This is the new Monster Yamaha livery with which Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales will race during the 2019 MotoGP season.

The official M1s have been dressed in Movistar colours since 2014, but now take on a darker black-and-blue look for the arrival of Monster Energy, previously title sponsor of Tech3 Yamaha, until the French team switched to KTM and Red Bull for 2019.

Lin Jarvis, managing director of Yamaha Racing, said: "We like the new colours of the bike a lot. It's more aggressive and I think that is what we need to be. We need to adopt the attitude of 'beast mode on' to be world champions."

Rossi, who will be 40-years-old on February 16, is preparing to start his 24th season of grand prix racing.

Although the nine-time world champion failed to win a race last season, for the first time as a Yamaha rider, he still finished as the top M1 with third place in the championship standings behind Honda's Marc Marquez and Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso.

"The bike looks great, more aggressive with the black and green alongside the blue," said Rossi. "We are a little bit like the 'Men in Black'!

"It's a shame the holidays are finished but we are excited and ready for the new season.

"I think [Vinales and I] are a 'good couple': He is young - unfortunately, I am not! - but I have a lot of experience. We fight together on the track, but we have good respect off-track.

"All factory teams work together now, the two riders, so we always follow what Maverick does with the bike. He is fast and brave and it's good to have him as a team-mate."

Vinales broke Yamaha's record losing-streak with their only victory of last season, at Phillip Island, on his way to fourth in the points. The Spaniard has switched from the #25 to #12 for his third season on an M1, as well as changing crew chief.

"The bike looks beautiful!" Vinales said. "I can't wait to start and for me the holidays have been too long, I want to be on the bike and see the steps forward.

"I feel more confident with Esteban [Garcia, new crew chief] on the team... With all the changes being done with my crew and the bike, I feel we can do it.

"Valentino and I battle many times, but it stays on the track and when we take off the helmet we stay friends. I like this."

Yamaha finished 2018 with continued doubts over its engine choice for this season, with Rossi and Vinales offering different verdicts on the two options given to them for post-season testing at Valencia and Jerez.

It is not yet clear if a further new engine design will be available to try at Sepang this week, when the pair kick-off their 2019 track activities alongside their rivals at the official test from February 6-8.

"We have to work hard because our opponents made a good step in recent years," Rossi warned. "For me the key in modern MotoGP is the tyres, we always work to save the tyres.

"It's a difficult job, very precise. You can make a difference with your riding style but must also work hard with the engineers. This is the target for this season."

"Our expectations are that you guys [Rossi and Vinales] go down to the last round fighting for the title," declared Monster's Mitch Covington.

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