Yamaha’s satellite racing team, Petronas Yamaha SRT, has only been around for 1.5 seasons. In their first season, they achieved six poles, seven podiums, the ITC (Independent Team Championship), and the ITR (Independent Team Rider) championship.
With the delayed start to the 2020 MotoGP season, they have nonetheless achieved three victories, two through astonishing rookie Fabio Quartararo and one via veteran Franco Morbidelli. This is both due to the quality of talent they secured for the team, as well as the fact that Yamaha works closely with Petronas Yamaha SRT, even providing close-to-factory-team quality bikes of the same model year as the factory team.
And this team closeness only grows closer, as Yamaha has revealed a special limited-edition YZF-R1 that will wear the team colors and some extremely special upgrades to the motorcycle to differentiate it from its “normal” cousins
While MotoGP technologies usually do trickle down to the road bikes over a few years, by the time the tech reaches the road, the on-track bikes are already years ahead. Not so with the Petronas YZF-R1.
First and foremost, the bodywork and fairings sport some of the current YZF-M1R’s aerodynamics, including the winglets. The headlight slits have been filled in, and are painted in black and Petronas teal. The tail section is short and cut down, and the tank is sculpted to imitate the racing bike.
And it’s not just on the surface that the bike receives racing tech. Partnering with Yamaha Austria Racing Team (YART), the fairings are fully carbon fiber, as well as the bike receiving racing footpegs, a quick-action throttle, and a race-tuned ECU.
On top of that, Ohlins FGRT forks up front and Ohlins TTX monoshock at the back keep the bike tightly in contact with the track. Brembo GP4-RX calipers and T-Drive rotors, both full motorsport grade, haul the machine down from speed right quick. Marchesini aluminum wheels are shod in Michelin race slicks.
Yamaha is making only 46 bikes, in celebration of Petronas’ own 46th anniversary, and each motorcycle will set owners back a staggering $54,275 (€46,000). While that may seem expensive for a few bits and some bodywork, the package also includes a KYT helmet, full branded apparel, and most importantly, a full VIP guest pass, including Yamaha Petronas SRT pit access, for a future MotoGP race of the customer’s choosing.
With Yamaha Petronas SRT signing Morbidelli for 2021 and Quateraro going to the factory Yamaha Racing Team 2021, it’s a great deal for a great track bike! Especially if Valentino Rossi, like the rumors say, signs with Petronas Yamaha SRT…