12 unique MotoGP and WorldSBK liveries that were a lot …
While some may not be quite ready to accept it, the day of Valentino Rossi’s very last MotoGP race is fast approaching and that means we’ll put our last dollar on him to come out with a bang. (hopefully not the engine) with a special-off livery to celebrate its 25 years on the international scene.
Indeed, Rossi and Yamaha are no novices when it comes to changing the corporate tints and sponsor decals of his entries with many examples over the years from when he got his brush. (sort ofâ¦) and went for something different.
It’s not the only MotoGP team to go wild on occasion with many examples that we would have preferred to see throughout the year, franklyâ¦ we have a selection of the best here.
12. The “Kentucky Kid” stars at home
Nicky Hayden – Ducati Corse – 2009 Indianapolis MotoGP
The late Nicky Hayden was a popular figure wherever he went, but more so than when he competed at home in the United States, which in 2009 was double the privilege at Laguna Seca and Indianapolis.
Two years after his MotoGP World Championship title with Honda, Hayden was in the middle of a tough first season adjusting to the Ducati Desmosedici, but it looks like a home support and a patriotic paint job could be worth some. tenths since he would go on to score his first podium with the Italian firm with a race to third.
11. Patriotism on an iconic Yamaha canvas
Colin Edwards – Camel Yamaha Team – 2006 US MotoGP, Laguna Seca
While it’s not quite the most faithful interpretation of Yamaha’s iconic yellow, black and white colourway of the 1970s and 1980s, its Camel backing in 2006 at least made the M1 more eye-catching than in previous years.
That was until Colin Edwards turned things up to 11 with a splash of patriotic Texan-themed stars and stripes to please home fans (as well as erase any mention of the tobacco commercial) .
10. Red Bull foreshadows the future with Suzuki
John Hopkins, Kenny Roberts Jr – Team Suzuki MotoGP – 2005 US MotoGP, Laguna Seca
It’s hard to imagine almost any sport without the revealing hues of Red Bull sponsorship in various capacities, but after building their own F1 team, Red Bull previewed the future of Honda and KTM support with an outing. exceptional with Suzuki in 2005, the one who could not have been more Red Bull if he had tried.
9. Aprilia sees RED for a good cause
Alvaro Bautista, Aleix Espargaro – Aprilia Gresini Racing – MotoGP Valencia 2016, Valencia
While most livery changes are largely intended to impress a sponsor or reward a rider, Aprilia has demonstrated how MotoGP can be a force for important causes by partnering with the charity RED.
Raising awareness of HIV and AIDS, the all-red livery was used by Aprilia during the last rounds of MotoGP Valencia in 2016 and 2017
8. Valentino Rossi Goes Funky For Honda’s Farewell
Valentino Rossi – Repsol Honda, 2003 Valencia MotoGP, Valencia
With a third MotoGP World Championship title firmly in his back pocket, Valentino Rossi celebrated with a funky Austin Powers-style character livery for the season finale in Valencia.
It would also be his last appearance on a Honda after the announcement of his departure for Yamaha from 2004.
7. Honda looks back on its rally heritage
Dani Pedrosa, Nicky Hayden – Repsol Honda, 2008 Valencia MotoGP, Valencia
Honda paid tribute to its long-time partners Repsol by recalling the Spanish oil giant’s origins in motorsport with this simple yet retro white livery at MotoGP Valencia 2008.
Like its rally cars from the 70s and 80s, Repsol went on to support Lancia, Ford and SEAT in the WRC.
6. Marco Melandri’s spider senses start to tingle
Marco Melandri – Tech 3 Yamaha, MotoGP Portugal 2004, Estoril
The marketing department for the 2004 Spiderman 2 movie turned to MotoGP and Marco Melandri for must-have product placement, which led to the Italian’s Yamaha Tech 3 decked out in red and blue and sporting straps.
This was actually the second time Melandri had transformed Spiderman to promote the franchise, dressing up as an arachnid superhero in 2000. Better yet, the badges would be donated and auctioned off to raise money for charity … so a big victory at all levels!
5. Yamaha celebrates its heritage
Valentino Rossi, Colin Edwards – Yamaha Factory, 2005 US MotoGP, Laguna Seca
While we’ve gotten used to seeing Yamaha decked out in blue for a few years now, back then it was more synonymous with yellow, black and white.
Many consider this to be the most attractive look and this unique livery for Valentino Rossi and Colin Edwards at Laguna Seca more than justifies this statement.
4. Kawasaki echoes the 1990s with a superb tribute to WorldSBK
WorldSBK: Jonathan Rea – Kawasaki Racing Team, WorldSBK Argentina 2021, San Juan Villicum
OK, so we’re cheating a bit here, but we couldn’t help but include this awesome recreation of Kawasaki’s first WorldSBK title in 1993 with Scott Russell.
With a retina-burning lime green base, white stripe, and blue text in the Kawasaki 90s logo typeface, as much as we love the current darker shade, it gives us hope that the company bites the bullet and readopt that.
As if that wasn’t enough, Jonathan Rea’s teammate Alex Lowes sported a burnt orange and black livery in a nod to the GPZ900R used in Top Gun.
3. Pramac Ducati goes exotic with Lambo
Jack Miller, Pecco Bagnaia – Pramac Ducati, Italian MotoGP 2019, Mugello
Maybe it’s the fact that yellow has been widely deviated by MotoGP teams over the years, but that one-off Italian MotoGP livery for Pramac Ducati celebrating distant Lamborghini relatives was a big winner.
With Pramac Racing largely sticking to the same red, white and blue formula over the decades, the pop of color has helped both its bikes stand out in 2019.
2. Rossi and Yamaha’s tribute to the Italian World Cup
Valentino Rossi – Yamaha Factory, MotoGP of Catalonia 2008, Barcelona
Football madman Valentino Rossi paid tribute to the Italian national team who played in the 2008 World Cup final against Spain on the same weekend he raced in the MotoGP of Catalonia with the Yamaha in pastel blue and even wearing a patterned football helmet.
However, with Spain winning this final on penalties, Rossi would also be rightly beaten by Dani Pedrosa in the race.
1. Suzuki pays homage to the GSX-R brand in iconic style
Aleix Espargaro, Maverick Vinales – Suzuki Ecstar, MotoGP Germany 2015, Sachsenring
Simple, retro yet evocative, the white and blue hues of Suzuki’s famous GSX-R brand were proudly displayed during German MotoGP 2015, reminiscent of the entrances of the 80s and 90s.
That said, we wish they went all the way with white rims too, but you can’t have it all …