Pata Yamaha unveiled the team’s livery at the same bunfight where Rossi unwrapped the ‘it-looks-the-same’ MotoGP bike. Riders Alex Lowes - who is taking part in the upcoming Jerez and Aragon tests despite injury - and Sylvain Guintoli pulled the covers off the bikes in Barcelona.
Yamaha Europe boss Eric de Seynes was on hand to provide some words of wisdom to the assembled throng about the WSBK project, and did spake thus:
We arrived at the beginning of last year with a totally new YZF-R1, which we really believed was a game-changing machine. We went straight into racing activity across the world in numerous classes and were immediately able to be successful wherever we raced.
“However, the bike arrived quite late last year so it was impossible to start immediately WorldSBK without the valuable year of development, racing data and experience we have built. Now we think we cannot wait anymore to bring back YZF-R1 to the challenge it was born for.
“We know it will be a new and challenging adventure, and this is the reason why we have carefully selected all the persons and the partners that will be with us, including the new title sponsor Pata, who make an important contribution to the project. Working with the PATA Yamaha WorldSBK Team we believe we are ready to make a big push and start fighting from the first race.”