News 3 May 2019

Monster Energy Yamaha signs MotoGP eSport world champion

Teenage gamer Lorenzo Daretti officially confirmed as factory Yamaha rider.

Image: Supplied.

The Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP team has signed double MotoGP eSport world champion Lorenzo Daretti to represent the organisation in the 2019 season, becoming the first factory gamer in the sport.

Yamaha made the official announcement on the eve of Jerez, where 19-year-old Daretti joined Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales in the presentation led by Yamaha Motor Racing managing director Lin Jarvis.

Jarvis introduced a video showing the highlights of Daretti’s career, securing the 2017 and 2018 MotoGP eSport crowns. Daretti then entered the stage, which featured a custom Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP replica YZF-R1, sporting his race number of 58 and personal logo, ‘Trast73’.

“First of all, I want to say welcome to Lorenzo,” commented Jarvis. “This is a very special occasion for him as well as Yamaha – he has become the first official eSport rider signed by a MotoGP team. It’s a significant step, as we believe eSports and MotoGP can have a great shared future.

“We have kept an eye on the developments of the MotoGP eSport championship in the last two years and Lorenzo struck us with his talent and professionalism and obviously also with his two world champion titles. The fact that he is also the proud owner of an R6 that he uses for track days was really the icing on the cake that convinced us he had to be our eSports rider!

“It won’t be easy to make it a hat-trick crown. eSports is a sector that is rapidly growing, so the competition gets fiercer every year, but we have a lot of faith in Lorenzo’s abilities and are looking forward to a good championship year for him. He will also be joining us at several MotoGP races and other Yamaha promotional events.”

Daretti later showed off his skills on the big screens, doing a lap around Jerez on the MotoGP 18 game by Milestone, before he went on to challenge any journalists that dared to take on his eSport skills.

“I’m really proud to start this new season as an official eSport rider for Monster Energy Yamaha MotoGP,” Daretti beamed. “Being a part of this team, which immediately welcomed me with open arms, is an indescribable emotion.

“After two world titles, this year it will be harder to repeat myself because my rivals are getting more and more professional and determined. But the fact that I am the first officially signed rider in the history of the sport gives me an extra boost and I will prepare myself to the maximum to get ready for the challenge.

“I would like to thank Yamaha for the trust they have placed in me since day one and I’m looking forward to starting the 2019 championship qualifying and beginning this new adventure on the track.”

As Daretti is a biker himself, he will also participate in various Yamaha events on-track. One of the first of such opportunities will be the Yamaha VR46 Master Camp in May, which was established as one of the highlight activities promoting Yamaha’s goal to support, encourage, and train young talents from around the world.

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