There is a wide array of characters in MotoGP. I’m not just talking about the character of the riders here – there is obviously much to be said about that – but the motorcycles themselves can be said to have personalities that vary a lot across the paddock. We’ve heard riders talking about their motorcycles and the mounts of their opponents often, so let’s look into this.
The most convivial machine prize has to go to the Yamaha YZR-M1. Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales on the factory Yamaha motorcycles and Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger on the Yamaha satellite team Tech3 machines enjoy what is considered the best-balanced machine out there. The crossplane in-line four is easy to use and delivers smooth and predictable acceleration that makes good use of the grip available most of the time, at the price of maybe not being the most powerful.
The Yamaha chassis is stable yet nimble and the all-important front-end feel is among the best there is. The Yamaha YZR-M1 is a superb-handling machine that shines in fast sweepers and in high-speed direction changes. Just like the YZR500 of a bygone era, when Wayne Rainey and Eddie Lawson were the heroes of our racing weekend, the DNA shows through in the current Yamaha YZR-M1.