That Yamaha M1 Launch In Full
As anyone with even a modicum of interest in MotoGP may have noticed, the brand new Yamaha YZR-M1 was launched today in what was billed as an "online launch". What this amounted to was the posting of a flood of press releases and videos on the Yamaha Racing website, rather than any ability to interact with Yamaha, but it offered a few interesting tidbits nonetheless. But instead of rehashing all of the press releases, as the rest of the Internet MotoGP press has decided to do, MotoGPMatters.com will just pick out a few highlights, and point you to the original materials so you can judge for yourself.
- Valentino Rossi won't be racing in World Superbikes any time soon. Citing "problems with parts," both Rossi and his team boss Davide Brivio said it was unlikely that Rossi will be able to race this year. But Rossi said he is still keen on racing there one day.
- Rossi made it clear once again that he won't be moving to Formula 1. He enjoyed the test, but he's made his choice.
- He did hint once again that he will do more rally racing once he retires from motorcycle racing "in a few years time".
- Rossi isn't after Giacomo Agostini's win total. But he is after more titles. Which means two more if he is to equal Ago's record, or three more if he is to beat it.
- The wall between the garages is here to stay. Both sides of the Fiat Yamaha garage said it "worked very well".
- Those worried that Rossi's new Monster sponsorship would end his famous helmet designs can rest easy. Monster's 2.5 million euros buys them a small space on the chin bar.
- Jorge Lorenzo believes that Dani Pedrosa, Casey Stoner and team mate Valentino Rossi are favorites for the title. His goal is to try to catch them.
- Lorenzo is happy to have changed his number and his management, and is looking forward to the new season. The bike is also much more easy to spot than last year.
- Interestingly, Yamaha as a factory was dead set against the single tire rule, while the team was all in favor of it.
- Various people commented on the state of MotoGP, and came up with suggestions on how to deal with it. Most of those involved technical restrictions, such as rev ceilings and spec ECUs.
- Of the online video interviews, the one with Lin Jarvis is by far the most interesting. Watch it here.
If you want to see the videos and read the interviews for yourself, then head on over to Yamaha's special YZR-M1 launch site. Here's what you'll find there:
- Official YZR-M1 launch video. Mercifully short.
- Video interview with Yamaha Racing's Managing Director Lin Jarvis. 15 minutes long, and well worth the effort.
- A tour of Yamaha Racing's new headquarters. Great if you're into interior design, though there's some shots of M1 engines being tested to keep your interest up.
- Interview with Valentino Rossi. He doesn't really say anything we haven't heard a hundred times before.
- Interview with Jorge Lorenzo. See Valentino Rossi interview, but more so.
- Interview with Davide Brivio. Rossi's team manager remains carefully neutral about the cost-cutting suggestions, and expects a new title. Unsurprisingly.
- Interview with Daniele Romagnolo. Jorge Lorenzo's team manager channels Carmelo Ezpeleta on rule changes, and expect improvement from his rider.
- MotoGP launch photo gallery, with lots of high-quality PR-friendly images.