The Yamaha Factory Racing and Movistar partnership becomes firmly established in the premier class
- Maverick Viñales joins the team
- The Yamaha YZR-M1 bike will appear this season with a new look and different colours
Madrid, 19 January 2017.- Movistar and Yamaha Factory Racing today presented the new Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, with the incorporation of Maverick Viñales, who joins after two years’ experience in the premier class.
Alongside Maverick we will continue to see the nine-time world champion, Valentino Rossi, who plans to enhance his status during the new season as the rider with the most podiums and points in the history of the World Motorcycle Championship, as well as the greatest number of victories, podiums and fast laps in MotoGP.
The presentation, which took place at Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid, was attended by Luis Miguel Gilpérez, CEO of Telefónica España, riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales, Kouichi Tsuji, General Manager of the Yamaha Motorsports Division, Lin Jarvis, General Manager of Yamaha Motor Racing and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director Massimo Meregalli.
As Luis Miguel Gilpérez stressed, “this is the fourth season in which Movistar and Yamaha have worked together to carry forward a winning project in the highly competitive premier class of motorcycling. Taking stock of what has been achieved until now – World Championship runner-up in 2014, the triple crown and World Championship runner-up in 2015 and runner-up and the World Team Championship in 2016 – next season is expected to be more exciting, if that were possible, for all the lovers of this sport.”
As for Maverick Viñales, he declared at the presentation that “When I was a kid I used to see Valentino riding his M1 and now here I am at the team launch. It’s like a dream come true! I am very happy, motivated and ready to give my all. I’d like to thank Yamaha, Movistar and, of course, the whole team for the warm welcome they have given me.”
Rossi mirrored the enthusiasm of his new team-mate with regard to the start of the season: “The launch of the team is always a very exciting time for all of us, not only for us, the riders and the team, but also for the fans. In the last three years we have had great results and this season the goal remains the same: to fight for victory in every race. And also, this year, with a strong new team-mate, with whom we can achieve great results and, above all, enjoy ourselves.”
The ceremony also witnessed the presentation of the Yamaha YZR-M1 with a new look and different colours, which Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales will test at the training sessions in Sepang, Australia and Qatar prior to the start of the World Championship, in order to help the Yamaha engineers fine-tune the development work on the new bike.
This presentation event also celebrated the five-year partnership between Yamaha Factory Racing and Telefónica, a solid relationship which began in 2014 with Movistar as the main sponsor. The shared values and their passion for innovation have laid the foundations for the success of this association.
The 2017 season begins with a very positive outlook for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team, following all the successes recorded in past seasons and the fine track record of the team’s two riders. The highlights of Maverick’s 2016 season included a magnificent victory at Silverstone and three third-place finishes, in France, Japan and Australia respectively. He finished fourth in the final standings, while Valentino Rossi was World Championship runner-up for the third consecutive year, with two victories in Jerez and Catalonia, followed by a further eight podiums.