Launching a MotoGP race bike is a tricky prospect. The aim is for it to be as glamorous as possible, but without being too expensive for journalists to cover. Ducati solve this problem by launching at a giant event done together with Ferrari in the Italian Alps, but Yamaha have decided to make use of the opportunity presented by the first official MotoGP test of the year, out in Sepang. The location was especially appropriate this year, as Yamaha Indonesia has stepped up into a sponsor role, capitalizing on the growing interest in the sport in that part of Asia. According to Google Trends, Indonesia provides the largest number of users searching for the term "motogp", outnumbering Italy by nearly 4 to 1.
A launch in Asia does pose a number of problems, however. Few of MotoGP's fans in its traditional base of Europe make the trip to attend either the test or the launch, but the ever resourceful souls at Yamaha Racing and Fiat On The Web provided a host of photos and videos for fans to follow the event from the comfort of their own computers. The videos include interviews with Lin Jarvis, head of Yamaha Racing, and riders Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. The biggest news at the launch was that data would no longer be shared between the two sides of the garage. This move comes after various accusations back and forth between Lorenzo and Rossi that the other side had been using their settings.
The bike was unveiled at 10am local time, and the riders were back hard at work just minutes later.
The official unveiling:
Interview with Valentino Rossi:
Interview with Jorge Lorenzo:
Interview with Lin Jarvis: