A MotoGP icon, a young riding genius, a historic and innovative manufacturer: splash them all with that cool Monster Energy black-and-green and you have a race team ready to leave rivals covered in chunks of Michelin slick tyres. ‘Beast Mode On’ indeed.
Excitable guests created a real buzz at the Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta as Yamaha took delight in whipping away the covers of their prized MotoGP machinery, riders and colours for 2019. The vibe wasn’t only about Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales together again for the third year in a row and the messages of resurgence and defiance from one of the FIM World Championship’s most successful squads and brands but also the dark new shade of the motorcycles that will stir emotions in fans across the globe in the next ten months.
From caps on riders, drink bottles, products, the Monster claw on the sides of bikes since 2008, Valentino Rossi, and the ownerships of Grands Prix in Brno, Catalunya and Le Mans; Monster Energy has been a proud and proactive part of the MotoGP paddock. The company have now lifted their ‘left foot’ to shift that enthusiasm up a gear.
“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,” said Rodney Sacks, Chairman and CEO of Monster Energy Company. “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.”
“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,” said Vice President of Sports Marketing Mitch Covington on expansion of the Yamaha association and the key link with Rossi; one of the few Monster Energy athletes to boast his own signature drink. “With Maverick, Valentino and the many dedicated members Yamaha’s MotoGP racing squad wearing our colours, we count ourselves in great company.”
Important names and faces from Yamaha and the racing programme talked-up the fresh bond and the combo between Bike and Beast. “We share a great racing heritage,” stated Kouichi Tsuji, President of Yamaha Motor Racing & Senior General Manager of Motorsports Section. “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.”
Yamaha Motor Racing MD (and race team overseer) Lin Jarvis was also quick to explain why the shiny new M1s had been unveiled in Indonesia: “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.”
The MotoGP show cranks back into life for the first time since late November in a matter of hours with the Sepang IRTA test; one of just two pre-season sessions planned before the calendar opens in Losail, Qatar on March 10th. Jarvis was on-the-money when he stated: “I’m sure the fans are impatient to see some MotoGP action again.”
The spotlight widened for the riders themselves. Rossi may celebrate his 40th birthday in a matter of days (February 16th) but the Italian maintains a youthful (and amazing) vigour for his profession/pastime.
“I’m sincerely looking forward to the new season and to riding again, I want to get back aboard my M1!” #46 beamed. “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.”
“It will be a completely fresh start for all of us: new title sponsor, new team colours, and for me a new rider number,” said new #12 Viñales who already gave cause for encouragement after particularly fast laps in 2019 testing towards the end of last year. “It all came together very nicely, so now all we have to do is get the preseason underway!” added the 24 year old.
Monster Energy and Yamaha have been blasting lap-counters and expectations for a number of seasons and will continue to-do-so with this multi-year agreement. Rossi and Viñales might be hard to catch for their peers but that striking new livery means that fans worldwide won’t have trouble charting the ‘dark force’ set to blanket MotoGP.