For the 2020 MotoGP season, it appears that Monster Energy Yamaha will be using the same graphics as in the previous year. However, during an interview satellite team Petronas Yamaha Sepang Racing Team (SRT) principal Datuk Radzlan Razali, paultan.org was informed the 2020 YZF-R1 is an all new race machine, with new chassis and engine.
This means factory team riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales are on all new bikes with carbon-fibre fairing and swingarm, as is Petronas SRT rider Fabio Quartararo, who posted fastest time in the Winter Test at Sepang. Meanwhile, Quartararo’s teammate Franco Morbidelli is riding a 2019 YZR-M1 with “improvements”, said Radzlan.
With Rossi and Vinales still in the first team for 2020 and as is known, Vinales has signed on 2021, fan favourite Rossi is still undecided on his future plans. Rossi’s contract with Yamaha ends in 2020 and he has been quoted as saying he would wait till mid-season to decide his future in MotoGP.
Rossi’s place in the Monster Energy Yamaha team will be taken by Quartararo with speculation that Rossi might move down to the satellite team, stay on as a Yamaha test rider or retire to concentrate on his VR46 race team. In other news, Jorge Lorenzo, who had a dismal and injury-hit season with Ducati on the Desmosedici GP19 – injuring his back with a bad fall in Assen last season – has come on board with Yamaha as a test rider.
Last year, Vinales placed third in the overall rider standings while Rossi managed seventh. For Vinales, this is his fourth season with Yamaha, while “The Doctor” has been racing for Yamaha for 15 years.