MotoGP – The Yamaha YZR-M1 version 2021 has been unveiled by the Japanese brand. The team welcomes Fabio Quartararo this year, the Frenchman succeeding Valentino Rossi.
Yamaha’s factory MotoGP team unveiled the 2021 livery for its M1 machine in a web presentation on Monday morning, largely unchanged with title sponsor Monster Energy taking centre stage.
The ’21 M1 continues to sport a predominantly blue and black scheme as it has over the past several years, with a smoother transition between the two colours the only discernible difference from last season, which saw a more dynamic livery with sharper lines.
Title sponsor Monster Energy again makes up the vast majority of the livery as the American energy drink company enters its third season as naming partner to the Yamaha organisation.
Yamaha will wade into the 2021 MotoGP battle with a slightly refreshed line-up compared to last season, with seven-time premier class world champion Valentino Rossi ending his second stint with the factory squad at the end of ’20 to move to the satellite Petronas SRT outfit-the Italian replaced by Fabio Quartararo.
The Frenchman made waves during a sensational rookie campaign in ’19 with the SRT organisation, racking up a total of seven rostrum results and six pole positions on his way to fifth overall.
He then secured his first victory in last year’s season opener at Jerez before adding a further two in the following weekend’s event at the same Spanish venue and also in the Catalan Grand Prix at the Circuit de Barcelona Catalunya in September, though a title challenge ultimately slipped through his fingers as Yamaha lost its way somewhat with the ’20 spec M1 towards the end.
Quartararo says that “nothing compares” to the feeling of seeing his official race number on the front of a full factory MotoGP prototype for the first time, adding that the new ’21 spec M1’s debut in the Qatar test next month “can’t come soon enough.”
“I’m excited to start the new season, especially because I’m in a new team,” said Quartararo.
“I’m looking forward to the Qatar Test – it can’t come soon enough! I’ll finally get to try my Monster Energy Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time.
“I’ve seen quite a lot of photoshopped versions of my number on the Factory Yamaha bike on social media, but – however well they are made – nothing compares to the feeling I got when I saw the real thing for the first time. I can’t wait to start riding!”
Joining him at Yamaha will be Maverick Vinales, the eight-time premier class victor entering his fifth season with the marque who will be looking at finally mounting a sustained title challenge having managed a pair of third place overall finishes as his personal bests so far with the manufacturer.
Vinales says he is feeling “impatient” to remount his Yamaha steed following a “crazy” ’20 season, but conceded that he will need to be on his “A-game straight away” owing to the lack of testing ahead of the ’21 campaign.
“Last year was a crazy year for all of us. We have left that behind us now and we’ll focus on what’s to come. With the two tests in Sepang cancelled I will have to wait a bit longer to ride my M1 again,” added Vinales.
“It’s a long winter break, so I’m feeling impatient to get to work, but in a good way. After having enjoyed some time of rest during the off-season, we are all excited to start work again.
“We don’t have a lot of testing opportunities – just the Qatar Test – so we will have to be on our A-game straight away.”
MotoGP – presentation of the Yamaha YZR-M1 version 2021 MotoGP – presentation of the Yamaha YZR-M1 version 2021