Valentino Rossi's 2010 Yamaha MotoGP bike unveiled

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This is Valentino Rossi’s new 2010 factory YZR-M1 machine that Yamaha hopes will catapult the Italian to a 10th world title this year.

Yamaha won ten races in 2009 to complete the Triple Crown of rider, team and constructor titles in another dominant campaign for the Japanese factory.

Rossi and Spanish team-mate rode the new in-line four-cylinder machine for the first time as winter testing resumed at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia today.

Yamaha revealed that the key changes to the new YZR-M1 were on the chassis while it also has a new long life engine with riders restricted to using only six engines for the entire 18-round campaign.

Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha boss Davide Brivio said: “The work has been concentrated in two main points, first of all the chassis, to improve even further the characteristics of our machine and especially on the engine, due to the new technical regulation.

"Next year we will have only 6 engines for the whole season and this means that the engine must have a longer mileage, and this is where our engineers have concentrated most of their energies.

"The engine has to remain fast with good performance but must have longer mileage and this is not easy. The season will tell us if we have done a good job. I think that technology is always in progress and developing. Performances are always improvable.

"MotoGP is a pretty young sport on the four-strokes technology, because we started less than 10 years ago. With the cars, for example, they have always used four-stroke engines and their performances have been increasing year by year. I think that we can still improve in MotoGP.

"Furthermore, the work of the engineers changes year-by-year depending on the technical regulation: change of capacity, change of durability, etc. There are many new rules that come year by year and make the engineers’ job very difficult and challenging.”

Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis spoke at the launch of the new bike in the Far East and said: “2009 was the most successful year for Yamaha’s racing activities for many years. It will be difficult to repeat such a performance but we are intending to try! We are fortunate to have the same fantastic rider line-up with Valentino and Jorge and we are looking forward to getting started with our work on track.

"Of course, Yamaha has not been able to escape the difficulties caused by the global economic situation but MotoGP forms an important part of the company’s recovery plan. The MotoGP program is a very important brand image promotion activity and the racing requires us to demonstrate all of our company’s power in engineering, organizational and passion if we are to be successful at the top level.”

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Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt