Valentino Rossi states that the Yamaha MotoGP bike does not have the “embarrassing” acceleration deficit like the last years Aragon Gran Prix.
In 2018, the Motor Land circuit was the scene of one of Yamaha’s worst performances in the recent years, as Rossi and his teammate Maverick Vinales managed to pull up to eighth and 10th places respectively, coming behind not just the Honda and Ducati, but also Suzuki and Aprilia.
However, the Iwata Marque enjoyed a much more encouraging start to this year’s event on Friday, as Vinales and Rossi ended up in second and third places fastest over the course of the first two practice sessions behind the dominant Marc Marquez.
Petronas Yamaha rider Fabio Quartararo, who came close to overtake Marquez’s victory last time at Misano, was trailing right behind the works pair in the fourth.
Rossi credited improvements with the M1’s electronics, as well as he recently introduced new parts like a new exhaust and carbon swingarm, for the recent upgrade in form.
Rossi said to the press and the media that, “in the last races, especially for the second half of the season, but already in the first half, we improve a lot the electronics in acceleration,”.
“Last year, the difference compared to the top bikes was embarrassing, exiting the corners. Looks like nothing special now, but we are just working in a better way, we exit from the corners in a better way, and we are closer to the other manufacturers”, claims Rossi.
Rossi goes on to say that, “this is the main reason, and after we work like you know with the exhaust, also with mechanical grip, with the swingarm, etc. I think also for this reason we improve.”
Vinales did not race the with the latest exhaust or swingarm at Misano, and while he spent Friday working with the exhaust, he is continuing with the regular swingarm in Aragon.
The Spaniard says, “I have not used the carbon swingarm because the setup is complicated, so I prefer to focus on the exhaust,”. He later goes on to say that, “I don’t want to mix them, so we will concentrate on the swingarm in Thailand. He also states, “I don’t care about the position; I’m just focused on improving and trying things for next year.”
On Kouichi Tsuji’s departure, Rossi said some few words who is from Yamaha’s motorsport arm, which is one of the latest in the series of recent personnel changes mainly to boost Marque’s competitiveness.
“I have very good relationship with Tsuji-san because it is a long time since we worked together, already from 2004,” says Rossi. Rossi adds a few words saying, “for me, he is a very good engineer, but on the last years his role is not fantastic, for him, for me.”
He goes on to say that he thinks that this change is good to improve the development of the bike and that there are a lot of different people arriving, that for that seem very strong for Yamaha and that they actually need them because in the past years they struggled too much.
Rossi also states that they need time to improve, so that in the future they will see if they are able to be strong enough for win.