Yamaha launches 2017 MotoGP challenger

The all new Yamaha M1

Yamaha has officially unveiled its 2017 MotoGP challenger at a launch event in Spain.

The Japanese marque is the first to showcase its new bike which will be ridden by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, who replaces the Ducati bound Jorge Lorenzo.

Yamaha’s latest specification M1 features a completely new engine design alongside a revised blue livery with telecommunications giant Movistar remaining as the title sponsor.

The launch marked the first public appearance for new signing Vinales.

The Spaniard believes he has settled into the team well since his move from Suzuki.

“It feels incredible,” he said.

“I feel really good in the team already, I passed one of the special days of the year with all of the Yamaha family.

“I’m really motivated. This year I’m working really hard, I’m doing everything I can to be the best Maverick I can.”

Legendary team-mate Rossi has been impressed by Vinales and is confident the pair can work well together this season.

“Maverick impressed me very much already from the first day,” said Rossi.

“Essentially I prefer that he needed a little bit more time to go fast, but unfortunately for me he’s already very strong.

“I think that especially we can make a good job together to improve the bike and to try to bring the bike to the podium every week.”

Rossi and Vinales are expected to jump aboard the M1 when MotoGP pre-season testing begins at Malaysia’s Sepang International Circuit from January 30.

VIDEO: Yamaha take the wraps off its new 2017 MotoGP bike

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