Rossi: Yamaha needs serious programme with MotoGP test team

Valentino Rossi believes more than simply having a good test team, Yamaha needs to have a "serious" testing programme if it is to improve its troubled MotoGP challenger

Rossi: Yamaha needs serious programme with MotoGP test team

Yamaha is the manufacturer with the most wins this season, having tallied up seven from the 13 grands prix run so far.

But three of those have come from Franco Morbidelli on the 2019 'A-spec' Petronas SRT M1, with the Italian currently the leading Yamaha rider in second in the standings following his Valencia Grand Prix win.

Consistency has deserted those on the 2020 M1, with Fabio Quartararo only scoring one other top five finish outside of his wins, with the same going for Maverick Vinales outside of his Misano win and double Jerez podium.

Rossi, who has just one podium to his credit in a year plagued by bad luck and a two-race COVID-19 layoff, believes one of the biggest issues Yamaha has had in understanding its 2020 bike is the absence of a European-based test team.

"There is a basic problem, first of all," Rossi began.

"Until 2020, all the other teams had a very active test team that ran in Europe and with European riders like [Michele] Pirro, [Dani] Pedrosa and [Stefan] Bradl.

"Yamaha, on the other hand, does not have the team. There was only the one that ran in Japan with the Japanese test drivers.

"But the biggest problem isn't even that, it's that he ran on tracks that have nothing to do with the European ones."

Yamaha did set up a European test team with ex-Tech3 rider Jonas Folger last year, but scrapped it for 2020 to have a unified test team combining the European and Japanese parts of the race squad - but operating out of Japan.

When COVID-19 hit, Yamaha's test plans with Jorge Lorenzo were completely ruined, with the Spaniard only ever riding the 2019 M1 four times this year - the last of which coming in Portugal last month ending with him four seconds off the pace.

Lorenzo has been let go for 2021, with outgoing LCR Honda rider Cal Crutchlow taking on the role of Yamaha's test rider.

PLUS: Why Yamaha's rivals should fear Crutchlow's return

Rossi admits his first choice was Andrea Dovizioso, who was close to a deal before opting for a sabbatical instead, but welcomes Crutchlow's arrival.

"Yamaha needs to have a serious test team in Europe next year," Rossi added.

"I would have liked a lot if the test rider was Dovizioso, because he is a very fast, sensitive and highly experienced rider.

"Crutchlow also raced up to this year, so if he has motivation he is one who can take the bike to the limit.

"More than a test rider, you need a serious test team program."

Strong test teams have been thrust into the spotlight this season following KTM's race-winning success, something in large part attributed to Pedrosa's work with the marque since last year.

Sylvain Guintoli's work with Suzuki since 2017 has also been praised as a contributing factor in the Japanese manufacturer being in a position to win the 2020 title with Joan Mir.

shares
comments
KTM tester Kallio to replace Tech3's Lecuona at MotoGP Portugal finale

Previous article

KTM tester Kallio to replace Tech3's Lecuona at MotoGP Portugal finale

Next article

Marquez's wrist "was sleeping" during Valencia GP

Marquez's wrist "was sleeping" during Valencia GP
Load comments

About this article

Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi
Teams AB Motoracing
Author Matteo Nugnes
Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return? Plus

Where does Honda's new MotoGP signing sit ahead of its king's return?

Pol Espargaro’s first results as a Honda MotoGP rider may not appear special. But dig a little deeper and a clearer picture of his performance emerges. And, as Lewis Duncan writes, it’s cause for celebration at Honda with the return of Marc Marquez set to provide Espargaro with the reference he has been missing so far this year

MotoGP
Apr 12, 2021
The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons Plus

The "pit bull" MotoGP rookie already drawing legendary comparisons

MotoGP’s 2021 rookie crop is one of the strongest in recent years, but one is already standing out. Jorge Martin’s Doha GP heroics have courted many to compare him to numerous MotoGP legends. Autosport spoke to Pramac boss Francesco Guidotti to find out why MotoGP’s latest Spanish star is already making such an impact

MotoGP
Apr 9, 2021
Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash Plus

Why MotoGP's stewards must revisit Miller and Mir's Losail clash

Despite Suzuki’s decision not to appeal against Race Direction’s refusal to penalise Jack Miller following the incident with Joan Mir in Losail, something must be done to avoid a repeat of such an incident, which could have easily ended in tragedy

MotoGP
Apr 6, 2021
Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike? Plus

Has Yamaha banished its demons with its 2021 MotoGP bike?

Against the expected run of play at Qatar's Losail circuit, both Yamaha riders Maverick Vinales and Fabio Quartararo carved through a resolute Ducati defence to secure back-to-back MotoGP wins for the Japanese marque. After a difficult 2020, it appears that Yamaha has swaggered back into championship contention

MotoGP
Apr 5, 2021
Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP Plus

Why MotoGP’s top gun looks more dangerous at the Doha GP

Lightning hasn't struck twice for Maverick Vinales since 2017 and his wayward form of recent years makes predicting how he'll fare each MotoGP race weekend tricky. But fresh from his Qatar GP win, Vinales looks like an even more dangerous prospect for the Doha GP following an intriguing Friday practice

MotoGP
Apr 3, 2021
Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue Plus

Why MotoGP’s new Amazon series is long overdue

OPINION: MotoGP is getting its own version of Drive to Survive on Amazon Prime at some point in the near future. It was news welcomed by the grid’s leading riders. And following the impact DTS has had on Formula 1, MotoGP desperately needs the same boost.

MotoGP
Mar 31, 2021
Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader? Plus

Did the Qatar GP hint at Ducati’s true MotoGP leader?

OPINION: Johann Zarco talked a big game pre-season, and is so far vindicating himself as a factory rider at Pramac after finishing the Qatar GP as top Ducati in second. And contrasting his and Jack Miller's weekends and their approaches, is Zarco emerging as Ducati's true MotoGP leader?

MotoGP
Mar 30, 2021
The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack' Plus

The key changes behind the latest 'return of the Mack'

Maverick Vinales’s authoritative victory at the MotoGP season opener came during a period of personal and professional change for the Yamaha rider. Can it be the springboard for a title challenge?

MotoGP
Mar 29, 2021