- Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales stay on as riders for the team
- The main news is the addition of the new Movistar brand on the pilots’ equipment and motorcycles, thereby unifying Movistar’s sponsorship image with the team gear worn by the Movistar Team cycling squad and the Movistar Estudiantes basketball team.
The Italian seeks to remain the rider with the most victories and podium positions in the history of Grand Prix motorcycle racing as he starts his 13th season with Yamaha, while the Spaniard will complete his fourth season in the top category after a very successful year with the Yamaha Factory Racing Team.
The presentation, which was held at the Casa del Lector de Matadero in Madrid, was attended by the CEO of Telefónica España, Luis Miguel Gilpérez; riders Rossi and Viñales; Yamaha Motor Racing President and General Manager of Motorsports Development Division, Kouichi Tsuji; and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Director Massimo Meregalli.
Gilpérez stated, “Telefónica and Yamaha’s shared values and passion for innovation are the qualities that form the foundation for the success of this partnership”. In light of this new season, the CEO of Telefónica España has high hopes of “an exciting year for all motorcycle lovers, in which the successful Movistar Yamaha MotoGP project is able to achieve a large number of wins”.
Rossi expressed his hope that the team’s fifth year with Movistar “will be memorable”. The 38-year-old went on to share: “This season we will be pressing on as hard as we can”. Regarding the team presentation, he stated that “it’s special every year because, when you see the bike in its new colours, you start want to start riding it as soon as possible”.
Viñales shared the same thoughts and stated: “the bike and the team’s new logo look great” and he is “ready to start trying it out”. He added: “this year we’ll try to improve on what we achieved in 2017. We have a great team, so I think it’s natural that we aim for the win in each race and ultimately for the championship title”.
The new Yamaha Motor Racing President, Tsuji, further underlined the honour the Yamaha brand enjoys by starting a fifth year with Movistar as sponsor, it being a brand with a lot of experience within the Grand Prix of motorcycle racing. He also reminisced on the very positive moments in the first four years of collaboration. When looking ahead to this new season, he emphasised the importance of the updated team logo which serves to “highlight the bond between Yamaha and Movistar”.
New Movistar logo on the bike and on the riders’ gear
The main news for the new year is the addition of the new Movistar logo on both the riders’ apparel as well as on their motorcycles, thereby unifying the sponsorship image that is already worn by the Movistar Team cycling squad and the Movistar Estudiantes basketball team. For this reason, Movistar has moved away from its typical green colour for the 2018 MotoGP season, though it has been the distinguishing mark of the Telefónica brand in motorcycle racing since 2000.
During the team presentation, the new Yamaha YZR-M1 was also presented. Rossi and Viñales will test the new bike at the training sessions in Sepang in four days’ time, later on in Thailand and in Qatar, prior to the start of the 2018 World Championship, so the engineers can fine-tune the development of the bikes.
In 2018, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team will push to the limit at full force in order to fight for the win. They will be ready for the challenges that lie ahead on the path to victory, thus inspiring the #RacingTheLimits concept.
The main milestones from the past season include four victories, four double podiums and Yamaha’s 500th Grand Prix victory.