Yamaha MotoGP riders unveil new YZF-R1 in Las Vegas

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All four Yamaha MotoGP representatives: Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have been part of the global unveiling of the new YZF-R1 in a glitzy Las Vegas presentation.

The four riders were surprise guests for the first showing of the new litre sports bike for 2009 in front of 3000 US dealers at the famous Mirage Hotel.

This YZF-R1 is claimed to share much of the same technology currently being used in MotoGP on the Yamaha M1, and when all four Yamaha riders rode one onto the stage they were asked about how close the road bike is to their own 800cc race machines.

Valentino Rossi told the crowd: “This is a great bike, it’s very like my M1 and it’s exciting to see so many MotoGP qualities now appearing on a bike for the road.

“I think everyone who loves the R1 and Yamaha will be very excited about this new version, it’s fantastic!”

Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team-mate, Jorge Lorenzo, also shared some of his thoughts on the 2009 R1.

“I think this bike will be very popular,” said the reigning two-time 250cc World Champion.

“Yamaha have worked very hard to try to make it as like our M1 as possible and it seems they have done a fantastic job.

“The cornering and agility especially is great, which is of course one of the best qualities of the M1.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull