2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team Presentation
The Movistar Yamaha team sets its sights on the 2018 MotoGP season
The 2018 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team has unveiled its new liveries and motorcycles in Madrid just four days before the first official pre-season test in Sepang. The presentation was hosted in Spain due to the new five-year agreement signed between Yamaha Factory Racing and Telefónica Spain, which will see Movistar as the title sponsor for the duration of the contract.
“We are honoured to start the fifth year with our title sponsor Movistar – a brand that has great heritage in the MotoGP championship,” says Kouichi Tsuji, General Manager Motorsports Division, YMC. “We enjoyed really important and very positive moments in the first four years of our collaboration. This year we launched the new 2018 bike in Madrid again, close to the home of Telefónica Spain. From this moment on we begin a new season, with a fresh livery and an updated team logo, to highlight the union between Yamaha and Movistar as well as to mark the beginning of this new chapter.”
Yamaha was set on celebrating the future rather than dwelling on the past, as last year proved to be somewhat difficult for the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi ended the season in fifth position after suffering injuries that took him out of title contention. With 115 Grand Prix victories to his name, we hope to see Valentino fighting for the 10th world title in 2018.
“Sincerely, I’m looking forward to starting the new season,” says Valentino. “Last year, I had one win and six podiums, but also some problems and injuries. We want to make our fifth year with Movistar memorable, so this year we will be pushing as hard as we can. The test in Sepang will be important. It’s the first opportunity for my guys to get together this year, which will be fun, but we’ll soon get serious, because we want to get an idea of our level as soon as possible.”
Maverick Viñales claimed third in the overall points standings in his first year with the Yamaha MotoGP team. After topping every pre-season test and taking the top step of the podium in the first two rounds, Viñales appeared as a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunately, it did not last, with the mid-season providing some challenging races, although the Spaniard still landed on the podium on seven different occasions.
“Last year we had a really strong start at the first few rounds and we finished third in the championship,” states Maverick. “This year we’ll try to improve on what we did last year. We have a really good team, so I think it’s only natural that we aim for the win in every race and ultimately for the championship title, but of course we’ll only achieve this if we stay focused every session and push as hard as we can.”
With the reveal of the new motorcycle liveries and rider’s suits, the biggest visual difference would be the Movistar M changing from green to white to better blend with the Yamaha Factory Racing aesthetics.
The first pre-season test in Sepang is right around the corner, and the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is set and ready to continue working together to provide a platform to challenge for title contention in 2018.
“During the upcoming pre-season testing we will not be sitting still either,” says Managing Director, Lin Jarvis. “We see the start of 2018 as chance to start afresh. We’ll be taking new opportunities with both hands and have set the goal to push ourselves that bit further.
“We also have a new team logo and updated livery features that visualise the strong partnership between Movistar and Yamaha,” continues Jarvis. “I’m sure Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi are equally impatient as the fans to get the show back on the road. At Yamaha we’re very much aware that, though riders are on their own when they head out on track, racing is essentially a group effort. The riders’ dedication and commitment will be matched by that of our engineers and team staff, as well as the partners and sponsors, so I’m looking forward to a competitive season.”
We at MO are excited for the MotoGP action to start up again, even if it’s only team presentations and pre-season testing. We look forward to another exciting year of Grand Prix racing and apparently, the budding career of the Movistar Yamaha duo’s foray into rock n’ roll or something like that.
Go Rossi!!! End transmission.
Damn, despite Movistar being a front and center sponsor for years I never made this connection before: maybe Rossi isn't winning titles because Movistar was the sponsor for Sete Gibernau back in the day when Rossi cursed him to never win another GP. Turnabout Karma?