The Yamaha YZR-M1 is an 800cc motorcycle specifically developed bi Yamaha Motor Company to race in the current MotoGP series. It succeeded the 500cc YZR500 bi the 2002 season an wis originally developed with a 990cc engine. Since then, the YZR-M1 haes been continuously developed into several iterations.
Table o contents
2002 – 2003
2002 wis the first season which allowed 990 cc 4-strokes to be raced alongside 500 cc 2-strokes. In a change from their V-4 YZR500, Yamaha designed the YZR-M1 (for "Mission Ane") with an inline-4 engine, in order to hae a longer swingarm an shorter wheelbase. Also, Yamaha wanted to preserve the superior handling o the YZR500, so the M1's engine wis designed to fit in a chassis similar to the YZR500's. The M1 wis ootfitted with an electronic engine management system that controlled the engine braking endemic to 4-strokes
The M1 wis test-ridden an developed bi Max Biaggi, John Kocinski, Norihiko Fujiwara an Kyoji Namba throughout 2001. It wis raced in the 2002 season bi Biaggi an Carlos Checa on the factory team, an towards the end o the season M1s wur also provided to Norifumi Abe, Olivier Jacque an Shinya Nakano. In 2003, the engine went frae carburetion to fuel injection, an the Engine Management System wis changed to the Idle Control System
Biaggi achieved 2 wins in 2002, an placed seicont in the final standings as did Yamaha in the manufacturer's championship. In 2003, M1 riders wur Checa, Alex Barros, Olivier Jacque, Marco Melandri, Shinya Nakano an Norifumi Abe, an there wur no wins an Yamaha came in third in the manufacturer's championship.
Valentino Rossi signed a twa-year contract with Yamaha, reportedly worth in excess of USD$6 million per season, in a move that wis described bi the press as "biting off more than he could chew". It wis widely felt not only bi his critics an media pundits, but also bi mony fans, that even he would not be able to bring the struggling YZR-M1 up to the level o the hereto all conquering Honda RC211V. A well publicised increase in the pace o development o the Honda machine over the winter season fuelled expectation that a Honda RC211V in the hands o riders the calibre o Max Biaggi an Sete Gibernau would hae no problem in retaining the Warld Title for Honda.
Meanwhile, Rossi wasn't the anly defection Honda haed to contend with; Jeremy Burgess (crew chief for Rossi at Honda), along with the majority o his long established crew, wur convinced bi Rossi to join him at Yamaha. This wis a shrewd move, an wis cited bi Rossi in his autobiography as being instrumental in providing him with the strong basis necessary for launching an attack on the Championship with the YZR-M1.
During 2003/2004 winter testing, Yamaha stepped up to the plate bi pullin out all the stops in their collaboration with Rossi an Burgess. Through a systematic regime o innovation an testing, they sought to refine the M1's traditionally strong traits such as good braking an quick handling (which impressed Rossi), an marry them with good balance an transition to power. Working closely with Rossi an Burgess, Yamaha engineers under YZR-M1 project leader Koichi Tsuji experimented with a number o engine modifications in an attempt to fix the pouer delivery, an finally it wis decided to go ahead with a fower valve per cylinder head configuration (as opposed to the earlier five valve head), with a specially refined cylinder firing order. This turned the straight fower cylinder engine frae a traditional "screamer", where the pouer pulses ar spaced equally (every 180 crank degrees) in the fower stroke cycle, into a so called "long bang" engine where the pouer pulses ar grouped unevenly across the cycle (270-180-90-180). This firing order mimics that o a V4 engine while maintaining the desirable engine packaging o a traditional inline fower cylinder. These developments significantly improved the torque characteristics o the engine, an coupled with slight changes to the position o the engine in the chassis, made the M1 much easier to control at the limit o adhesion while exiting corners. Efter a frantic winter o development an testing, the team showed the warld that they haed made a significant step in the right direction, when Rossi an the M1 won the BMW car at the 2004 pre season IRTA test at Catalunya, bi posting the fastest lap of the open session (similar to normal race qualifying).
With the traditional first race o the season at Suzuka off the list due to safety considerations, the 2004 season started at Welkom in South Africa. In a quite remarkable race, Rossi came through to claim the victory, not only silencing his critics, but becoming the first man in heestory to win twa GPs back to back with twa different manufacturers. Rossi would go on to claim 8 more GP wins on his way to win the 2004 Championship, with a tally o 304 points. Honda riders Sete Gibernau an Max Biaggi took seicont an third with 257 an 217 points respectively.
The 2004 season would therefore unfold to give Rossi the opportunity he had sought; to prove that it wis his talent rather than just the bike that haed won him his championships. In so doing, he also achieved ane o the great coups in the heestory o Motorcycle Racin.
The YZR-M1 an Rossi partnership continued to dominate in 2005, when the Championship wis won bi a massive 147 point margin over Honda rider Marco Melandri in seicont place. The 2005 M1 wis hailed bi insiders to be a great race bike, it illustrated that Yamaha with input frae Rossi haed created a race bike to beat the others quite easily. Rossi would go on later to say that the 2005 M1 wis the greatest bike he haes ever ridden.
The 2006 season proved a little more problematic for Yamaha, with the M1 suffering frae chatter frae the very first race o the year. It would be a recurring problem for all Yamaha riders in the first third o the season, an wis thought to be a function o three major winter season developments; namely a significant hike in engine pouer, a new stiffer chassis an a new construction o Michelin tyre with an even stickier compound an revised profile. Because all three developments occurred almost simultaneously, the usual meticulous testing o ane development at a time wis compromised an it would take much o the early season to understand an overcome the problems.
This setback for Yamaha an the YZR-M1 wis largely responsible for Valentino Rossi's mediocre season start in 2006, manifest bi poor qualifying performances an a brace o bad luck, he also suffered a wrist injury mid season, which added to his woes. In the final third o a memorable season, the M1's problems wur virtually eradicated, an Valentino Rossi turned in a string o performances that would close doun a large points gap on Championship leader Nicky Hayden aboard the Honda RC211V. It wis anly in the final race o the season that the M1 an Valentino Rossi were beaten bi just five points an Yamaha relinquished the Championship back to Honda in the hands o Nicky Hayden, who only won twa races that season. Hayden would later state that Rossi deserved to be champion, but luck an DNF'S cost him the championship. Valentino Rossi would win 5 races in 2006 to Nicky Hayden's 2, a fact that wis well played during the off season.
Regulations again changed for the 2007 season with the capacity o MotoGP machines reduced to 800 cc in an effort bi the FIM to reduce the ever increasing speeds o the 990 cc bikes (capable of well in excess o 210 mph (340 km/h)); therefore the YZR-M1 would continue in 2007 in 800 cc form. In post-2006 an in 2007 pre-season testing, the new 800 cc equipped YZR-M1 (along with other 800 cc MotoGP bikes) haes been paradoxically quicker straight oot o the box than the 990 cc version o the M1. This is bi virtue o later, harder braking, quicker handling, higher corner speeds, an more controllable traction, an as the 2007 season got under way, the 800 cc YZR-M1 wis expected to get quicker as its development continued.
The chatter that plagued the early 2006 YZR-M1 has been eliminated in the switch to 800 cc. While the Main sponsor for the Offeecial Factory Yamaha Team haes switched from Camel with their distinctive yellow an blue livery, to that of The Italian Motor Manufacturer Fiat. The team will run initially in a blue an white colour scheme an haes hinted at the unusual intention o running a variety o colour schemes throughout the season.
The 2008 YZR-M1 wis regarded as the best all roond bike in MotoGP. Rossi won the 2008 Championship bi a record margin an dominated podium finishes all season. Team mate Jorge Lorenzo managed a first ever Rookie win on the M1 at the Portuguese GP an haed 6 podium finishes. Many along with Rossi hae said that the YZR-M1 wis the best bike o 2008 season, something that wis well proven during the heated battles Rossi haed with Casey Stoner on the Ducati.
5 Warld Championships wan:
Valentino Rossi in 2004, 2005, 2008 an 2009
Jorge Lorenzo in 2010
62 races won:
2002 Biaggi 2
2004 Rossi 9
2005 Rossi 11
2006 Rossi 5
2007 Rossi 4
2008 Rossi 9, Lorenzo 1
2009 Rossi 6, Lorenzo 4
2010 Lorenzo 9, Rossi 2
|Yamaha YZR-M1 (2010) Specifications|
|Engine type:||Liquid-cooled, in-line, 4-cylinder, 4-stroke with 16-valve DOHC|
|Ignition:||Magneti Marelli with adjustable mapping - NGK spark plugs|
|Fuel System:||Fuel injection|
|Lubrication system:||Wet sump - Motul Oils|
|Maximum pouer:||Around 147 kW (200 bhp)|
|Maximum speed:||In excess o 360 km/h (220.1mph)|
|Type:||6-speed cassette-type gearbox, with alternative gear ratios available|
|Clutch:||Dry multi-plate slipper clutch|
|Chassis an running gear|
|Frame type:||Twin-tube aluminium delta box frame, multi-adjustable steering geometry, wheelbase, ride height, with aluminium swingarm|
|Front suspension:||Fully-adjustable Öhlins inverted telescopic forks|
|Rear suspension:||Braced aluminium swingarm with single Öhlins shock and rising-rate linkage|
|Front/rear wheels:||16.5 inch front, 16.5 inch rear, available in a variety o rim widths|
|Front/rear tyres:||Bridgestone slicks, intermediates, wets or hand-cut tyres. 16.5 inch front, 16.5 inch rear|
|Front brake:||Twin 320 mm carbon discs with radial mounted fower-piston Brembo calipers|
|Rear Brake:||Single 220 mm ventilated stainless steel disc with twin-piston Brembo caliper|
|Weight:||148 kg, in accordance with FIM regulations|
|Fuel capacity:||21 litres, in accordance with FIM regulations|