This is the new factory YZR-M1 machine Yamaha hopes will maintain its unrivalled domination of the MotoGP world championship in 2011.
Unveiled at a press conference at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia this evening, the bike will run in corporate blue livery as Yamaha has been unable to find a new title sponsor to replace Fiat, as was revealed by MCN.
Fiat left when Valentino Rossi quit to join Ducati at the end of the 2010 campaign and attempts by Yamaha to find a replace have so far been unsuccessful as it prepares to kick off its 50th year in Grand Prix racing.
The YZR-M1 was presented by reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo, Texan team-mate Ben Spies and a host of Yamaha management on the eve of the second pre-season test in Sepang.
It features a revised in-line four-cylinder motor designed for more horsepower while the stiffness and weight distribution of the aluminium twin tube chassis has been altered for more rear traction.
The YZR-M1 has been an unbeatable force in MotoGP since 2008. Italian Rossi won the title in ’08 and ’09 while Lorenzo scored a record 383-points in his impressive romp to the 2010 title.
Lorenzo and Spies are defending the triple crown for Yamaha after it won the rider, manufacturer and team titles for the third straight year in 2010.