Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis says the departure of Valentino Rossi has allowed the team to "refresh" itself, and that the squad will be a more cohesive unit in 2011 with Jorge Lorenzo and Ben Spies.
After seven hugely successful seasons at Yamaha, Rossi left for Ducati at the end of last year, with Spies promoted from the satellite Tech 3 team to take his place alongside new world champion Lorenzo. With Rossi's crew following him to Ducati and Spies bringing his own team of mechanics with him, Yamaha has a different look for 2011, but Jarvis believes the change will be good for the team.
"Obviously, we had Vale with us for seven years which was an amazing era. Now were stepping into a new time," he said. "The whole team has been refreshed and regrouped. We have Maio Meregalli joining us from World Superbike as team director and we have Wilco Zeleenberg staying on-board with us for his second full season so we have a strong management team.
"Although the Ben Spies side of the team is new, many of them have worked with Ben over the years and some have worked with Yamaha last year so it's a reassembly of Ben's side of the garage. On Jorge's side of the garage there's no change. They say you should never change a winning team so we haven't changed a single thing. I think we're in good shape and I can see the team working more as a single unit this year."
Yamaha has won the past three championships, but Jarvis said that counted for nothing going into 2011.
"In racing, you have to be realistic; at the start of every season you actually have nothing to lose because everybody starts with zero points," he said. "What we've achieved with the hat-trick of 'triple crowns' is fantastic and it's in the history books already. If we can do it a fourth time that's great, we'll certainly be putting our maximum effort in."
He has no worries about Lorenzo's motivation dipping now he has already got a title under his belt.
"We've seen Jorge grow step by step in the three seasons he's ridden for us," Jarvis said. "In the first he was fourth, the second he was second then he became champion.
"If he can keep his focus as pure as it was last year, have the same dedication toward the title and if we as a team can provide him with the bike then I think he's in good shape to win the title again."
Lorenzo expressed concerns about Yamaha's engine performance at the last test at Sepang, but said he remained confident that the team would be competitive.
"I don't think any rider is ever totally satisfied but I understand it is really difficult to improve a MotoGP bike at this level when it is already so successful," said Lorenzo. "I have confidence in Yamaha and believe we will keep on having a winning bike like the previous years."