Yamaha has unveiled its 2018 MotoGP livery at a launch event in Spain
The factory Yamaha team has unveiled the livery of its 2018 MotoGP challenger at a launch event in Madrid.
Yamaha managed four wins between its two riders in 2017, with new signing Maverick Vinales – who announced a two-year extension of his deal with the team - tallying up three victories from the first five races while Valentino Rossi secured his 115th grand prix success at Assen.
However, problems with the YZR-M1's chassis in hot conditions and in the wet, as well as a double break of the right leg for Rossi which forced him to miss the Misano race, derailed Yamaha's charge for the title.
Vinales ended his maiden campaign with the Japanese marque third in the standings, with Rossi slipping to fifth. Yamaha secured second in the manufacturers' standings.
The new livery retains the familiar blue on the much of the bike, with title sponsor Movistar's new logo appearing white on the fairing instead of the traditional green.
Team director Massimo Meregalli admitted the two tests Yamaha conducted in Valencia and Malaysia towards the end of last year proved “important” in finding a base for the new bike, which will be further explored in the first official pre-season outing next week.
“Yeah, it has been really important that last year we could test in Valencia and then in Sepang because we could compare the same items in two different circuits, two different conditions,” he said.
“The tracks are completely different, and at the end of these five days basically we could decide the base of the bike Valentino and Maverick will start testing in Sepang in a few days.
“Talking about Sepang, we need to confirm what we found in November. Then we will start developing the bike with the new parts that are coming from Japan.
“We will work on electronics that we couldn't do in November, so I'm expecting an improvement in that area.
“Last year, as you know, we suffered a lot with the wear of the tyre and this is our main goal to solve it.
“We are quite convinced that if we make the bike more consistent for both our riders, we can challenge for sure for the title, and that is our main goal for this season.”