Today, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team broadcast a virtual reality team presentation to official open their 2021 campaign. The launch event’s theme #InItToWinIt echoes the mindset of a team spearheaded by two young and competitive riders, Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, ahead of the 2021 MotoGP World Championship kick off in Qatar in March.
Gerno di Lesmo (Italy), 15th February 2021

With this year marking Yamaha’s sixtieth anniversary of its first ever Grand Prix endeavour, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team is raring to start the 2021 World Championship action. To set the tone for a new season that’s full of endless possibilities and which they will be tackling with a new rider line-up, the team found an innovative way to open its doors to the fans and media. Making use of the latest technology, they gave a virtual reality presentation to show off their eager young riders Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, the 2021 Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP YZR-M1s, as well as the team’s close relationship with title sponsor Monster Energy Company.

The team presentation was led by renowned TV F1 presenter Federica Masolin, who is also an avid MotoGP fan. She chatted with Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.’s MotoGP Group Leader Takahiro Sumi, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Principal & Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team Director Massimo Meregalli, Factory Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales and Fabio Quartararo, and Monster Energy's Senior Vice President of Sports Marketing Mitch Covington, before showing the 2021 Yamaha YZR-M1s, inviting the participants to share their thoughts on the upcoming MotoGP action.

Viñales joined the Factory Yamaha crew in 2017 and immediately took two back-to-back GP victories. He went on to third place in the rider standings that year. Though the following season proved to be tough, the Spaniard kept his motivation high and won the race at Phillip Island. He finished 2018 in fourth place overall, just five points behind his teammate in third position. In 2019, he scored two further Grand Prix victories, one in Assen and one in Sepang, and collected the overall bronze medal once more at the end of the season. 2020 was another challenging year. Though the Spaniard was in contention for the championship title until two races before the end, he ultimately finished in sixth place.

Quartararo is a new entry to the Yamaha Factory Team, but he is already a household name amongst MotoGP fans thanks to his successful years as part of the Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team. In his MotoGP debut year 2019, he scored seven podiums in total (five second places and two third places), to end his first season on a YZR-M1 in fifth place, earning him the Rookie of the Year title. The young Frenchman started 2020 with a bang too, securing his first premier class win at Round 1 in Jerez, and he repeated his dominant performance again the very next week at the same track. His third victory came in Catalunya, but he was unable to put his mark on the end of the season. He finished eighth in the overall 2020 standings.

The colour scheme of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP bike remains the same for 2021, with the team’s YZR-M1, the pit box, and the riders’ leathers sporting a ‘Monster Energy black’ to ‘Yamaha Factory Racing blue’ gradient. The perfect blend between Yamaha’s aesthetic and Monster Energy's instantly recognisable claw branding is also represented in the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team logo and on the team uniforms.

Yamaha has a long-term global alliance with the team’s title sponsor, Monster Energy Company, based on their mutual passion for racing. A multiple-year title-sponsor agreement with the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Team was signed in the summer of 2018 and came naturally, as Monster Energy Company sponsors multiple Yamaha teams (among them the Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP team since 2013) and riders (including Viñales and Quartararo) in various racing classes.

The team is also pleased to announce that throughout the 2021 racing season the bike will continue to feature the slogans of Thai Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. and Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., starting from the extended Qatar Official Test held on 6th-7th March and 10th-12th March 2021.

Newly confirmed Yamaha Factory Racing MotoGP Test Team rider Cal Crutchlow will be joining Viñales and Quartararo at the Losail International Circuit. After a seven-year interval, the vastly experienced premier class rider will return to riding the YZR-M1 on 5th March 2021 in the Shakedown Test.

With the 2021 season shaping up nicely, currently projected to count 19 GP rounds, Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP is delighted to confirm the continuation of its relationship with numerous sponsors and partners, including:

ENEOS - http://www.noe.jxtg-group.co.jp/index.html
Yamalube - http://yamalube.com/
Blue Core - https://global.yamaha-motor.com/showroom/bluecore/en/sp/
Akrapovič - http://www.akrapovic.com/
Yamaha Indonesia Motor Manufacturing - http://www.yamaha-motor.co.id
Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc. - https://www.yamaha-motor.com.ph
Thai Yamaha Motor - https://www.yamaha-motor.co.th
Oakley - http://www.oakley.com
Alpinestars - https://www.alpinestars.com/
Abarth - http://www.abarth.com

Gilles Tooling - http://www.gillestooling.com
Racing Boy RCB - https://www.racingboy.com.my
Furukawa Electrics - https://www.furukawa.co.jp/en/
Marelli - http://www.magnetimarelli.com
D.I.D. - http://www.did-daido.co.jp
NGK Spark Plugs - https://www.ngkntk.co.jp
BMC Air Filters - http://www.bmcairfilters.com
2D - http://2d-datarecording.com
Beta Tools - http://beta-tools.it
Yamaha Corporation (Yamaha Music) - https://www.yamaha.com
Michelin - https://www.michelin.com/eng/
Pont Grup - http://www.pontgrup.com

For 2021, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team have formed a new alliance with VR46 Racing Apparel. They will be the manufacturers of all official team wear all provided with a prominent VR46 Racing Apparel logo. Identical official team wear products will be on sale to Yamaha fans throughout the global dealer network and at racetrack merchandize sales points.

Moreover, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team continues to support Yamaha’s bLU cRU programme, encouraging a younger generation of on-road riders to follow their dream to become the next MotoGP star. Viñales and Quartararo are ambassadors of the programme and will serve as role models for all Yamaha’s young talents.

Lastly, with an eye on continuous innovations and technical progression, the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team will be working closely together with Valentino Rossi, Franco Morbidelli, and the Petronas Yamaha SRT team throughout the 2021 season. Rossi will be riding a full factory YZR-M1 in Petronas Yamaha SRT colours, whilst Morbidelli will be riding the A-Spec YZR-M1. Both satellite riders will receive full support from YMC engineers in 2021, and their input will continue to contribute to the further development of the YZR-M1 throughout the season.

Hiroshi Ito

Hiroshi Ito

General Manager, Motorsports Development Division

“First of all, I want to say ‘Thank you for your patience during the extended winter break’ to all Yamaha MotoGP fans around the world. We, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.’s Motorsports Development Division, are ready for the start of this new season. Last year was very tough for all MotoGP riders, teams, and staff members. During this time, our riders and teams got over the various difficulties together. Just like last year, this year the riders and teams will work together again to put in Yamaha’s bid for the MotoGP World Title. We will use last years’ experience and add to that our creativity and ingenuity to win the championship as a strong team. We are confident and ready to do so. Please look forward to the success of this year's Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Team and PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team and our four wonderful riders.”

Lin Jarvis

Lin Jarvis

Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing

“This year we are entering our ninth year with Monster Energy Company as our sponsor and our third year with them as our title sponsor. We take great pride in the team’s long-term partnership with them as well as the strong global alliance between Yamaha and Monster Energy that forms an instant connection between the two brands. This bond cannot only be seen on track, through branding, but it’s also there behind the scenes and off track. The team wants to sincerely thank Monster Energy for their continuous support and commitment, as well as their genuine interest and passion for the sport.

The same goes for our numerous other team sponsors, official partners, and suppliers. Without their dedication we would not be able to do what we love most – competing at the top-tier level of motorcycle racing.

We greatly miss having our sponsors, partners, as well as the media and the fans, attend events such as today’s press launch. However, we hope that the virtual reality experience made them feel ‘close to us’ again. The use of this state-of-the-art technology is also a reflection of our current mind-set: this season we are not leaving any stones unturned to get the job done.

Last year, Yamaha was the most successful manufacturer in terms of GP wins, with seven wins in total, but we missed out on the Championship Title. Our goal for this year is to win the MotoGP World Championship. With the arrival of Fabio paired with Maverick we have two title contenders on board and so we know what we need to do – win races and maintain consistency all season long. I believe with the improvements on the bike and the changes within our team we are ready to do just that.  

Let’s go racing!”

Massimo Meregalli

Massimo Meregalli

Team Director

“2020 was a difficult season, but we’ve learned from it as a team and we are now aware of what we can expect for 2021. We can’t test in Sepang due to the continuing global pandemic, so the fans will have to wait a bit longer before they can watch our riders in action. We are feeling confident for the Qatar Test. Yamaha’s Japanese engineers have dedicated a lot of time and effort to developing the M1. We have a lot of new things to try, and we can’t wait to get started. Another change is that we now have two young riders, who are both definitely very keen to get to work, so we are approaching this preseason with a ‘can do’ attitude. We are 100% dedicated to being #InItToWinIt during the 2021 season.”

Maverick Viñales

Maverick Viñales

“Last year was a crazy year for all of us. We have left that behind us now and we’ll focus on what’s to come. With the two tests in Sepang cancelled I will have to wait a bit longer to ride my M1 again. It’s a long winter break, so I’m feeling impatient to get to work, but in a good way. After having enjoyed some time of rest during the off-season, we are all excited to start work again. We don’t have a lot of testing opportunities – just the Qatar Test – so we will have to be on our A-game straight away.”

Fabio Quartararo

Fabio Quartararo

Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP Rider

“I’m excited to start the new season, especially because I’m in a new team. Throughout my career I have always been moving from team to team – I like this. It’s exciting to work with new people and learn new things. I’m looking forward to the Qatar Test – it can’t come soon enough! I’ll finally get to try my Monster Energy Yamaha YZR-M1 for the first time. I’ve seen quite a lot of photoshopped versions of my number on the Factory Yamaha bike on social media, but – however well they are made – nothing compares to the feeling I got when I saw the real thing for the first time. I can’t wait to start riding!”