Camel Yamaha Team Launch. Staff
by Staff
From Camel Yamaha:

With exactly one month to go before the first race of the new MotoGP season, theCamel Yamaha Team today celebrated the start of its 2006 campaign with a TeamPresentation in Milan, in front of 300 guests and international media. WorldChampion Valentino Rossi and his American team-mate Colin Edwards, who wascelebrating his 32nd birthday today, were joined on stage by VIP guests from Yamahaand Japan Tobacco International, as well as Italian TV presenter Marco Mazzocchi,who compered the presentation.

The bikes were uncovered by the Festi group of acrobats, who descended from the roofto reveal the M1s of Rossi and Edwards in their final 2006 livery. Mazzocchi thenwelcomed Masao Furusawa, Executive Officer for Engineering Operations at YamahaMotor Company and Lin Jarvis, Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl, onto thestage.

"Even though the basic M1 concept for 2006 is the same", commented Furusawa, "thisis a more sophisticated bike, especially with the increasing RPM of the engine. Itis very important for the progression of the bike to keep Valentino and Colintogether, as they are not just riders for us, but a key part of the development ofthe M1."

"Last year we got everything right with this team," added Jarvis. "The ridercombination, the bike and every other element. Now our goal with our new titlesponsor Camel is to achieve all this once again and win the championship."

Roberto Zanni, European Regional President for Japan Tobacco International, spokeabout the exciting new partnership between Camel and Yamaha. "The feeling has beenvery good with Yamaha right from the beginning. Everything is very professional butalso very friendly, it's a good atmosphere. I expect that the passion this yearwithin this team will be very great and with two riders as successful as Valentinoand Colin, we can expect great things."

Davide Brivio, the Team Director for the Yamaha Factory Team for the fifth yearrunning, then took to the stage to talk about his goals for the season. "I thinkthat everybody will really like the new livery, and especially the riders' numberson the white squares. We needed to come up with something original for the liverywithout moving away from the Camel yellow, which we all really like, and now I thinkthis final livery is going to look really spectacular on track. For the season,we're ready! We've done some important and successful tests, and now we will justmake the most of the six remaining days of testing before the first race to makesome final improvements to the new M1."

The audience was then treated to a spectacular video of the team and riders, beforeRossi and Edwards mounted the stage together for their part in the day. "This newbike is really beautiful!" exclaimed Rossi, who this season aims to win a sixthconsecutive World Championship title. "It's exciting to be starting another seasonwith Yamaha; these last two seasons together with them have probably been the bestof my career. It's also nice to be with Colin again, we're very close in our team.The new M1 is already very good and we've been working very closely to develop itwith Yamaha. Yamaha has done a very good job. This year I have many new youngadversaries who will be challenging me, and I think there is going to be somespectacular racing!"

His team-mate Edwards, seeking to improve on his fourth-place in the championshiplast year, said "I really like the new bike design, it looks really great. I hadthe retro-style number five like this on the bike at Laguna Seca last year and I'veused it again for this year. The new bike in general has been fantastic throughoutthe winter tests, I'm really excited. Yamaha has done a great job and everythingabout it feels better than last year. I honestly can't wait to get back on boardthis week in Barcelona, we have a few things to work on still but we're in goodshape. My promise for the year is to win at least a few races and have a one-twofor the Camel Yamaha Team at the end of the year!"

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