“In 2008, when we won everything: the Constructors’ title, the Riders’ title, the Teams’ title, it provoked a great motivation and reaction from rival riders and factories and they must have all started working to produce a bike capable of beating us,” says David Brivio, Valentino Rossi’s team manager. This year, the M1 is an evolution on the proven success of the 2008 bike. Realizing that the lack of new details is a bit boring, Yamaha put together a promotional video that casts Rossi and teammate/rival Jorge Lorenzo as comedic corporate stooges.
“In 2008 the bike was successful, so there was no reason to change the
concept and the new bike is very similar to the previous one. Changing
to Bridgestone tires during the season, it became clear that the
adjustments required were different from the previous set up. So, the
new bike can have a wider range of adjustments,” reveals Lorenzo’s
manager Daniele Romagnoli. “This allowed us, during the latest tests,
to try different geometries, which improved acceleration after corners
because we managed to increase the contact of the front tire with the
ground. We’ve also worked on engine management controls and maps, which
enhance acceleration; our riders can open the throttle a few meters
“Valentino also worked on the engine and noticed an improvement in
acceleration, and he said we are working in the right direction.”
The two Yamaha riders remain fierce rivals. For 2009 the wall that
separates the two riders’ pit garages will remain in place, denying
each the ability to study the other’s bike setup.
Indeed, Rossi rates Lorenzo as one of his chief challengers in 2009,
saying, “I think that the number one rival will be Stoner. Then also
Pedrosa will be very fast, and of course Lorenzo. [Lorenzo] has a
year’s more experience and this year there is also the monotire, so we
will start equal. He will be a very hard rival to fight.”
The only thing that puzzles us in all this carefully prepared corporate
cardboard is the lack of Rossi’s Monster Energy sponsorship livery on
either his bike or kit. We can’t wait to see what spin the notorious
mischief-maker is able to apply to Monster’s trad logo.
2009 Yamaha YZR-M1 specs:
Engine: Liquid cooled Crossplane crankshaft inline four-cylinder, four stroke.
Power: Over 200 horsepower.
Top Speed: In excess of 199mph.
Transmission: Six-speed cassette-type gearbox, with alternative gear ratios available.
Chassis: Aluminum twin tube delta box, multi-adjustable steering geometry/wheelbase/ride height. Aluminum 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.
Tires: Bridgestone, 16.5 front, 16.5in rear, available as slick, intermediate, wet and hand-cut tires.
Brakes: Brembo, two 320mm carbon front discs, two four-piston calipers.
Single 220mm stainless steel rear disc, twin-piston caliper.
Weigh: 148kg. In accordance with FIM regulations.