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FIRST LOOK: Rossi, Lorenzo unveil 2016 Yamaha MotoGP colours

Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo unveil Movistar Yamaha's 2016 MotoGP colours in Barcelona.
Updated with official studio images

Reigning MotoGP champion Jorge Lorenzo and title rival Valentino Rossi unveiled Movistar Yamaha's 2016 MotoGP colours in Barcelona on Monday.


Beaten by Marc Marquez and Honda in 2013 and 2014, Yamaha fought back to claim a perfect sweep of the riders', teams' and constructors' titles in 2015.

Rossi held the points lead from round one before Lorenzo, briefly tied with Rossi after Brno, snatched the crown by five points at the Valencia season finale.

But what should have been a dream season for Yamaha ended in acrimony with Rossi accusing Marquez of assisting Lorenzo in the closing rounds.

This year's MotoGP championship marks the return of Michelin - replacing Bridgestone as exclusive tyre supplier - and the introduction of a compulsory single ECU.

The livery unveiled today was almost identical to last season (barring a few stickers), with 2016 the third year of title sponsorship by Movistar.

Indeed, the bikes used at today's unveiling looked like 2015 spec M1s. Yamaha confirmed the latest 2016 machine (which had the fuel tank filler behind the seat in testing at Valencia) will be shipped straight from Japan to Malaysia for testing.

“We have a new bike for next year that we are going to test at Sepang, but the new bike is not always best... we have to see how it works with the new software and tyres. We are still not decided yet [which bike to race in 2016],” said Yamaha's MotoGP group leader Kouichi Tsuji.


Nine time champion Rossi will be 37 years old when he starts his 21st season of grand prix racing at Qatar. It will also be The Doctor's 17th season in the premier-class and eleventh at Yamaha.


Lorenzo has been a grand prix rider since 2002, winning two 250cc titles in addition to his three MotoGP championships. The 28-year-old Spaniard has been with Yamaha since joining the premier-class in 2008.

Yamaha's Lin Jarvis made clear that there will be no return of a wall separating Rossi and Lorenzo in the Yamaha pit garage, or restrictions on data sharing, since this would only harm them both.


Rossi and Lorenzo will next ride their M1s during official testing at Sepang from February 1-3.

Like most of the MotoGP grid, both riders are out of contract at the end of this season.




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Tagged as: Yamaha , Lorenzo , Valentino Rossi

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TopDogg

January 18, 2016 11:51 AM

This bike isn't a new bike, just an improvement on the 2015 M1 which was dominant last season so an improvement on this M1 will make life really good for Yamaha and Rossi fans....Jorge too and life will be difficult for Marc. I've got the feeling Yamaha will dominate again this season. Hope Rossi comes out on top this time



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