The highly anticipated Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Launch event took place today at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta in Indonesia. Yamaha’s newly named Factory Racing MotoGP team proudly presented its brand-new livery, that reflects Yamaha’s long-term global alliance with the team’s new title sponsor, Monster Energy Company.
The multiple year title sponsor agreement was signed last summer and came natural, as Monster Energy sponsors multiple Yamaha teams (the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team since 2013) and riders (including Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales) in various racing classes.
Monster Energy and Yamaha’s mutual passion for racing was evident today when the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team announced that they will be turning their “Beast Mode On” for the 2019 MotoGP World Championship challenge.
At the start of the event, Yamaha Motor Racing President and Senior General Manager of Motorsports Section, Kouichi Tsuji was was joined on stage by Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director, Lin Jarvis, and Monster Energy Company’s Vice President of Sports Marketing, Mitch Covington.
Following the introduction speech by Executive Officer at Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd. and President of PT. Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing, Minoru Morimoto, the three representatives were being interviewed by Masters of Ceremonies Lucy Wiryono and Dylan Gray. The management shared their excitement to start this new chapter, as they discussed the team’s dedication towards the 2019 preparations and the new Yamaha structure, with Hiroshi Itou recently joining Motorsport Development Division as General Manager, and Takahiro Sumi becoming the new MotoGP Group Leader.
Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales soon joined the talk show. They made it clear that they can’t wait to get back into action at the official 2019 IRTA MotoGP preseason test held in Sepang, Malaysia, in two days’ time.
Valentino is famously Yamaha’s most successful rider. This will be his 14th season with the manufacturer since he first joined the factory team in 2004, and there is no sign of him slowing down. The nine-time World Champion is as eager as ever to score GP victories, as he enters a seventh consecutive year with Yamaha since his return in 2013.
Maverick joined the Factory Yamaha crew in 2017 after gaining two years of experience in the premier class and was quick to make a name for himself. He ultimately took third place in the rider standings in his first season with Yamaha. Though the 2018 season proved to be tough, the Spaniard kept his motivation high and won the race at Phillip Island. He finished the season in fourth place overall, just five points behind his teammate in third position.
A video message from Monster Energy Company Chairman and CEO Rodney Sacks introduced the team launch’s pièce de résistance: the unveiling of the brand-new bike livery. Valentino and Maverick were given the honour and they proudly presented the 2019 Yamaha YZR-M1. Its colour scheme has completely changed, with the team’s M1 sporting a ‘Monster Energy black’-to-‘Yamaha Factory Racing blue’ gradient, including subtle blue stripes that add further dynamic to the sleek design. This perfect blend between Yamaha’s aesthetic and Monster Energy’s instantly recognisable claw branding is also represented in the new Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team logo, as well as the new team gear and leathers modelled by Valentino and Maverick.
Besides the prominent Monster Energy branding, the team is also pleased to announce that throughout the 2019 racing season the bike will continue to feature the slogans of Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing, Yamaha Motor Vietnam Co., Ltd., Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., and Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.
The team also continues to support Yamaha’s bLU cRU programme, encouraging a younger generation of on-road riders to follow their dream to become the next MotoGP star. Rossi and Viñales continue to be ambassadors of the programme and will serve as role models for the riders in lower classes.
“We are delighted to officially start our journey with our new title sponsor, Monster Energy. Though a completely different brand from Yamaha, we share a great racing heritage, also in the MotoGP championship. This year marks an important step, with Yamaha undergoing various structural changes. In a way the new livery reflects this. Though the changes run much deeper than a new colour scheme, I felt a great sense of excitement and motivation from everybody present when we unveiled this year’s bike and the new team logo here in Jakarta. This is crucial. We need that drive and eagerness to fuel the urge to win as we prepare for the 2019 MotoGP championship, making sure we’re not just competing at the highest level of racing, we’re winning. From this moment on we begin a new season, with the entire team firing on all cylinders. We want to give our extremely talented riders, Valentino and Maverick, the tools they need to get the results they crave and deserve. I’m sure that with the support of our sponsors, partners, and fans, we can fight for race wins again.”
“This year the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team’s package is different from previous years, so it seemed only fitting to hold a special launch event to mark this fresh start. The team travelled to Indonesia this time. The country’s market is very important for the Yamaha Motor Group, and the fans’ and local media’s great passion for MotoGP further adds to its appeal. Its central location in Asia and close vicinity to the first official test, held in Malaysia the day after tomorrow, made it a perfect location for the Team Launch. Yamaha and Monster Energy have been collaborating for many years. We are proud to have them as an official sponsor of the Yamaha Factory MotoGP Team since 2013, and now we will be working even closer together as we step up the global alliance between the two brands and they take on the title sponsor role. Monster Energy is known for giving its audience the full experience of whatever makes them passionate, which is also what we strive after at Yamaha. During the upcoming season we aim to leave a strong impression throughout the entire MotoGP season, and we very much look forward to sharing this next chapter with race fans, giving them a thoroughly enjoyable season. We’ve revealed our new team logo and livery today. The new design, especially the black-toblue gradient on the bike, visualises the partnership between Monster Energy and Yamaha. Now the work really begins with the upcoming preseason test in Sepang. The entire team, the riders, and I’m sure the fans are impatient to see some MotoGP action again.”
“After more than a decade of passionately supporting riders, teams and as a title sponsor of two of MotoGP’s most iconic races we are proud to now call ourselves title partner of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team. We look forward to the next chapter of our adventure with real excitement and we wish the Yamaha team, plus everyone behind their outstanding racing effort, the very best for the 2019 season.”
“The start of this new era for Monster Energy and Yamaha’s global racing program marks an exciting moment for us both. In MotoGP we now build on the six year partnership we have forged with Yamaha Factory Racing and the ten years we have been racing with Valentino. With Maverick, Valentino and the many dedicated members Yamaha’s MotoGP racing squad wearing our colours, we count ourselves in great company.”
“First of all, I would like to apologise for not being able to attend the team launch event today. I would have liked to be there as it is a significant milestone - the team start a new journey with Monster Energy. With the very important Sepang Test starting in just two days, I chose to be in Sepang working with Sumi-san and the YMC staff, as well as our team staff – several of which are new for 2019 – to be best prepared for the start of the new season. Like I said, we’re starting afresh and there is always a sense of excitement that comes with new beginnings. I’m sure the entire crew, as well as the riders, can’t wait to get back into action. We already laid the foundation for the 2019 preparation during the tests in Valencia and Jerez at the end of last year. The upcoming week will be very important, because we will use the test in Sepang to confirm the choices we made. It will be a crucial first stepping stone to success in 2019.”
“The team presentation is always an event that I enjoy. It is the first time that we can show off our full package for the new season and, most importantly, this event signals that the start of the preseason is close! I‘ve taken a bit of time to relax and train these last couple of months, but, like the fans, I‘ve mostly been looking forward to starting the new season. The upcoming test in Sepang is very important, because it‘s the first opportunity for the team to get together to try everything Yamaha has been working on over the winter. Our performance improved towards the end of last season, but we want and need to make some more big steps, so we need to get to work. I‘m happy that Monster Energy is joining our team in a new role this year. They have been Yamaha‘s and my sponsor for a long time, so we know each other well and we share the same passion for racing, which is important. I‘m sincerely looking forward to the new season and to riding again, I want to get back aboard my M1! I feel as good and determined as ever, nothing changed in that area, and I believe that, with some hard work, we can improve upon last year and be back on top.”
“We are here in Jakarta to start the new season. This year’s team presentation was very special, because there are many changes compared to last year. The most noticeable of course are the new team colours and the bike livery. As soon as I saw it, I couldn’t help but feel excited to start the new season. It will be a completely fresh start for all of us: new title sponsor, new team colours, and for me a new rider number. It all came together very nicely, so now all we have to do is get the preseason underway! The winter months were a good opportunity to prepare for 2019 season. I had some time to relax and reflect, but a good part was spent training, so I’m ready to start riding my M1 again. We ended last year’s season stronger than we started, so it will be important to keep that momentum going as we prepare for the first race in Qatar in April. Our first chance to see where we stand is at the Sepang Test in a few days’ time. I’m looking forward to it, because I have high expectations for this year. My motivation hasn’t changed, and I plan on going all out this season – ‘Beast Mode On’!”