The Yamaha factory MotoGP team have launched their 2019 YZR-M1 and its new Monster Energy livery in Jakarta, Indonesia today.
There was the usual over the top hype, big visuals, men in suits and people going wobbly when Rossi walked onto the stage. Monster Energy has been sponsoring riders and teams in the championship for years, so it came as no surprise that they would want to consolidate their exposure and put all of their marketing eggs in one basket; that basket being the factory Yamaha squad.
The “Beast Mode On” reference was a bit cheesy, and as usual most of the team and its riders looked a bit perplexed, but this is a multi-million dollar contract that will be in and around the paddock for the next few years.
The factory has been working hard to bring along several new parts to be tested at Sepang, something that both Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales have been looking forward to.
Rossi thinks that the most significant improvements will come from setting up the bike in such a way that will get the best out of the tyres, both regarding making the tyres perform well throughout the race and in minimising the amount of degradation.
Overcoming their 2018 electronics and engine woes, Viñales is confident the 2019 M1 can deliver this year. Viñales has also made changes to the people that will assist him in the paddock throughout the new season, telling the media that he is looking to take a calm approach to each race weekend, surrounding himself with the support network that he feels he needs to win.
The bike itself looks great in its new Monster livery, as do the riders with their matching leathers. The official 3-day MotoGP test at Sepang begins tomorrow.