4 November 2014
Rossi, Lorenzo unveil new Yamaha R1 Superbikes
Valentino Rossi unveils new R1 and Jorge Lorenzo a limited edition M model - Honda unwraps street legal RC213V-S
Yamaha MotoGP stars Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo played a starring role in the official unveiling of the new YZF-R1 at the EICMA show in Milan.
The Japanese factory had also called upon nine-time world champion Rossi to help them develop the new machine, with the Italian delighted by the end result.
“I want to say a great thank you for involving me in this important project to develop the new R1 for all the Yamaha riders,” Rossi said at the unveiling. “It was great. I like a lot to work and improve the bike, especially because the target is to make the R1 as much as possible like the M1 - my favourite bike!
“I think we did a great job. The bike is fantastic. I rode it for the first time on the racetrack in a secret test last year. It was very funny and here is the result.”
The new generation R1 will race in Superbike championships, with the Milwaukee team already suggesting it will run two for BSB in 2015, while the manufacturer is tipped to make a factory comeback in World Superbikes in 2016.
Yamaha describes the 199kg, 200-horsepower machine as being 'packed with MotoGP YZR-M1 technology', including a new crossplane ('big-bang') engine, short (1.4m) wheelbase chassis and high-tech electronics.
Electronic development is one of the crucial areas for factory MotoGP involvement and the new R1 boasts, 'a 6-axis Inertial Measurement Unit that constantly senses chassis motion in 3D, creating controllability over traction, slides, front wheel lift, braking and launches'.
Lorenzo was present at the launch to unveil a special limited edition 'M' version of the R1, including electronic Ohlins suspension and a data logger with GPS that allows for download and upload of new settings.
"This M version gives even more than the normal R1," Lorenzo said. "This is the version for people that want the feeling and adrenaline that we feel. I would love to have this bike, even as a rider... It is unbelievable."
Rossi and Lorenzo will be back in MotoGP action at this weekend's Valencia finale, when they will battle to secure second in the world championship.
Meanwhile Honda is also keen to link its MotoGP project to Superbike machinery, with world champion Marc Marquez and team-mate Dani Pedrosa present for the unveiling of a special street legal version of the RC213V, called the 'RC213V-S':
Over at Aprilia, the factory looks set to race in its traditional red and black livery during its official 2015 MotoGP return, in partnership with the Gresini team:
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