Movistar Yamaha Kicks off 2015 MotoGP Season in Madrid
The long winter wait endured by racing fans the world over is coming to an end as the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team gather in Madrid to officially launch their 2015 campaign in the quest for title victory. A winter of development by Yamaha engineers and exhaustive training by the riders sees a formidable team gathered and ready to prove themselves against the best in the world.
The 2015 season will be the second year of partnership between the Yamaha Factory Team and Spanish company Telefónica. The five-year collaboration started in 2014 looks set to grow from strength to strength, making Telefónica’s headquarters in Madrid the perfect venue to unveil the 2015 livery.
The formidable duo of Italian Valentino Rossi and Spaniard Jorge Lorenzo remain unchanged as the rider line up for the team. Nine-time world champion Rossi delighted the racing world in 2014 with an impressive season, returning to form as a key protagonist. ‘The Doctor’ increased the pressure round after round to finish the season in a well deserved second position. Four-time world champion Lorenzo had a tougher start to the season but went on to find his rhythm, keeping his teammate firmly in his sights in the podium battles that marked the climax to the year and earning him third in the final standings. 2015 sees them both heading to Sepang for the first test of the year in top form, both physically and mentally, and as very real title contenders.
The 2015 Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team line up is unveiled for the first time at the Distrito Telefónica in Madrid, the headquarters that is normally home to a workforce of 14,000 employees.
Presenting the team were MotoGP superstars Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, alongside the president of Telefónica España, Luis Miguel Gilpérez. They were joined by the General Manager of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd’s Motorsport Division, Kouichi Tsuji, the Managing Director of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl, Lin Jarvis, and Movistar Yamaha MotoGP’s Team Director, Massimo Meregalli.
The ceremony saw the 2015 Yamaha YZR-M1 revealed in its new colours with a revised and resized Movistar logo and a refreshed livery. Also presented were the Team’s new partners: Abarth, the FCA Group’s prestigious, sports oriented, brand that joins Yamaha on a two-year partnership, and Cromax, the global coatings brand for refinish body-shops. Abarth and Cromax were not the only new faces as Japanese technical clothing manufacturer Descente joins as the clothing provider for the team.
The team now travels to Malaysia where the season will officially kick off with the first test at Sepang on 4th, 5th and 6th February. This will be the first opportunity for the riders to shake-down the 2015 YZR-M1 before the beginning of the championship in Qatar on 29th March.
46 Valentino Rossi – “The presentation of the new season is always a special moment. On this occasion I see for the first time my new bike, the new colours and new lines. Every time for me this is a big emotion. To present the bike and team means that a new season is about to start.
“The desire to start a new challenge is really huge, especially after the positive end of the 2014 season. Finishing second in the world championship was important, but this year the goal is even higher.
“Yamaha have worked so hard during the winter, and me too. I am in good shape, I feel good, I’m training a lot and I’m ready to begin the hard work at the Sepang Test. The new bike is really beautiful; I really like it.
“Now I want to meet up with my team and work with all of them to achieve the best possible results. It will be a very interesting season. I will have very strong opponents, starting from my teammate who will surely be better prepared this winter. It will be important to do a good test and arrive at the first race with everything in the right place, then we will be ready to fight for victory”.
99 Jorge Lorenzo – “This event always means a special date for all of us. It’s the official kick off of the season and I have to say it’s usually a special moment because we can see the final project and also the new livery. I love the new bike and I’m waiting to test it as soon as possible.
“With this unveiling starts a new challenge, an amazing challenge. I am much more motivated than ever to start this season. I have prepared well physically and I feel good mentally too.
“This year we have high hopes with the new M1 because in 2014 we found at the end a good base and we could fight for the podium regularly during the second half of the season. I am convinced that this year things will change and both Yamaha and I will put all our efforts to try to achieve the goal that is simple: to fight for the title.
“Last year many things happened but I’ve also learned a lot and I think we can compensate and make a great year. I’m waiting to kick off the coming season in Qatar!“
CEO, Telefonica España Luis Miguel Gilpérez – “We will bet for motorcycling once again in 2015 with the focus not only on our clients but also on the people who are not. We will offer them the chance to ride the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP bike, while sitting in front of their own TV’s, so they can see that we are capable of offering the best TV, the best sport and show with a new form of accessing it, from all of their devices with a multi screen option. From a sporting point of view this year we hope to achieve the highest podium position and to win the title, something we have already won in terms of TV acceptance, as we have become the leading TV in the market. When we decided to come back to motorcycling in March 2014 we only had 700.000 TV customers. Today we have almost reached 2 million. If we continue to do things well, then I am sure that success is secured. We have the best riders, Rossi and Lorenzo, and the best television, Movistar TV.”
Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing Lin Jarvis Lin Jarvis – “Last year we were honored to announce our new partnership with Movistar, a brand that has a rich and strong heritage in the MotoGP championship. We enjoyed a really important and very positive first year together in 2014 to begin our collaboration. This year we have decided to present the new bike at the home of Movistar, at the Distrito Telefónica in Madrid. From here the new season begins, and a new adventure for all of us. The “M” for Movistar on the fairings of our M1 is even bigger this year representing even greater union between us. We are once again fortunate to have two great champions in the team and two of the best riders in the world: Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Both want to achieve their goal, to win races and to win the title and I am sure they will be committed to work together as Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team Factory riders to make their bikes faster and more competitive to challenge our competitors. From our side I can assure our riders that Yamaha Motor and everybody in the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team is committed and focused to provide them all the support they will need to achieve their and our mutual goals. I am very excited to start the new season and we are ready to challenge together for victory in 2015.”
Director of Communication and Customer Experience, Telefonica España Dante Cacciatore Dante Cacciatore – “We are proud to see the colours and the talents of Movistar Yamaha MotoGP coming to our house. It seems incredible that it was less than one year ago when we embarked on this journey together. 2014 will be remembered as the year when two great brands as well as two great riders joined the most important sporting event in Spain, including not less than four MotoGP races in our country. Telefónica’s involvement in motorsport is evident. This is evidenced not only by the sponsorship agreement with Movistar Yamaha MotoGP, but also by the title sponsorship of the Gran Premio Movistar de Aragón and, of course, by Movistar TV’s acquisition of the rights to broadcast MotoGP races, delivering the only TV channel in the world exclusively dedicated to motorcycle racing. Our motorsport-passionate customers, who watched races on their TV’s, mobiles, tablets and PC’s, welcomed this partnership. Today, our adrenaline starts flowing again, when we see our colours on the new Yamaha YZR-M1, when the lights turn off; on each acceleration and braking; while we enjoy every overtaking; when we feel the breath of our fans… We are sure that this year we will continue to show that we are the team that fights the most for the victory. And there is only one way to do it: TOGETHER.”
Yamaha Factory Racing is Yamaha’s wholly-owned full-Factory Team in MotoGP. The team was founded in 1999 following the retirement of Wayne Rainey, who had run a Factory-supported team in the 500cc class for the previous two years. A new company – Yamaha Motor Racing – was set up in the Netherlands to manage all but the technical side of Yamaha’s international racing activities and to run the team.
In 2005 Yamaha Motor Racing as a company completed the move from the Netherlands in order to create a single Yamaha MotoGP European operation in Italy, strengthening and centralising the management of the team and all MotoGP operations. Although responsibility for the technical aspects of MotoGP remains predominantly at Yamaha’s MotoGP Group in Japan, a number of Japanese engineering staff complete the European MotoGP setup.
The team is based in Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), close to Monza, as are the logistics and the engine management sectors. This facility was re-built during 2008 and a new, state-of-the-art facility was opened giving the team a superb new headquarters with all technical, logistical, managerial and communications departments under one roof.
Masahiko Nakajima is President of Yamaha Motor Racing Srl and Lin Jarvis is Managing Director. The experienced Italian former rider Massimo Meregalli stepped over from managing the Yamaha World Superbike Team to become the Yamaha Factory Racing Team Director at the beginning of 2011