Yamaha unveils 2012 factory YZR-M1 bike

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This is the new factory YZR-M1 1000cc machine that Yamaha hopes will claim back the MotoGP world title from rivals Honda in 2012.

Unveiled during a special presentation on the eve of the final winter test session at the Jerez circuit in Spain tonight, Yamaha confirmed that the engine is a full 1000cc producing over 240bhp.

Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies have both expressed their delight with the early performance of the YZR-M1 machine after back-to-back test sessions at the Sepang circuit in Malaysia.

And Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis is confident the pair will be strong contenders to dethrone dominant Aussie Casey Stoner and capture the inaugural 1000cc MotoGP crown.

Assessing Lorenzo’s prospects he said: “If you look at Jorge’s last three seasons he was second then first then second, so it’s time to be first again. I think he has every potential.

“For me there are two riders who have a ‘plus alpha’ at this moment and they are Casey Stoner and Jorge Lorenzo, so I have every confidence that Jorge, in terms of his capacity, is definitely able to win the world championship again this year.

“I have no doubt. Let’s see how it works out with the bike and the competition. It’s a long season and many things can happen but I expect Jorge to win many races this season.”

And what of Texan Spies and his bid to add to his one MotoGP victory in Assen last June?

Jarvis added: “Last year was his first full year with us in the factory team and I think that from what I have seen in Sepang and I have talked to Ben in several occasions, he’s stronger physically but also mentally.

“The experience of last year will have benefited him. He won a race last year in Assen, which was fabulous to see, I expect to see him win more races this year. I think Ben has unfulfilled potential still in MotoGP.”

Jarvis said he anticipates the 2012 campaign to be predominantly a battle for supremacy between Yamaha and Honda again, with Ducati yet to show front-running pace with its new GP12 machine.

Jarvis added: “Predictions are always difficult to make. I would say my predictions are that we will see very exciting races. I think it should be an interesting battle in particular I expect between Honda and Yamaha, similar to last year.

“I think Yamaha will be much more competitive than we were last year and I think that we will win more races than we did last year.

“In terms of the final season result nobody knows… but our challenge, our target is to have at least two blue riders in the first three and one on the top step. Let’s see what happens.”

Lorenzo and Spies will debut the new livery when the final pre-season testing kicks-off in Jerez tomorrow (Friday).

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt