Yamaha Motor officially kick started the 2015 road racing season this week with the first ever Official Race Teams combined test. The Alcarras circuit in sunny Spain played host to an incredible spectacle as more than 20 fully race prepared next generation YZF-R1s and YZF-R1Ms made their track debut for the first ever shakedown.
Endurance World Championship teams GMT94 Yamaha and Monster Energy Yamaha (YART) were joined by British Superbike’s Milwaukee Yamaha, IDM German Superbike Championship’s Team Yamaha MGM (Michael Galinski Motorsport) and European Superstock 1000 contenders The Morillas Racing School Team (MRS) for the two day test.
2014 Endurance World Champions David Checa, Kenny Foray and Mathieu Gines put the R1 through it’s paces whilst rubbing elbows with top level multiple class riders including Sheridan Morais, Broc Parkes, Josh Brooks, Damian Cudlin, Max Neukirchner, Ivan Silva, Kev Coghlan, Florian Marino and many more. Alongside Yamaha’s Official Racing Teams a further 11 supported teams were present for the shakedown, providing a unique opportunity for Yamaha Motor Europe’s Racing Division to capture valuable data to further develop the already formidable YZF-R1. The advanced MotoGP level electronics package combined with a compact size, low weight and other technical advances meant the riders were able to start finding a competitive pace very early in the test.
With some championships starting in just a few weeks time, the test has proved a solid platform to launch the 2015 Yamaha Racing hunt for glory with the all-new YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M.
Mathieu Gines – GMT94 Yamaha
“It’s a different track here at Alcarras and not very easy, but it’s good for testing the YZF-R1 because it has fast and slow corners and it’s good to see the potential of the bike, which I think will be very big. The feeling is very positive. It’s a great bike! We hope to repeat our performance of last year and win the World Championship. We will give it our all. I also ride in the IDM Superstock too and I hope to win in that championship with this fantastic bike as well.”
Broc Parkes – Milwaukee Yamaha
“We are very impressed with the bike. Considering we only started testing the bike two days ago and on the second day we had already improved. We didn’t expect the bike to be so good as it is so quickly and we are very happy where we are. The bike has a really nice and easy power-curve. It feels a little like a GP bike. It’s easy to ride and smooth with the power. It’s my first year in the British Superbikes so I have to learn quite a few tracks. I want to be in the top six to be in the showdown and then we ‘ll see what happens.”
Sheridan Morais – Monster Energy Yamaha (YART)
“These testing days have been awesome and the YZF-R1 is living up to everything I thought it was. Back in South Africa there has been a hype about the new bike. Yamaha runs a team in South Africa and they are very excited and have been messaging me the whole time. I’m really happy with the bike, it’s so fast and it handles good and also with the YART team we’ve been making good progress. There’s a lot of electronics to the bike and it’s like a full-work World Superbike of a few years ago. The electronics are really good. The handling comes with the Ohlins suspension and it’s impressive as well. We’re doing World Superbike lap times around here, and everybody else is too, so the bike is definitely capable. It’s got a strong engine and without handling it wouldn’t go around with these lap times. I think with this equipment we can definitely win races.”
Florian Marino – The Morillas Racing School Team (MRS)
“The test went really good and I am really happy with the work from the team. We have tried many things, some worked and some didn’t, but at least now we know. It’s a good thing because that’s what these tests are for and we are really happy to try everything we needed. We are now at a point where I feel quite good and I’m able to push. As we still have two more tests to go, this is really good and I am really happy. My team is still looking for more solutions, but we are definitely heading in the right direction.”
Max Neukirchner – Team Yamaha MGM (Michael Galinski Motorsport)
“For us the first day was quite good. I am really surprised about the power of the bike. The handling and braking is really good and while working we found a little bit more rear grip and now it feels like a bomb from my side. For me the team is completely new. I changed team, bike and class, so everything is completely new. The power is what I like best about the bike and second comes the braking. When I brake after the long straight, the bike is perfect and the brakes are very consistent and also the electronics and traction control are working really well. We want to fight for the IDM title, I think it’s going to be a tough year but we are a strong team and we will be fighting for the podium.”