Valentino Rossi knew he couldn't ditch 2017 Yamaha MotoGP bike

Valentino Rossi concedes he knew switching back to Yamaha's 2016 MotoGP bike was not an option for this campaign when he was struggling pre-season

Valentino Rossi knew he couldn't ditch 2017 Yamaha MotoGP bike

Rossi has been overshadowed by new team-mate Maverick Vinales, recruited to replace Jorge Lorenzo, since winter testing started at Valencia last November.

Vinales led that session and all three pre-season tests, before winning the 2017 opener in Qatar last month.

While Rossi struggled for front-end feeling and pace on corner entry, including in practice at the Losail circuit, he regrouped to move from 10th to third in the race and join Vinales on the podium.

Crediting a practice set-up breakthrough for that result, Rossi said he knew switching back to the 2016-specification Yamaha - used by Tech3 rookie Johan Zarco to lead early in Qatar - was never really on the cards.

"We improved the setting, especially to give me good stability for entry and also my team made a good modification to the front," he said of the Qatar race. "I was strong on braking.

"At the beginning I felt better with the '16 [bike] but Yamaha is more happy if I use the '17.

"Also, [Vinales] can ride the '17 so maybe I need more time but I can also ride that bike.

"For the factory team it's better to have the same bike.

"We have to continue like this. This result is very good for us, both for our feeling and also for the technical side, because we now understand a lot of things."

Rossi was initially unimpressed by the 2017 M1, crashing on the first day at Valencia, but felt the team made a breakthrough in understanding it one week later in a private test at Sepang.

While Rossi subsequently trailed Vinales in all three early-2017 tests, Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli praised the 38-year-old's resilience during that time and his "salvage" ride the Qatar race itself.

"Winter tests were really challenging for him and he's never given up, together with his team, to try to find the right feeling with the 2017 bike," Meregalli said.

"Third place is the result of the deep dedication and massive effort he and his crew put into [the Qatar] race."

shares
comments
KTM to hold off on new parts for first races of MotoGP debut season
Previous article

KTM to hold off on new parts for first races of MotoGP debut season

Next article

Maverick Vinales reminds Jorge Lorenzo of himself in MotoGP

Maverick Vinales reminds Jorge Lorenzo of himself in MotoGP
How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races Plus

How MotoGP riders are preparing for the physical stress of sprint races

With the expansion of the calendar to 21 grands prix and the introduction of sprint races, the 2023 MotoGP season will take the riders to almost 1,300 kilometres of competition more than this year, a factor that forces adjustments in their physical preparations.

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend Plus

The Ducati rider who is much more than just the brother of a MotoGP legend

Surname pressure is something many have had to deal with in their motorsport careers. And while Luca Marini doesn’t have that, his familial relation and the team he rides for in MotoGP have cast a brighter spotlight on his progress. But, as he has shown in 2022 – and as he reveals to Autosport – Marini is so much more than just the brother of a legend

MotoGP
Dec 6, 2022
Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022 Plus

Ranking the top 10 riders of MotoGP 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers of the season

MotoGP
Nov 29, 2022
Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Plus

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Plus

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems Plus

Why the new MotoGP world champion has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Plus

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Plus

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022