On the eve of the second pre-season test of the year in Sepang, Malaysia, Yamaha unveiled the colors they’ll race in to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their commitment to world championship racing. They also released Q&A’s with their two riders, as well as a YouTube video.
Jorge Lorenzo, Yamaha Factory Racing rider:1. Winning the MotoGP World Championship in 2010 was a fantastic achievement, how did you feel afterwards?The MotoGP World Championship is the highest title a rider can get, to get it at 23yrs old makes me feel very proud of my team and of myself. We enjoyed some time over the winter break, I would have liked some more free time but I understand that when you become a champion you have responsibilities for your team! I did have time to take a holiday in Bali and relax, so we celebrated and now it’s time to start again.2. Does it feel different to start your racing season as the reigning world champion?No, I try not to have so much pressure on myself. I always try to improve and work harder every year. If I am prepared things can be good, if I’m not then it’s more difficult. Not everything depends on me, racing is difficult and success depends on many things so I try to make sure the rider is as perfect as can be.3. This year is a very special racing year for Yamaha as it is the 50th Anniversary of MotoGP participation, what does this mean for you to be part of it?When I first came to Yamaha it was a dream for me at 19 yrs old, the legend of Yamaha was very big. To be one champion in the history of Yamaha champions is good. I am looking forward to being part of this special year.4. You have a new team mate this season with Ben Spies joining the team, are you enjoying working with a new rider?Yes, Ben is a friendly guy, he is serious on the track like me but we have no problems between each other and I don’t think we will have in the future either. Our situation is very strong as we are two very fast riders. I think the way we are on track and the way we are away from the track are very different. It’s good for us to have a great relationship, not just for us but to help Yamaha to develop the bike.5. You have completed one test now here at Sepang, what is your feeling for the 2011 YZR-M1?I don’t think any rider is ever totally satisfied but I understand it is really difficult to improve a MotoGP bike at this level when it is already so successful. I have confidence in Yamaha and believe we will keep on having a winning bike like the previous years.6. This year you have chosen to run the number one on your bike, what was your reason to do this?Whenever I have the opportunity I will put the number one on my bike. When I was in Mallorca racing in the Mallorcan championship I always put the number one on and when I won the world championship in 250cc I put the number one on. Traditionally when a rider becomes champion they earn the right to do it so I will keep doing it whenever I have the chance.7. Last year you were famous for your unusual race victory celebrations, do you have anything exciting planned for this year?No plans yet but if I did I couldn’t tell you!
8. You will be testing again tomorrow here at Sepang, what is your focus for this test?I’ve worked a lot on my physical condition over the last two weeks as I felt quite tired in the last test after so long not riding a MotoGP bike. Now with a better condition and more used to the bike again I’m going to push harder and see what Yamaha has to bring for the test.9. Do you have a message for Yamaha racing fans?It’s the 50th anniversary of Yamaha in Grand Prix racing so it’s a very special year. Finally we have the number one on the bike after 17 years so it’s an important year for the whole Yamaha family, I hope you all enjoy this year’s races.10. You’ve had an opportunity to see the 2011 special Yamaha corporate racing blue livery on your bike now, what are your first impressions?It’s really nice, I’m a big fan of the official colours of Yamaha so I’m very happy with it.11. What are your predictions for Ben this season?I think Ben is going to fight for the championship. He is very fast and has already shown he can fight to the front of the pack and was the best satellite rider last year.