope for. I‘m a big fan of Valentino, he‘s my idol and role model who I‘ve admired for many years, so it means a lot to me to be able to learn from him. I want to thank him, Yamaha, and the VR46 Riders Academy for this opportunity. I feel motivated to work hard and learn a lot this upcoming season and hope to do well in the CEV Championship.”

Movistar Yamaha Continue Development

MOVISTAR YAMAHA CONTINUE DEVELOPMENT ON DAMP SEPANG TRACK

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi carried out their testing programme in a positive fashion today. Despite challenging track conditions, the teammates took second and fourth place respectively in the time sheets on the second day of testing at the Sepang International Circuit whilst working their way through a list of new items.

SEPANG MOTOGP TEST
Sepang, Malaysia – 31th January 2017

TEST

18:00 LOCAL TIME GMT+8
AIR 32°C / TRACK 41°C
CLOUDY / HUMIDITY 69%

2nd – MAVERICK VIÑALES,  1’58.858 / 51 LAPS

4th – VALENTINO ROSSI,  2’00.254 / 54 LAPS

Sepang (Malaysia), 31st January 2017

Maverick
Maverick

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi were back in action today at the Sepang International Circuit for the second of the three track days that mark the start of 2017 MotoGP racing activity. They continued to work through a number of different testing materials, taking second and fourth place respectively in today‘s time sheets.

The riders had to be patient at the start of the eight-hour session. Damp track conditions made for a four-hour wait before they could put their 2017 YZR-M1s to the test.

Once the track had dried sufficiently, Viñales was keen to head out and continued his hunt for the perfect set-up. He soon found a good rhythm and he comfortably began to chip away at his time. After one and a half hours he posted a best lap of 2‘00.646s to temporarily take over the top of the standings before the pace of the other riders picked up.

In the meantime, the young Spaniard proceeded to test the new fairing in order to be able to compare data with his teammate, but couldn‘t resist to push on his final stint. Viñales was one of only two riders to drop under the 2‘00 mark with, a 1‘59.858s and ended the day in second place, 0.406s from the front.

Rossi was also eager to work on the bike set-up to improve performance and left pit lane as soon as the circuit was dry. As one of the first riders to venture out on track, he put in 54 laps, which he used to compare the new fairing to the old version.

With his physical condition improved from yesterday, he underlined that he was back on form by being one of the few riders to improve on his best time of the day before. At the very end of the session he put in a time attack to move up to fourth place in today‘s standings, with a fastest lap of 2‘00.254s, 0.802s from first.

The extended imagery from today’s test session at Sepang is available on
www.yamahamotogp.com

MASSIMO MEREGALLITEAM DIRECTOR

“Though we started late today, the test is proceeding well. We‘ve only been unlucky that we couldn‘t start early this morning. We had quite a lot of items on the programme for today and due to the delays we haven‘t been able to complete all of them. Valentino and Maverick put in a lot of effort to make the most of the dry track time. They both tested and compared the new fairing and new frame. We also made time to look further into improving rear tyre life, with positive results. So far the feedback from the riders has been good, so we are confident about the material that we are testing. Hopefully we will be able to start at 10 o‘clock tomorrow to continue our development and complete quite a full-on schedule, as we also have to try a new tyre for Michelin.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“Today was good and I‘m so happy because we worked on our race pace and finally at the end, on the race tyre. I tried to do consistent laps, and honestly the lap times were quite fast. I‘m surprised that the bike has been working so good and, as the grip increased, we improved each time we went out. As I said, we are focusing on riding on a used tyre so I‘m quite happy with second place. It‘s nice to focus on one lap and be fast, but we have to be fast on all twenty laps and I think we did a good job and made a good start. I don‘t know if I will do a time attack tomorrow, it will depend on the weather and the condition of the track. You always want to see your name at the top of the list, but sometimes it‘s more useful to work towards the races.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“I‘m feeling 100% fit again. Yesterday when I went to sleep I still had a headache, but today when I woke up I felt better so I was able to put in some good work and at the end it was a good day. This morning we lost a lot of time waiting for the conditions to improve, but in the afternoon I could do more than 50 laps. We had some important stuff to try and more or less everything was positive. My pace was quite good and at the end I did a time attack and I‘m in fourth position, so top five is OK. We have a different frame and it was good, I like it. We haven‘t decided yet, but the first impression was positive.”

TEST DAY 2RESULTS,  31/01/2017

1. A. IANNONE, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, 1’59.452

2. M. VIÑALES, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, 1’59.858

3. A. BAUTISTA, PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM, 2’00.218

4. V. ROSSI, MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP, 2’00.254

5. J. ZARCO, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, 2’00.343

6. H. BARBERA, AVINTIA RACING, 2’00.352

7. A. DOVIZIOSO, DUCATI TEAM, 2’00.441

8. J. LORENZO, DUCATI TEAM, 2’00.484

9. J. FOLGER, MONSTER YAMAHA TECH3, 2’00.495

10. M. MARQUEZ, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, 2’00.531

11. A. ESPARGARÒ, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, 2’00.609

12. C. CRUTCHLOW, LCR HONDA, 2’00.691

13. A. RINS, TEAM SUZUKI ECSTAR, 2’00.876

14. D. PEDROSA, REPSOL HONDA TEAM, 2’00.886

15. S. REDDING, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, 2’00.972

16. K. ABRAHAM, PULL & BEAR ASPAR TEAM, 2’00.981

17. D. PETRUCCI, OCTO PRAMAC YAKHNICH, 2’01.124

18. L. BAZ, AVINTIA RACING, 2’01.227

19. M. PIRRO, DUCATI TEST TEAM, 2’01.382

20. P. ESPARGARÒ, RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING, 2’01.525

21. J. MILLER, TEAM EG 0,0 MARC VDS, 2’01.556

22. S. LOWES, APRILIA RACING TEAM GRESINI, 2’02.058

23. T. RABAT, TEAM EG 0,0 MARC VDS, 2’02.189

24. T. TSUDA, SUZUKI TEST TEAM, 2’02.267

25. B. SMITH, RED BULL KTM FACTORY RACING, 2’02.516

26. K. NAKASUGA, YAMAHA FACTORY RACING, 2’02.893

27. K. NOZANE, YAMAHA FACTORY RACING, 2’03.052

Rossi and Vinales Visit the Phillippines

ROSSI AND VIÑALES DELIGHT FANS IN THE PHILIPPINES

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales continued their ’media tour‘ with a short but rewarding stop-over in the Philippines. Despite the shortness of the visit the riders were determined to make the most of their time. They met up with the media and Yamaha dealers and also found time in between to entertain their fans in a special race activity.

Manila (Philippines), 28th January 2017

Just a few days after their visit to Indonesia, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales reunited in Quezon City, near Manila, for a dealer event and a special outdoor racing activity, the ‘Yamaha GP’, organised by Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. (YMPH).

The teammates were enthusiastically greeted by the Filipino fans upon arrival at Manila Airport on January 27th. The locals were excited to welcome back Rossi, who visited the Philippines before in 2014, and keen on giving Viñales an unforgettable taste of all their country has to offer, as it was his first time visiting.

The riders started the next day with a press conference at the Robinsons Novaliches Trade Hall together with Yamaha Motor Company’s General Manager Motorsports Division, Kouichi Tsuji, and President of Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., Toru Osugi. This was followed by a photoshoot and then it was time for action. Eager to take part in the ’Yamaha GP‘, the riders headed outside in their leathers where two Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi stood waiting. Rossi and Viñales entertained the crowd by doing a few laps on a small ’track‘ created in the parking lot and were joined by YMPH‘s riders afterwards for a group photo.

After lunch the pair took time to talk to the media before they had to pack their bags for the Sepang MotoGP Official Test, to be held from January 30th – February 1st. This test will be the first occasion for Rossi and Viñales to ride the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 in its new colours as they prepare for the coming season.

KOUICHI TSUJIGENERAL MANAGER MOTORSPORTS DIVISION, YMC

“This stop in the Philippines, though short, was certainly meaningful, because we want to show that the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team and its riders value the passionate support of the fans. Experiencing the country‘s culture and being able to communicate face-to-face with its press and the fans plays a big part in understanding Yamaha‘s philosophy of Kando* and the ’human approach‘ that we hold so dear in our company. It was enjoyable for all to see the riders having fun on the Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi and now that Rossi and Viñales have ’warmed their muscles‘ and felt the support of the fans, we can focus on the task ahead and fly to the test in Sepang with maximum motivation.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“This was my second time visiting the Philippines and I‘m even more impressed by the country, the culture and the atmosphere than the first time. The people are all very friendly so I enjoyed my stay here a lot. It was nice to meet the Filipino press and the fans again and put on a little show for them, riding the Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi. It‘s not as big as my M1, but it‘s fast. Though we couldn‘t do a proper race, Maverick and I did a couple of laps with the fans watching and we had fun, but now it‘s time for serious work again. We will soon fly to Malaysia for the test in Sepang and start the season.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“This was a new experience for me, I had never visited the Philippines before, so I‘m very happy that I‘ve had the chance now to get a quick first impression of the country. The people here are so friendly and they really put in an effort to make us feel welcome. The crowds at the “Yamaha GP” event were cheering very loudly during the press conference and it‘s great to see how passionate they are about motorsports. I also had a lot of fun on track today with Valentino, riding a Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi. I enjoyed my time in Manila a lot so it‘s a shame that we have to leave already after just 24 hours, but I‘m also looking forward to riding my YZR-M1 again in Sepang in just a few days‘ time.”

Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Unveils 2017 Line-Up

THE MOVISTAR YAMAHA MOTOGP TEAM UNVEILS 2017 LINE-UP IN MADRID

ValentinoRossi_MaverickViñales
ValentinoRossi_MaverickViñales

The Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team grabbed the spotlight in Madrid today as it presented its new rider line-up, 2017 YZR-M1 livery, team logo and sponsors. The team launch event featured Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales as well as key members of the Yamaha Management staff and the President of Telefónica Spain.

Madrid (Spain), 19th January 2017

Today the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team gave racing fans from all over the world a first glimpse of its team colours for the new season during the official team launch at Telefónica‘s headquarters in Madrid, to kick-start their 2017 campaign.

The Italy-based team travelled to Madrid in the last week of its ’winter break‘ before heading overseas for the first official IRTA MotoGP pre-season test of 2017 in Sepang. During this on-track outing, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales will help Yamaha‘s engineers fine-tune the development work of the YZR-M1 that was carried through during the “off-season”. The Valencia test already showed great promise for this formidable team; all members are eager to reclaim the MotoGP World Championship crown.

Nine-time World Champion Valentino Rossi impressed chasing the premier class trophy in the last three years, securing the Vice-Champion Title every season. He is determined to compete once more at the front this year and his fans from all over the world will be cheering him on as he pursues his quest to make his title win tally a nice round ten.

Last year Rossi meant business right from the start of the season and in Argentina he climbed the rostrum for the first time. Though struck by external circumstances on occasion, ’The Doctor‘ never lessened his attack and went on to secure nine further podium finishes, with wins in Jerez and Catalunya, remaining a key protagonist in the 2016 challenge until the overseas leg at the end of the year. His and his teammate‘s consistent drive brought Yamaha its seventh FIM MotoGP Team Title.

Young Spanish talent Maverick Viñales is a fresh face in the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team. He joins the Factory crew after gaining two years of experience in the premier class. His 2016 season highlights included a superb win at Silverstone and three third places, in France, Japan and Australia, allowing him to finish fourth in the final standing. He followed up his strong end of the season with a stunning debut on the YZR-M1 at the Valencia test, topping the time sheets both days, establishing that his switch to Yamaha was the right decision.

It‘s not only the new rider line-up that‘s cause for celebration, Yamaha Factory Racing and Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica‘s collaboration also deserves recognition. The two companies signed a five-year partnership agreement in the premier class of road racing in 2014, underlined with Movistar becoming the team‘s title sponsor. In the past three years Yamaha and Telefónica‘s shared values and passion for innovation laid the groundwork for success, resulting in a Triple Crown in 2015 and the Team‘s Title in 2016.

Presenting the 2017 team were MotoGP‘s Dylan Gray and Izaskun Ruiz, who welcomed to the stage Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales for a Q&A session. They were later joined by General Manager of Motorsports Division & YMC MotoGP Group Leader, Kouichi Tsuji, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing, Lin Jarvis, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP‘s Team Director, Massimo Meregalli, who went into detail on the technical development of the bike as well as the new rider line-up and its promising prospects.

Luis Miguel Gilperez, President of Telefónica España, was also put in the spotlight and further explained Movistar‘s strategy and its dedication to MotoGP before it was time to reveal the bike.

The ceremony saw the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 revealed in its new colours with a refreshed livery.

Besides the new Movistar logo, the Blue Core logo (Yamaha’s new generation engine development designed to extract maximum performance and fuel economy) is added as a new design element on the bike, while the deepened Yamaha blue gives the bike a chic finish.

Further revelations include the new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team logo. Its new design is a testament of how much value the team assigns to the Telefónica and Yamaha collaboration and puts the Movistar‘s ’M‘ in a more prominent role. This sentiment is also reflected in the YZR-M1‘s 2017 livery, which features the new Movistar-logo on either side of the fairing and the front of the bike.

Lastly the team is excited to support Yamaha‘s bLU cRU programme, encouraging younger generation on-road riders to follow their dream to become the next MotoGP-star. The initiative provides a safe and professional environment for young riders to develop their talent. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are ambassadors of the programme and will serve as role models for the riders in entry classes.

LIN JARVISMANAGING DIRECTOR, YAMAHA MOTOR RACING

“Over the last three years we have demonstrated that our team is very competitive and our partnership with Movistar has delivered great results on and off the track. Movistar and Yamaha are both brands that have a lot of history in the MotoGP World Championship and we are proud that our collaboration is growing stronger each season. It therefore seemed no more than fitting to present the 2017 YZR-M1 at the home of Movistar, the Distrito Telefónica in Madrid. The bike‘s striking new livery features cleaner lines, more blue and a very strong Movistar branding on the fairing. We also unveiled the new enhanced Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team logo symbolizing the partnership between our two companies. We see today not only as the official start of the 2017 season but also the start of a next chapter with our exciting new rider line-up; it is a new beginning and so Movistar‘s slogan “We Choose to Make History” is certainly very fitting and one we will strive to live up to. We have Maverick Viñales joining us as he searches for his first MotoGP class title and Valentino Rossi, who has his eyes set on World Championship title number ten. Both are eager to reach their goals and hungry to win races and most of all have good battles at the front of the pack. With their dedication and the commitment of our engineers and team staff, I‘m confident we are in for another exciting and highly competitive season.”

LUIS MIGUEL GILPÉREZPRESIDENT OF TELEFÓNICA ESPAÑA

“Movistar has always been linked to sport. For Movistar, the specific case of motorcycling has been one of its fundamental axes of content and sponsorship for a long time, and we have managed to reach the top and stay there. As you all know, motorcycling is in Movistar’s DNA. Movistar and MotoGP share the same values, those of training, discipline, improvement, commitment and teamwork. What is more, for Movistar it is a way to be closer to the public, the young people and the new talent of the sport that we have always supported. From a sporting point of view, this is the fourth season in which Movistar and Yamaha are collaborating to continue a winning project in the undisputed premier class of motorcycling. Taking stock of what has been achieved so far – World Championship Runner-up in 2014, the Triple Crown and World Runner-up Title in 2015, and Runner-up and World Team Title in 2016 – next season is expected to be even more exciting, if possible, for everyone who loves the sport. A season that we are opening with the addition of Maverick Viñales to the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team, and he, together with Valentino Rossi, will strive for great results and, above all, enjoyment.”

VALENTINO ROSSI

“After the winter break, the team launch is always a very exciting time for everybody, not only for us, the riders and the team, but also for the fans. Sincerely, I‘m just as happy as they are to start the new season, I have missed riding my bike. The pre-season test in Sepang will be an interesting moment, we will get a good idea of our level and it‘s also the first time I‘ll get to take the YZR-M1 out on track in its 2017 colours. This is the fourth year that Movistar will be our team‘s title sponsor. In the last three years, we enjoyed some fantastic battles and great results and this season the target remains the same: to be competitive again and fight for the victory in every race. I have a new strong teammate and I think we can have a lot of fun this season.”

MAVERICK VIÑALES

“After the test in Valencia and Malaysia I got off the bike feeling very happy because I was on the level I wanted to be at. The whole Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team can‘t wait to start the season because we know we can be at a 100% level and compete at the front. Today we revealed the bike and it looks beautiful, I wish I could start riding it right now! When I was a kid, I used to watch Valentino riding his M1 and now I‘m here at the team launch, it‘s like a dream come true! I‘m so happy and motivated and I‘m ready to give it my all. I want to thank Yamaha, Movistar and of course the team. They have welcomed me very warmly, so it is a great start to the season already. Honestly speaking, I was quite surprised by the family-feel, because on the outside you see a very serious and professional team, but as soon as I went inside the box I felt incredible. I‘m really pleased to be here, at Telefónica Headquarters in Madrid, and thanks to everyone for coming to support us. It‘s going to be a great year!”

Q&A with Valentino Rossi at Aragon

Q&A with Valentino Rossi following his crash in the opening laps of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragon

Valentino Rossi

RossiQA
RossiQA

Q: Valentino, how are you today?

VR: “I’m fine, everything is ok, and this is the most important thing. I did not injure myself too much except for a big bump to the head. Last night I had a little headache but today I’m fine, I’m 100%. It was a real shame because before the race we made a change that would have helped me a lot; the bike was strong, I was going well, I had recovered the gap in the first few laps and I was there with the leading riders. I felt good and I am sure I could have made a good race, so it was a real shame to fall. In a way I’m almost glad because even though we had a difficult weekend on Sunday we were competitive and this was supposed to be a track that is not very good for us.”

Q: Have you watched the race? What can you say about your crash and about your rivals’ race?

VR: “Unfortunately, like Iannone I went onto the artificial grass. This is always very dangerous and especially in these cases because the track was still wet from the morning shower and there was nothing to be done. Marc and Dani tried to stay on track on the slick tyres but they took a big risk and in fact they crashed. In my case, if I had gone off track one meter before, I would have just gone wide, instead I touched the grass and I fell.”

Q: We have a triple back-to-back ahead of us in Asia and Australia. How do you see the coming races?

VR: “Now there are three races in a row, three races that are all beautiful and I know all tracks very well. I like all of them a lot. I will try to do my best as we have done in the last races.”

Fog Cancels Motegi Practice

Motegi
Motegi

Fog Cancels Motegi Practice

The MotoGP paddock was quiet today at the Twin Ring circuit in Motegi, with all free practice sessions for this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix cancelled due to weather. Heavy fog around the circuit made it impossible for the air ambulance to land or take-off, meaning no sessions could be run in full safety.

Dorna, IRTA and Race Direction will hold further meetings over the next 24hrs to finalise a schedule for the weekend in case of further weather disruption.

Jorge Lorenzo

“It was a boring day for everyone but the things were like that. I think it is much better to stay calm and accept the circumstances. Safety is the most important thing in the sport and without the medical helicopter no one can be safe. We will see tomorrow because the forecast is not so positive and if once again the sessions are cancelled we have to wait on a decision from Dorna, IRTA and Race Direction. I hope the race will go ahead because two races is better than just one for us. I spent all the day stretching, relaxing, making some exercises and speaking with the team. I hope tomorrow the meteorological conditions improve and we can ride.”

Valentino Rossi

“A great pity about today because there was good conditions for riding on the track. It was wet but there was no wind and not too much water so it’s a pity that because of the helicopter we cannot ride. It’s an important day today because it looks like tomorrow the weather will be worse. Anyway we must wait and in the end it was the right decision for safety so I am in full agreement. It is a shame though that we cannot go on the track.”

Massimo MeregalliTeam Director

“It was a pity that we couldn’t ride today but I think the decision they took was right, the safety of the riders is very important and also the rules state that the helicopter must be here. We respect the decision of the race commission. Hopefully tomorrow will be a different day and we can start a normal Saturday. In case it is not possible to ride in the morning they have already prepared a counter measure and we will follow this. We will try to do everything possible for tomorrow and Sunday.”

Lorenzo Scores 50th Grand Prix Victory

Lorenzo
Lorenzo

Lorenzo Scores 50th Grand Prix Victory in Phillip Island Thriller

Defending world champion Jorge Lorenzo delivered a stunning ride today to win the Australian Grand Prix in a thrilling spectacle filled with drama. Teammate Valentino Rossi delivered another exciting performance, fighting to take third on the podium.

Following concerns over the safety of the Bridgestone tyres to last full race distance the race was changed to incorporate a bike change at the ten-lap mark, with the total laps reduced to 19.

The start saw Lorenzo take the hole-shot from his pole position with riders Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa in hot pursuit. The reigning champion gave no quarter but was unable to pull away, the rivals staying within 0.5 of a second as they counted down to the pit stop. This itself turned into a bizarre event with potential consequences for the championship. Pedrosa pitted a lap early, Lorenzo pitted at the ten-lap mark and Marquez pitted a lap too late. As a result Marquez was given a black flag and disqualified and Pedrosa was forced to drop a position after crossing the white line on his pit lane exit.

Further disaster was also narrowly avoided when Marquez exited the pits just as Lorenzo passed down the straight at high speed, the two making contact into turn one. Luckily both were able to stay upright and continue. Lorenzo kept the pressure on and held the top spot for the remaining nine laps to claim the race win.

Rossi enjoyed yet another intense race long battle with rivals Cal Crutchlow and Alvaro Bautista. The three swapping positions in the fight for the last podium spot throughout the first ten laps and again in the following nine. Rossi completed a super fast pit stop, beating both out to gain two positions. As one of the most successful MotoGP riders of the modern era in Phillip Island it was never going to be easy for them to beat him, and they couldn’t. The Italian claimed third at the line to make it another double Yamaha podium.

The result leaves Lorenzo now on 280 points, 18 behind Marquez as they head to Motegi for the final of the triple-headers. Rossi stays secure in fourth position on 214 points, 35 ahead of Crutchlow in fifth.

Jorge Lorenzo – 1st / 29’07.155 / 19 laps

“I’m really happy with this win, we’ve also been lucky because Marc made this mistake. Without that he would have been second or first because he was really fast today. So we’ve been lucky but we were unlucky in the middle of the championship so today is a balance. When I was entering the first corner Marc was exiting the pit at exactly the same time, the situation was almost impossible to avoid. I was braking a little later to open the line and I don’t think he was looking so much entering the corner so it was both our fault. Now we have options, if Marc keeps constant on the podium then it is impossible to win the championship but there are a lot of laps to go so anything could happen. It’s unbelievable to have 50 Grand Prix victories at 26 years old. It seems like only yesterday when I won in Brazil in 2003 but it’s been ten years. I’m very proud of it and hope to win some more in the future!”

Valentino Rossi3rd / +12.344 / 19 laps

“At the end the result was good, I’m so happy to be on the podium here at Phillip Island because it’s always a great pleasure and a great atmosphere. I tried to give the maximum, the race was very thrilling and I enjoyed it very much, especially because with the team we were able to do a very good job in the pit and gain two positions. I had a great battle with Cal, when I understood it was for the podium I tried to give the maximum. In the last half of the lap it started to rain which was very scary but at the end it was ok and a good result. We still need to work and improve to be faster for the next race.”

Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager

“A perfect result, winning here is a dream for us after two tough races. With Marc making the mistake it opens the championship a little more as well. 18 points is a completely different story to nearly 40. We are very pleased with that.”

Massimo Meregalli – Team Director

“It has been an incredible race, Jorge didn’t make any mistakes and led from the first to the last lap, always pushing hard. It was also nice to have the flag to flag in dry conditions and we got a lot of points to close the gap. There is only 18 points between them now so the championship is more open. We are looking to Motegi now to keep going and close it more. Vale did another great race, another double podium which is a great result for Yamaha. We had some doubts before the start of the race on grip but we got a great result.”

Results

1. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 29’07.155
2. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team + 6.936
3. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing + 12.344
4. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 + 12.460
5. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini + 12.513
6. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 + 28.263
7. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team + 32.953
8. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing Team + 35.062
9. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team + 35.104
10. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar + 37.426
11. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar + 46.099
12. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 48.149
13. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Ignite Pramac Racing Team + 49.911
14. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Blusens + 49.998
15. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project + 58.718
16. Luca Scassa (ITA) Cardion AB Motoracing + 58.791
17. Claudio Corti (ITA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing + 1’08.105
18. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport + 1’27.230
19. Lukas Pesek (CZE) Came IodaRacing Project + 1’31.093
20. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Avintia Blusens After 1 laps
21. Damian Cudlin (AUS) Paul Bird Motorsport After 2 laps
22. Bryan Staring (AUS) Go&Fun Honda Gresini Not classified (12 laps)
23. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team Not classified (12 laps)

Championship Standings

1. Marc Marquez (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 298
2. Jorge Lorenzo (SPA) Yamaha Factory Racing 280
3. Dani Pedrosa (SPA) Repsol Honda Team 264
4. Valentino Rossi (ITA) Yamaha Factory Racing 214
5. Cal Crutchlow (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 179
6. Alvaro Bautista (SPA) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 147
7. Stefan Bradl (GER) LCR Honda MotoGP 135
8. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA) Ducati Team 127
9. Nicky Hayden (USA) Ducati Team 111
10. Bradley Smith (GBR) Monster Yamaha Tech3 99
11. Aleix Espargaro (SPA) Power Electronics Aspar 88
12. Andrea Iannone (ITA) Pramac Racing Team 55
13. Michele Pirro (ITA) Ignite Pramac Racing 50
14. Colin Edwards (USA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 36
15. Randy De Puniet (FRA) Power Electronics Aspar 33
16. Hector Barbera (SPA) Avintia Blusens 31
17. Danilo Petrucci (ITA) Came Iodaracing Project 24
18. Yonny Hernandez (COL) Ignite Pramac Racing Team 20
19. Hiroshi Aoyama (JPN) Avintia Blusens 13
20. Claudio Corti (ITA) NGM Mobile Forward Racing 11
21. Ben Spies (USA) Pramac Racing Team 9
22. Alex De Angelis (RSM) Ignite Pramac Racing 5
23. Karel Abraham (CZE) Cardion AB Motoracing 5
24. Michael Laverty (GBR) Paul Bird Motorsport 3
25. Bryan Staring (AUS) Go&Fun Honda Gresini 2
26. Javier Del Amor (SPA) Avintia Blusens 1

Yamaha Arrive in Australia for Phillip Island

Yamaha Factory Racing Arrive in Australia for Phillip Island

Australia GP
Australia GP

With no rest the Yamaha Factory Racing team and riders moved directly from Malaysia to Australia this week for the Australian Grand Prix at Phillip Island on Sunday. The second of the triple-header races will see Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi looking to take the fight to their rivals in the final rounds as the championship heads into its final three races.

Defending world champion Lorenzo has yet to take a premier class win at the Phillip Island circuit but does claim two 250cc victories there in 2006 and 2007 and retains good memories having sealed his 2012 world title there.

Nine-time world champion Rossi claims two 250cc wins in 1998 and 1999, a 500cc win in 2001 and an unbroken four year premier class win streak from 2002 to 2005.

The Phillip Island race circuit was constructed in 1956 and hosted the motorcycle Grand Prix until 1968. A revamp of the track saw it return in 1989. The track remains one of the favourites on the calendar for both riders and fans, delivering exciting riding on fast fluid corners against a stunning backdrop of ocean and green countryside.

Jorge Lorenzo

“I’m still a bit disappointed after Malaysia because we thought we could get a better result. The championship is very difficult now with three races remaining but at least we fought and we put all our efforts to win it. Phillip Island is a pretty track that I like a lot. Last year I achieved my second MotoGP world title there and that was a fantastic feeling. This time hopefully the weather is not so bad and we can have some fun. I would like to win as many races as possible until the end of the season at Valencia. That’s our main goal and also to fight with Dani for second place in the championship, that is if we can’t get the title; that is looking quite difficult now. I guess this circuit can suit us better than Aragon or Malaysia so I look forward to riding in a good shape in Australia.”

Valentino Rossi

“I really like the Phillip Island circuit, it is great fun to ride here. The track is very different from Sepang and I think that for us it will be better. We are improving with every race and I’m curious to see what happens in Australia. I made good races here and I won a lot. My goal is always the same: fight with Jorge, Dani and Marc. Now we will try to do the best in the next three races. We are ready to do this!”

Wilco Zeelenberg Team Manager

“Phillip Island is one of Jorge’s favourite tracks and he did a great race there last year when Casey Stoner was the only one who could be stronger than Jorge. Hopefully we can pick up a little bit more this year. I think here Jorge could be able to fight in a better conditions with colder temperatures and on a track where the important thing is to have a good balance with the bike, especially in the fast corners.”

Massimo MeregalliTeam Director

“Fortunately Phillip Island comes immediately after the race in Malaysia, where we have suffered more than we expected. We have good memories and results from here. This is a very suitable track for the characteristics of our bike so we expect a good result. Last year we won the world title here and the memory is very motivating. We are ready to do our best to close the season in a positive way. The riders are motivated and the respective crews too.”