For 2009, the Yamaha YZR-M1 seems to have followed a relatively natural evolution based on the ‘why change it if it ain’t broken’ concept, Fiat Yamaha Team being more worried of what the competition is going to come up with as the winter’s ending is always a tense time of the year.
Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo will be working with a mind blowing power to weight ratio in 2009 and they seem pretty enthusiastic about their new bikes in the launch video that Yamaha-Motor-Europe has just released.
The funny thing in the Specs is that they don’t forget to mention ‘over’ and ‘in excess’ behind the horsepower and top speed figures.
Press release after the jump.
How to follow up the standout bike of the 2008 season for 2009? That was the question posed to Fiat Yamaha when building the factory version of the M1. The bike got its first run-out with World Champion Valentino Rossi in post-race testing at Valencia last year, and has undergone further development over the winter. Today, as part of the factory team´s official online presentation, details of the new machine were released to the public.
`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 Davide Brivio, Team Manager for Rossi´s side of the partitioned garage.
`We´ll do the same. This is the nice thing about motor racing: during the winter there is a lot of talk, because this or that rider is faster on this or that occasion, the fans and the journalists start passing judgements and making forecasts. Then, the facts disprove many of them and this is the most interesting part of our job.´
The specifications for the 2009 bike reveal a machine not too dissimilar to the previous winning formula, a philosophy noted by second Team Manager Daniele Romagnoli.
`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 tyres 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,´ says the man behind Jorge Lorenzo´s title push in 2009.
`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 tyre with the ground. We´ve also worked on engine management controls and maps, which enhance acceleration; our riders can open the throttle a few metres earlier.
`Valentino also worked on the engine and noticed an improvement in acceleration, and he said we are working in the right direction. So, we´ve just got to wait for the Sepang test with Jorge to have the whole package. This year the Japanese and Yamaha will surprise again. We´re confident the bike will be equally competitive in 2009.
2009 YZR-M1 Specs in full
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. In accordance with FIM regulations.