Yamaha unveil Valentino Rossi’s stunning new 2009 YZR-M1

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Yamaha has launched its stunning new factory YZR-M1 that the Japanese factory hopes will dominate the 2009 MotoGP world championship.

The bike, which will again run in the colours of Fiat for a third successive season, was first tested by reigning world champion Valentino Rossi back at the end of October in a rain-hit session at the Valencia circuit in Spain.

Featuring a new shorter wheelbase, revised fuel tank position, new steering head adjustment and a more flexible swingarm, the 2009 YZR-M1 was officially unveiled just two days before Rossi rides the bike for the first time this year at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

Prime focus for development has been improving acceleration from slow corners while the shorter wheelbase has been introduced to further improve performance from Bridgestone tyres.

The 2009 YZR-M1 has a tough job emulating the stunning success of last year’s in-line four-cylinder machine, which won ten races and won Yamaha the team and constructor world championships.

2009 Yamaha YZR-M1 specs

Engine: Liquid cooled Crossplane crankshaft inline four-cylinder, four stroke.
Power: Over 200 horsepower (147KW).
Top Speed: In excess of 320kmh.
Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type gearbox, with alternative gear ratios available.
Chassis: Aluminium twin tube delta box, multi-adjustable steering geometry/wheelbase/ride height. Aluminium swingarm.
Suspension: Ohlins upside down front forks and Ohlins rear shock, all adjustable for pre-load, high and low-speed compression and rebound damping. Alternative rear suspension links available.
Wheels: Marchesini 16.5 front, 16.5in rear, available in a variety of rim widths.
Tyres: Bridgestone, 16.5 front, 16.5in rear, available as slick intermediate, wet and hand-cut tyres.
Brakes: Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs, two four-piston callipers.
Single 220mm stainless steel rear disc, twin-piston calliper.
Weight: 148kg

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt