Rossi: Yamaha MotoGP team still not strong like in '16 in the wet

Valentino Rossi says Yamaha is still not "strong like last year" in wet conditions after a mixed opening day of MotoGP practice at Sepang

Rossi: Yamaha MotoGP team still not strong like in '16 in the wet

The seven-time premier class champion was sixth-fastest in the wet in Friday's second practice, 1.431 seconds off Ducati's pacesetter Andrea Dovizioso.

Yamaha has struggled in the two most recent wet races, at Misano and Motegi, with Rossi crashing out of the latter and team-mate Maverick Vinales managing no better than ninth.

While Rossi said he felt improvement was made at Sepang, he insisted the team still has work to do in order to recover its former level of competitiveness in similar conditions.

"In the afternoon it was full wet and it was an interesting practice, we worked a lot to improve the bad situation we had in Japan with the bike," he said.

"It was coming better, I was able to improve my lap time and I finished P6.

"But my feeling is not fantastic; I don't feel comfortable with the bike, I do not have enough rear grip and I cannot push at the maximum.

"We still have to work. We are not strong like last year, still."

Rossi was more upbeat about his pace in the dry, despite ending Friday's first practice session with the 12th fastest time, a little under a second slower than Dovizioso.

The Italian said that was down to other riders running a soft rear tyre late in the session.

"My feeling in the dry is not so bad," said Rossi. "We have to work, but I was quite strong.

"It's very difficult to understand [where we are], because in the last eight minutes, a lot of riders put on the soft rear and they improve a lot the lap time.

"Before that, except Marquez who was very strong, I was not so bad with my speed."

Vinales was fastest of the Yamaha contingent in FP2 with the fourth quickest time, and said he was pleased to continue the progress in wet conditions he had started at Phillip Island.

"Still we have to improve in some other areas because the tyres we have here are hard compounds," said the Spaniard.

"But the areas we needed to improve, we improved in Australia - I felt much better with the bike, especially with the front.

"All the confidence going into corners is much better than before. Now we have to make another step and try to improve."

shares
comments
Andrea Dovizioso says speed in MotoGP practice came 'quite easy'
Previous article

Andrea Dovizioso says speed in MotoGP practice came 'quite easy'

Next article

MotoGP Malaysia: Rossi leaves it late to snatch FP3 honours

MotoGP Malaysia: Rossi leaves it late to snatch FP3 honours
Load comments
Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve Plus

Why a difficult 2021 hasn't broken one Honda MotoGP ace's resolve

Pol Espargaro’s switch to Honda for 2021 was one of MotoGP’s biggest rider market shocks. But a difficult bike coupled with various external factors led to a difficult first campaign. As a critical 2022 campaign for both Espargaro and Honda looms, his 2021 experience hasn’t dented his long-held resolve

MotoGP
Jan 17, 2022
The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022 Plus

The Drive to Survive mistakes MotoGP must avoid in 2022

OPINION: MotoGP will get its own Drive to Survive-style series in 2022, airing on Amazon Prime Video. It’s a much-needed grab at the mainstream for MotoGP, but a paradigm shift in the series highlighted by one of its leading stars must be embraced and not overshadowed by a desire to replicate DTS’s popcorn drama

MotoGP
Jan 10, 2022
Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP Plus

Why KTM's latest young outcast is a cautionary tale for MotoGP

Iker Lecuona’s absence from the 2022 MotoGP grid after losing his KTM ride will likely pass most onlookers by. But after just 30 race starts in a MotoGP move he was sucked into by circumstance, the World Superbike-bound 21-year-old's story should act as a warning to KTM - and MotoGP as a whole - in regards to its future stars

MotoGP
Jan 4, 2022
How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022 Plus

How Ducati's expanded roster will threaten MotoGP's balance in 2022

That Ducati will compete with eight prototypes in MotoGP this year is nothing new, having already done so between 2016 and 2018. But the involvement and coverage of the Borgo Panigale company in its alliances is now much greater than in past years, which could have the effect of unbalancing the premier class

MotoGP
Jan 3, 2022
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2021

Eight different riders won races across an ultra-competitive 2021 MotoGP season. Although Fabio Quartararo wrapped up the title with two rounds to go, the Yamaha rider had strong competition from the revitalised Ducati factory team and the world championship's returning king. Autosport picks out the year's 10 best riders

MotoGP
Dec 23, 2021
How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king Plus

How Quartararo cast aside prior doubts to become MotoGP's new king

Doubts were cast over Yamaha’s French recruit after his disastrous end to the 2020 MotoGP season with Petronas SRT, but Fabio Quartararo answered them convincingly in 2021 to claim a MotoGP title that exhibited both his devastating speed and mental strength

MotoGP
Dec 7, 2021
The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate Plus

The Rossi-less future MotoGP must now navigate

Motorcycle racing's greatest showman has left the stage, as Valentino Rossi calls time on his remarkable career on two wheels. But in his successors, all of whom were inspired by 'the Doctor', grand prix racing has vibrant new acts to keep us hooked

MotoGP
Dec 4, 2021
Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races Plus

Valentino Rossi’s 10 greatest MotoGP races

As the Italian legend finally bows out and retires from MotoGP, it marks the end of one of the most incredible careers in motorsport history. Here is Autosport’s pick of his best rides and the stories behind them

MotoGP
Dec 3, 2021