Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team‘s Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales continued their ’media tour‘ with a short but rewarding stop-over in the Philippines. Despite the shortness of the visit the riders were determined to make the most of their time. They met up with the media and Yamaha dealers and also found time in between to entertain their fans in a special race activity.
Manila, 28 Jan 2017: Just a few days after their visit to Indonesia, Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales reunited in Quezon City, near Manila, for a dealer event and a special outdoor racing activity, the ‘Yamaha GP’, organised by Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc. (YMPH).
The teammates were enthusiastically greeted by the Filipino fans upon arrival at Manila Airport on January 27th. The locals were excited to welcome back Rossi, who visited the Philippines before in 2014, and keen on giving Viñales an unforgettable taste of all their country has to offer, as it was his first time visiting.
The riders started the next day with a press conference at the Robinsons Novaliches Trade Hall together with Yamaha Motor Company’s General Manager Motorsports Division, Kouichi Tsuji, and President of Yamaha Motor Philippines, Inc., Toru Osugi. This was followed by a photoshoot and then it was time for action. Eager to take part in the ’Yamaha GP‘, the riders headed outside in their leathers where two Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi stood waiting. Rossi and Viñales entertained the crowd by doing a few laps on a small ’track‘ created in the parking lot and were joined by YMPH‘s riders afterwards for a group photo.
After lunch the pair took time to talk to the media before they had to pack their bags for the Sepang MotoGP Official Test, to be held from January 30th – February 1st. This test will be the first occasion for Rossi and Viñales to ride the 2017 Yamaha YZR-M1 in its new colours as they prepare for the coming season.
Kouichi Tsuji, General Manager, Motorsports Division, said: “This stop in the Philippines, though short, was certainly meaningful, because we want to show that the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team and its riders value the passionate support of the fans. Experiencing the country‘s culture and being able to communicate face-to-face with its press and the fans plays a big part in understanding Yamaha‘s philosophy of Kando* and the ’human approach‘ that we hold so dear in our company. It was enjoyable for all to see the riders having fun on the Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi and now that Rossi and Viñales have ’warmed their muscles‘ and felt the support of the fans, we can focus on the task ahead and fly to the test in Sepang with maximum motivation.”
Movistar Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi said: “This was my second time visiting the Philippines and I‘m even more impressed by the country, the culture and the atmosphere than the first time. The people are all very friendly so I enjoyed my stay here a lot. It was nice to meet the Filipino press and the fans again and put on a little show for them, riding the Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi. It‘s not as big as my M1, but it‘s fast. Though we couldn‘t do a proper race, Maverick and I did a couple of laps with the fans watching and we had fun, but now it‘s time for serious work again. We will soon fly to Malaysia for the test in Sepang and start the season.”
Maverick Vinales, the other Yamaha MotoGP rider said: “This was a new experience for me, I had never visited the Philippines before, so I‘m very happy that I‘ve had the chance now to get a quick first impression of the country. The people here are so friendly and they really put in an effort to make us feel welcome. The crowds at the “Yamaha GP” event were cheering very loudly during the press conference and it‘s great to see how passionate they are about motorsports. I also had a lot of fun on track today with Valentino, riding a Yamaha SNIPER 150 MXi. I enjoyed my time in Manila a lot so it‘s a shame that we have to leave already after just 24 hours, but I‘m also looking forward to riding my YZR-M1 again in Sepang in just a few days’ time.