If Yamaha learned one important lesson last year it was this, the M1 was a competitive bike, competitive enough to regularly beat Honda, Dani's Honda. However 93 astride the other RC213V exposed Yamaha's core technical weakness, a fully seamless gear box (or lack there of).
While the M1 is seamless flipping up, downshifting still required clutching, so not only was the Yamaha weak in braking stability and corner entry, this was the Hondas strength.
Yamaha's MotoGP Group Leader Kouichi Tsuji said, the area they had been working on hardest, and where they had made some progress. The next step is the introduction of a new seamless gearbox which allows clutchless downshifts as well as clutchless upshifts, which the existing gearbox allows.
Of course there are still riders that make these bikes go round, Rossi and Lorenzo both return for 2015. Valentino is on the record that he wants another championship, his 10th and Lorenzo want's to show that last year was an odd fluke.Yet the seamless gearbox looks likely to be ready for the 2015 season. Yamaha's test team is currently on track in Sepang – alongside Casey Stoner, who his doing test work for HRC there – and the seamless downshift is one of the things they will be testing, ahead of the first official Sepang test which starts next week, on 4th February. Kouichi Tsuji told Spanish journalist Manuel Pecino that the new gearbox would not be ready for Sepang 1, however, with more testing still needing to be done. Lorenzo and Rossi are likely to get their first taste of the new gearbox at the second Sepang test, at the end of February. Conveniently, that test is far less well attended by journalists...
On the team front FIAT returns to the livery with Abarth badges on the front fairing as well as adding Cromax and Descente to the roster. Over all the biggest change to the livery is the new blue mags
Testing at Sepang begins Tomorrow (Feb 4th 2015), and with that the 2015 MotoGP season is officially underway...