February 5, 2019—Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. held the 2019 Yamaha Motorsports Media Conference today at Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, where the first official MotoGP test of the 2019 season is set to get underway. Yamaha MotoGP racers Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales made the short hop to the venue following the official launch of the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team they attended the day before in Jakarta, Indonesia to join numerous other Yamaha riders for the event. Standing in front of their newly-unveiled YZR-M1s, they vowed to battle for the victory this season in front of the media gathered and the motorsports fans who watched live around the world.
Yasutaka Suzuki, Executive General Manager of the 2nd Business Unit of Motorcycle Business Operations at Yamaha Motor, opened the conference with a short speech. “The 2019 season is just around the corner, and we believe that the fierce and challenging arena of racing will help us fulfil our corporate mission to be a ‘ Kando* Creating Company.’ We will strive once again to take wins and hope you look forward to seeing Yamaha teams rise to the challenge and succeed on the racetrack in 2019.”
Also, Yamaha Motor President and CEO Yoshihiro Hidaka delivered a video message to the audience about the significance racing holds with Yamaha: “For Yamaha, the history of our company is very much the history of our efforts in racing. Our predecessors on this decades-spanning journey have won many races, ... sharing Kando with people worldwide in dramatic ways. Their footsteps are embodiments of our ‘Revs your Heart’ brand slogan as well as the foundation of our vision for the future as we strive to expand human possibilities.”
Following that, Yamaha’s riders contesting the World Superbike, All Japan Road Race and Asia Road Racing championships took to the stage alongside their respective racebikes to share their goals for this season. The second part of the conference brought the four MotoGP riders from the Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team and PETRONAS Yamaha Sepang Racing Team to the stage along with their 2019 YZR-M1 machines for a Q&A session. They talked about their impressions of this year’s YZR-M1, what they hoped to check and confirm at the Sepang test, and their goals for the 2019 season before the event came to a close.
*Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value.
Images from the conference available here:
Conference video (English):