MotoGP

Yamaha Factory and Petronas SRT launch 2020 MotoGP campaigns

The Yamaha Factory and Petronas SRT teams pull the wraps off their respective M1s ahead of the 2020 MotoGP World Championship

Yamaha’s four contenders for the 2020 MotoGP World Championship have launched their campaigns ahead of the first test of the pre-season with both the Factory and Petronas SRT teams unveiling their bikes.

In what could be the final pre-season MotoGP launch for Valentino Rossi following the news he will be stood down from the factory team in favour of Fabio Quartararo in 2021, the Italian was on hand with Maverick Vinales to pull the wraps off the Monster-sponsored M1.

Having overhauled the livery in 2019 to represent the colours of new title backers Monster, the 2020 Yamaha M1 livery doesn’t deviate too far from that with the same indigo hues interspersed with the energy drink company’s distinctive black and green logo.

Yamaha heads into the new season bidding to close the margin down to Marc Marquez at Honda having ended the 2019 season as the Spaniard’s most consistent rival. Last year Yamaha scored two wins with Vinales and finished third in the overall standings, while Valentino Rossi finished down in seventh position with two podium results.

Both riders have campaigned to improve the Yamaha M1’s engine performance having found itself notably lacking in this area last year, particularly over a race distance, though machine’s famed agility did allow it to qualify well with nine pole positions between Vinales and Quartararo.

This will be the final year Rossi and Vinales line-up together following the confirmation Quartararo will replace Rossi in the Factory team for 2021 and 2022.

Petronas SRT launches 2020 MotoGP campaign

Meanwhile, Petronas SRT also pulled the wraps off its 2020 MotoGP challenger with very different expectations heading into the season compared with twelve months ago.

Making its MotoGP debut this time last year as the official Yamaha satellite entry, it was unclear how the combination of Franco Morbidelli and rookie Quartararo would fare. However, the team – especially Quartararo – proved a revelation, the Frenchman notching up six pole positions, seven podiums and fifth overall.

As such, he has been upgraded to a 2020-spec Yamaha M1 meaning Petronas SRT will run identical machinery to that of the Factory team this year.

Unsurprisingly Petronas SRT haven’t deviated far with its 2020 livery with the prominent aquamarine blue colours of the Malaysian oil giant featuring prominently.

This season will see Petronas SRT aim for its maiden MotoGP victory, while all eyes will be on Quartararo to see if he can make another step ahead of his already confirmed Yamaha Factory switch in 2021. Morbidelli, meanwhile, will be bidding to secure his maiden podium after a solid 2019 campaign.

Quartararo’s switch means Rossi will also be keenly watching the fortunes of Petronas SRT in 2020 as he weighs up whether to continue racing in 2021. Should he choose to continue he’ll ride a factory supported Yamaha in the Petronas SRT outfit.

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