Rossi and Viñales with Movistar Yamaha Team boost morale at The Kitte event | Valentino Rossi Blog

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rossi and Viñales with Movistar Yamaha Team boost morale at The Kitte event

Today Movistar Yamaha MotoGP riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi raised their energy levels at the KITTE event in Tokyo, Japan. They met up with 43 passionate ASEAN Yamaha dealers, whose support leaves them fully motivated to start the Grand Prix of Japan this weekend.

With the Motul Grand Prix of Japan just a few days away, the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team have made their ways across Europe to Asia. Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi can’t wait to start their YZR-M1s' engines at the Twin Ring Motegi track on Friday and kick off Yamaha’s home race, but first, they made some time to experience the Japanese passion for motorsports.

As soon as the two Factory Yamaha men arrived in Japan, they were warmly welcomed by the local fans and received an equally enthusiastic greeting at the KITTE event in Tokyo today.

Forty-three of Yamaha’s top dealers from ASEAN countries (13 from Taiwan, 12 from the Philippines, 11 from Vietnam and 7 from Thailand) attended the very special get-together to show their love for the MotoGP riders and their support of the Yamaha teams.

The morning schedule of the KITTE event allowed the dealers to watch Viñales and Rossi live on stage during a Q&A session. The teammates were joined by Monster Yamaha Tech3 Team’s Johann Zarco and together they shared their expectations and strategies for this weekend’s race.

While Rossi had to move on to a video shoot with ENEOSViñales was back in the spotlight in the afternoon, after a quick lunch break and interviews. This time the two remaining MotoGP stars were also accompanied by local hero and triple Suzuka8H endurance race winner Katsuyuki Nakasuga, who will be participating as a wildcard in the upcoming Japanese Grand Prix. During the second half of the Q&A, he gave an insight into his work as the official Yamaha MotoGP test rider, developing the YZR-M1.

The KITTE event was wrapped up with a few lucky fans getting the chance to ask the riders questions face-to-face, and pose for a photo with them and 2017’s Miss Universe Japan, Momoko Abe, and her fellow beauty pageant finalists Mako Sato, Momoe Yada and Ai Kobayashi.

Besides meeting up with their MotoGP heroes, the Yamaha dealers also reminisced on Yamaha’s 500th Grand Prix victories milestone, that was achieved in Le Mans, France, this year. A "Blue" theme corner commemorated this incredible accomplishment, displaying historical Yamaha GP bikes and engines. The venue also featured a special tribute corner dedicated to Japanese rider Norick Abe, whose three 500cc wins contributed to Yamaha’s overall Grand Prix victory tally.

Valentino Rossi: "Every year I'm very happy to come to Japan because the hospitality and the fans' welcome is always great. I've met many ASEAN Yamaha dealers and it's always nice to see how much passion they put into what they do. The atmosphere here is always unique. In the afternoon we did a video shoot with Eneos, our important sponsor, and now we start thinking about Motegi. We are ready to prepare for this GP and we will do our best!"

Maverick Vinales: "It’s always good to have the Yamaha Family all together. I’ve spent time with the Factory guys many times and it’s such a pleasure to be here at the KITTE event. The venue was really nice and the crowds here are always very friendly. Yesterday we arrived in Japan, which is a place I like a lot, so we had one day for this event. It was good to get an overview of the history of Yamaha, to understand it and also to see myself and my bike is a part of it. After this event, we start focusing on this weekend’s GP. I like the layout of the Motegi track, so it’s always good to come here. We hope we can do a good weekend - that we can be strong and fight for a top result. It’s important to try to reduce the gap to the leader. We’re going to try to get in front of our main rivals, and if that means we have to win the race, we will certainly try."

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