Fiat Yamaha introduces 2009 YZR-M1

Few changes for MotoGP championship-winning machine

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Feb. 02, 2009
Fiat Yamaha unveiled its 2009 YZR-M1 MotoGP race bike with a special online video presentation.

In a video posted on the official MotoGP website, Yamaha introduced the machines the reigning MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi and 2008 MotoGP Rookie of the Year Jorge Lorenzo will ride in the upcoming campaign.

The brief clip begins with Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis, Rossi’s team manager Davide Brivio and Lorenzo’s team manager Daniele Romagnoli waiting for their star riders to arrive for the unveiling.

Playing up the competitive rivalry between the two teammates, the video features Rossi and Lorenzo in a footrace through the halls of the Yamaha headquarters while their team managers predict who will arrive first. After the two riders arrive, Jarvis leads them to the garage where their bikes are waiting.

Valentino Rossi will try to defend his MotoGP title on the 2009 M1.Brivio says the 2009 M1 will be pretty similar to the 2008 model that proved to be successful.

“In 2008, when we won everything: the Constructors’ title, the Riders’ title, the Teams’ title, it provoked a great motivation and reaction from rival riders and factories and they must have all started working to produce a bike capable of beating us,” says Brivio. “We haven’t changed much with our bike, but we have made improvements in important sectors, trying to keep the level of competitiveness high. We’ll see this at the first races and we hope that our bike will be up to the job. I believe it will be.”

Rossi tested the 2009 M1 in the post-season test in Valencia, Spain and again in Jerez, Spain, where he recorded the fasted time among all riders.

“The bike seems better and I was faster than I was with the 2008 version,” says Rossi. “I’m very confident, and anyway we’re only at the beginning of our work and now we must use these months before April to improve the 2009 M1 even more.”

Lorenzo spent much of the last few months training and recovering from injuries suffered in several crashes through the 2008 season.

“They’re not 100% because I’m still missing a little mobility in my ankles, especially in the left one, but little by little they are clearing up,” says Lorenzo. “Many months have passed since the crashes and right now the problems I had with my forearms and my ankles, thanks to the specialists who I am lucky enough to have, the situation is gradually improving and I think that I will be if not 100% then around 95 or 97% before the start of the season.”

A series of crashes marred a promising rookie season that began with three consecutive podium finishes for Lorenzo. The Spaniard’s luck may change in his sophomore season along with his number. Lorenzo will switch to 99 from his usual 48.

Rossi, on the other hand, will stay with his familiar 46 instead of the number 1 plate. As he has done following his previous MotoGP championship seasons, Rossi will stay with the number used by his idol, the late Norifumi Abe, and his father, Graziano Rossi.

2009 Yamaha YZR-M1 Technical Specifications
Engine type Liquid-cooled Crossplane crankshaft inline four-cylinder, four stroke.
Claimed maximum power More than 200 hp.
Claimed top speed In excess of 199 mph.
Transmission Six-speed cassette-type gearbox, with alternative gear ratios available.
Chassis Aluminium twin tube delta box, multi-adjustable steering geometry/wheelbase/ride height, aluminium swingarm.
Suspension Öhlins upside down front forks and Öhlins rear shock, all adjustable for pre-load, high and low-speed compression and rebound damping. Alternative rear suspension links available.
Tires Bridgestone, 16.5 inch front, 16.5 inch rear, available as slick, intermediate, wet and hand-cut tires.
Brakes Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs, two four-piston callipers. Single 220mm stainless steel rear disc, twin-piston calliper.
Claimed dry weight 326 lbs

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