Sensitivity Resounding with Each Other to Reach Higher Levels

These are riders, who compete with each other on the basis of milliseconds in motorcycle racing events at the highest level in the world, and a pianist, who pursues the ultimate musical expressions by breathing life into each and every sound he hammers out.

The journey to reach where they are now must have been momentous, even for these individuals who have been referred to as first class around the world.

In spite of the rough journey, they continued the training necessary for challenging their own limits and cultivated their sensitivity. In the process, they have achieved personal growth by moving forward one step at a time.

The culmination of these efforts may be the source of their performance beyond our expectations and the powerful emotions to which it gives rise.

Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. planned this event in the hope of applauding all individuals who continue to make efforts to refine their sensitivity for the sake of achieving personal growth.

On October 17, Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. co-hosted “Two Yamahas, One Passion—RIDERS MEET PIANIST,” an event where the sensitivity of a pianist and motorcyclists blend into one, at the Yamaha Hall in Ginza, Tokyo.
Based on the mutual belief in creating kando with customers, the two companies have continued their joint initiatives for enhancing the value of the Yamaha brand. This event was part of such initiatives.
At this event, internationally renowned pianist Francesco Tristano and five riders who participate in Grand Prix motorcycle racing (MotoGP) events and other motorcycle races—Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin and Katsuyuki Nakasuga—took the stage. Many members of the press as well as motorcycle and musical instrument aficionados came to the event, which took place as follows.


Two Yamahas, One Passion -RIDERS MEET PIANIST-

Date: October 17th, 2018

Venue: Yamaha Hall, Yamaha Ginza Building

- Guests -
Francesco Tristano, Valentino Rossi
Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin and Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Yamaha Concert Grand Piano CFX and Yamaha Motorcycle YZR-M1, which Rossi and Viñales are riding are displayed on the stage.

Yamaha Concert Grand Piano CFX and Yamaha Motorcycle YZR-M1 that Rossi and Viñales ride.

What Constitutes Kando?

What Constitutes Kando?

The five riders came on stage first. They greeted the audience with smiles and took their seats. A beaming Tristano then joined on the stage amid an explosion of applause from the riders and audience. He shook hands with each rider before taking his seat.
The moderator asked the riders and Tristano if they knew the meaning of the word “kando,” the theme of this event. Nodding emphatically, Rossi smiled and said, “That’s the word Yamaha often uses. It refers to deep feelings, a deep impression or a kind of joy.”
Tristano commented as well: “It’s all about the communication between the musicians, the audience and of course the instruments we use. Without the instruments we cannot express our music, our art. But also without the audience, there’s no point. So I think it’s very important to have the feedback from the instruments and audience.”
Syahrin, the first MotoGP rider from Malaysia, said: “It has been a long journey to get here, so it is with a strong sense of strong determination that I give my best to the team in each race. As Francesco said, we need feedback.”

Rossi has been one of the top MotoGP riders for more than 20 years. Asked where this kando comes from, he responded emphatically in Italian: “For me the very important thing is to look for the way to do your job, your passion and always do your best, trying with everything you’ve got. The fans, who love the races, come to understand this. I believe this is the only and best way to convey kando to them.”

World Premiere of “Time Grid” by Tristano

World Premiere of “Time Grid” by Tristano

Next, Tristano gave the world premiere performance of “Time Grid,” the music he wrote after witnessing the Czech Republic GP held at the Brno Circuit on August 5, 2018, and drawing inspiration from the race.
Recalling his visit to the Czech Republic GP, Tristano noted: “It was a terrific experience. Actually as a musician I could feel very familiar with many aspects of the preparation and the teamwork involved in an event like that. It was something I could relate to just before a performance. It’s kind of the moment where you’re in the green room and concentrate. I could sense the riders getting ready for the moment.” As the riders and audience looked on, he began a passionate performance playing alternately between the grand piano, synthesizer and keyboard, sometimes rising up from his chair.
On the screen above the stage, exciting race scenes of the riders were projected accompanying the performance, giving the audience a chance to enjoy the collaboration between music and MotoGP races.

After the performance, the audience gave Tristano a resounding round of applause, which lasted even after he rose and bowed. Asked about his take on the performance, he said with a smile on his face, “The beauty with Yamaha is that I can enjoy pianos as well as synthesizers, which is quite unique. So, I really enjoyed performing today.”
Viñales said, “I definitely liked it. When he started, I could visualize the grid with strong tension and then the start of a race. The rhythm that the song was following was like a race.”
Rossi agreed: “This was very good. When we are on the grid, it’s a bit like the quiet before the storm, but you’re not relaxed and there is no sound around you.”

Zarco’s Take on the Race and the Piano

Zarco’s Take on the Race and the Piano

Zarco used to play the piano when he was 14 or 15 years old. He stopped playing, but then started again a few years ago as a hobby and occasionally enjoys jamming with friends.
Prompted by the moderator to play, Zarco shyly noted it was quite difficult after Tristano’s performance, but sat down in front of the piano nudged by the applause from the audience. He explained, “It’s a French song that I was not able to do when I was racing in Moto2. After that, when I went to MotoGP, where the race is faster, I came back home and I was able to play.” He then proceeded to quietly start playing.

Zarco played graciously and with feeling. Tristano turned to Zarco and listened intently with his eyes closed, while Rossi looked on with a smile. As Zarco finished playing, a relieved smile spread over his face as the audience warmly applauded.

Instruments for Riders and Pianists

As the last question, Rossi and Tristano were asked about the role of motorcycles and musical instruments as a rider and pianist. They looked at each other, nodded with a smile and started to elaborate on their views.
“I think that more or less it is similar whether you a ride motorcycle or play the piano because you try to build a special relationship with the instrument. I always think my bike has a soul and it’s not just a piece of steel. When I go on my bike, I feel at home. This is important to find the contact with the bike and take the maximum from the instrument,” Rossi said.
“It’s exactly the same,” said Tristano. “The instrument is an extension of your own body. You feel 100% at home and you can count on your instrument. When I started to play my piano [the CFX], I knew I had found the ultimate piano. In the future a new model will be released, but the soul will move on to the next instrument.”

At a first glance, riders and pianists seem to come from a different universe, but the event proved that there does exist a common trait, which is to cultivate their sensitivity to push themselves to a higher level.

Video Digest

Sensitivity for Fascinating the World with Borderless Musical Expressions

Francesco Tristano

Born in Luxemburg in 1981, Tristano is a pianist who has won high praise all over the world by playing a wide variety of music that covers genres such as classical, jazz, techno and contemporary as well as his original compositions. Tristano won the 2004 Concours International de piano XXe siecle d’Orleans held in France.

Francesco Tristano


Valentino Rossi, Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco, Hafizh Syahrin, Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Sensitivity Finely Honed in the World’s Greatest Races Where Milliseconds Determine the Results

Valentino Rossi

Born in Italy in 1979, Rossi is a member of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Rossi is a living legend who has won nine MotoGP World Championships.

Maverick Viñales

Born in Spain in 1995, Viñales is a member of the Movistar Yamaha MotoGP team. Viñales finished in third place in the MotoGP class in the 2017 season, the highest rank in his career.

Johann Zarco

Born in France in 1990, Zarco is a member of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. Zarco reached the podium three times and finished in sixth place in the Moto GP class in the 2017 season, taking the Rookie of the Year Award for 2017.

Hafizh Syahrin

Born in Malaysia in 1994, Syahrin is a member of the Monster Yamaha Tech3 team. In the 2018 season, Syahrin moved up to the MotoGP class from the Moto2 class as the first rider from Malaysia to do so.

Katsuyuki Nakasuga

Born in Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan, in 1981, Nakasuga is a member of the Yamaha Factory Racing Team. Nakasuga has won the MFJ All Japan JSB1000 Championship, the top-ranked motorcycle road racing championship in Japan, seven times, including five times back to back.

“Two Yamahas, One Passion”
Joint Brand Activities by Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.

Yamaha Corporation manufactures musical instruments and audio products while Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. is engaged in the production of motorcycles, marine and other products. Although they are two different companies, they share a conviction in evoking strong emotions together with their customers. Based on this mutual belief, the two companies have manufactured musical instruments and machines that support artists and athletes who are able to touch people’s hearts with their distinguished sensitivity and performance that exceed expectations. Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. are continuing their joint initiatives for enhancing the value of the Yamaha brand with “Two Yamahas, One Passion” as the key theme.

Yamaha Day

Yamaha Day

Yamaha Corporation and Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. respectively set their dates of establishment—October 12 for the former and July 1 for the latter—as Yamaha Day in 2018. Subsequently, the two companies have respectively engaged in a range of activities during the periods before and after this commemorative date.

Two Yamahas, One Passion -For Excellent Performance-

Theme Exhibition, “Two Yamahas, One Passion-For Excellent Performance”