Author: Bike Social Reporter Posted: 06 Oct 2014
Valentino Rossi could be set to test Yamaha’s new generation YZF-R1 in the next few weeks ahead of its grand unveiling in Milan next month.
The MotoGP superstar could test the new R1 in the middle of the flyaway Grand Prix races scheduled for the next three weeks according to reports in the Italian media.
Bike Social understands that the latest R1 has been developed with a heavily race-focused philosophy. As such, it is expected that two versions will be unveiled, a ‘standard’ version and an ‘R’ race version.
The current model impressed on the racing scene when uncovered in 2009, going on to win both World and British Superbike titles that year, but has since fallen way behind its high-power competitors from Aprilia, Kawasaki and BMW. Anybody who caught yesterday’s British Superbike races from Silverstone will have seen that Yamaha’s Josh Brookes looked to have brought a knife to a gun fight against the BMW S 1000 RR of Ryuichi Kiyonari and Kawasaki ZX10-R of Shane Byrne.
Yamaha are deadly serious about returning to the top in production racing, they want the new R1 to dominate on race circuits worldwide en route to becoming the market leading litre sports bike. Some may say the ‘Win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ premise died some time ago but Yamaha clearly think there’s still something to it.
Putting Rossi on the bike shows just how serious they are, the Italian is arguably one of the most talented motorcycle racers of the current era and with race teams in the British Superbike, IDM and MotoAmerica/AMA Championships expecting delivery of their race-spec bikes in early November his feedback is likely to be appreciated.
The Italian’s value won’t stop there either, Rossi is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the motorcycling industry, if he says the bike is good, it will sell.