Yamaha has announced that the competition debut of the 2018 YZ450F will take place this weekend at the 2017 MXGP of Czech Republic, with Arnaud Tonus of the Wilvo Yamaha MXGP team at the controls. Per Yamaha, Tonus has spent recent weeks testing the production version of the bike and will line up at Loket aboard a bike that is what consumers will be able to purchase soon. This is a notable move for Yamaha, as the MXGP series is known for allowing exotic works bikes to compete. The press release goes on to state that factory riders Romain Febvre and Jeremy VanHorebeek will take delivery of true factory 2018 bikes later this summer.
Although the bike looks similar to years past, every detail of the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F has been refined or revised. The dimensions of the frame are more square, the engine has improved power and features electric start as a standard feature. Our full recap of the 2018 Yamaha YZ450F can be viewed here.
Tonus, a Swiss rider that spent two years injury-plagued years in the United States, returned to the MXGP scene in 2017 with Wilvo Yamaha MXGP. Consistent results through the season have him ranked tenth overall in the championship standings and have earned him a contract extension through 2019 with Wilvo Yamaha MXGP.
The full press release from Yamaha on the new bike is posted below…
Fresh from the unveiling of the all-new 2018 YZ450F in Ottobiano, Italy, earlier this month – Yamaha Motor Europe and Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP are pleased to announce that Wilvo Yamaha’s Arnaud Tonus will race the all-new 2018 machine at the MXGP of Czech Republic in Loket on the weekend of July 23rd.
The Swiss sensation, who recently signed a two-year deal with Yamaha Motor Europe, will be racing the 2018 YZ450F for the remaining seven rounds of the FIM Motocross World Championship, and also at the most prestigious motocross event of the year, the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.
Fellow Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP rider Shaun Simpson will also ride the revolutionary piece of machinery upon his return to racing, which he hopes will be at the penultimate round of the MXGP series, the MXGP of The Netherlands at the Dutch TT Circuit, Assen.
Tonus has been testing the new generation YZ450F which has already proved popular among riders, particularly for the new electric start that has been added without sacrificing any weight. The bike’s weight is identical to the weight of the 2017 model that had no electric start. The 2018 YZ450F is narrower and more compact, offering extra stability and control over rough terrain, better braking, and even greater traction. The power delivery is also more linear which means the bike has a smooth delivery of power and acceleration is optimized. The fuel and ignition maps can be altered to suit any rider or track terrain/conditions via the all-new ‘Power Tuner Application’. The app offers real-time engine data and diagnostics and has a maintenance screen that logs the number of running hours etc. An archive of data is also accessible. It is FREE of charge and can be downloaded on any smartphone via the AppStore or on Google Play.
While the works version of the MY 2018 YZ450F is still in development, Monster Energy Yamaha Factory Racing riders Romain Febvre and Jeremy Van Horebeek are expected to debut the 2018 YZ450FM later this year.
“It is impressive to see the development of the 2018 YZ450F and the extremely high level of bike that has been delivered from Japan. The bike has already been tested and has received a lot of positive comments and feedback, and it is good to see that the riders are happy with the bike and how it handles and performs. It’s exciting to have the Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP team out on the 2018 bike in the Czech Republic and the rest of the season, and it’s particularly exciting to see how the bike performs at Grand Prix level.” – Erik Eggens, Yamaha Motor Europe MX Racing Manager
“We are very excited to have Arnaud already on the 2018 bike. We have done some testing and immediately Arnaud was feeling good and he was really positive about riding it. It looked as though it was handling really well and it has strong performance so we are really looking forward to this weekend.” – Louis Vosters, Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP Team Manager
“I’m pleased I get to ride the 2018 YZ450F at Loket this weekend. I got to test it a couple of months ago and I felt good straight away. Since then, I haven’t had too much time on the bike but I have been able to get out on it a few times and I feel really comfortable on it. My speed is good, and the bike feels strong so I am confident I can do well on it.” – Arnaud Tonus, Wilvo Yamaha Official MXGP rider