Yamaha MotoGP team admit it's struggling in Jerez practice

The factory Yamaha MotoGP team has admitted it was not as competitive as it expected in Friday practice ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix at Jerez

Yamaha MotoGP team admit it's struggling in Jerez practice

Jerez has traditionally been a happy hunting ground for Yamaha, but the works team endured a poor Spanish Grand Prix last year - with both Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi struggling for grip on their way to sixth and 10th.

After a breakthrough at Austin last month, Yamaha was optimistic heading to Jerez - despite electing not to join its rivals for any of the test days at the circuit since it was repaved last year.

But as the Spanish GP weekend kicked off, the works team's pace has been underwhelming, with Rossi ninth and Vinales 12th on combined lap times after Friday.

"We knew that we would have a bit of catching up to do on the first day of riding in Jerez, because we didn't attend the test here earlier this year, but we expected to be doing better by this stage," team director Massimo Meregalli admitted.

"Ultimately, when we put on the soft tyre to do the time-attack, our expectations were not met.

"We have to improve the speed and the pace - the latter is the most important for the race."

Rossi, who was just two tenths off the pace in sixth in practice one but slumped to ninth place in the afternoon, admitted Yamaha was "suffering" again at Jerez.

"A difficult day, especially the afternoon," he said. "Because this morning with less temperature I feel good with the bike, with the tyres, and FP1 was not too bad.

"But in the afternoon with more temperature we suffer more.

"I'm not very happy about the balance of the bike, we have to modify the general balance, the general feeling, but especially we suffer with the tyres, because in this track, the new asphalt is better but you wheelspin a lot, and in this situation we suffer.

"After some laps we lose grip and our pace is a bit more slow compared to our opponents."

Rossi predicted a "hard" weekend for his team, adding: "It's always great to ride in Jerez, I like it a lot, it is better than last year, but looks like the top five, top six are stronger."

Vinales, who placed in the lower part of the top 10 in both sessions but is currently on course to miss out on an automatic Q2 spot on combined times, said: "Today I didn't have the best feeling. I wasn't feeling well during FP1 and FP2, it was difficult.

"In Austin we improved quite a lot, but since coming here the problems started again. The bike is moving around a lot, so we have to keep working and stay focused.

"Vale seems to be having the same problems, our lap times are quite similar. We have to find a solution that works for us."

shares
comments
KTM's 2019 MotoGP prototype out of 2018 version's reach at Jerez

Previous article

KTM's 2019 MotoGP prototype out of 2018 version's reach at Jerez

Next article

MotoGP Jerez: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso and Vinales miss Q2 spots

MotoGP Jerez: Marquez tops FP3, Dovizioso and Vinales miss Q2 spots
Load comments
How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win Plus

How Marquez beat his Honda in his heroic MotoGP comeback win

Marc Marquez has been through hell and back in the 581 days between his win in the 2019 Valencia season finale and his heroic MotoGP comeback victory in Germany last Sunday. Despite battling physical limitations and a difficult 2021-spec Honda, the Sachsenring provided the perfect storm for the Spaniard to return to the top step

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP Plus

Why Quartararo’s Catalunya suit penalty highlights a wider issue in MotoGP

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo racing with his leather suit open and subsequent penalty has been the main talking point of the Catalunya MotoGP weekend, which has highlighted a wider issue with MotoGP’s stewarding that risks a negative precedent going forward

MotoGP
Jun 8, 2021
How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya Plus

How MotoGP’s “beast” tamers bounced back at Catalunya

The expectation on KTM to replicate its winning form from 2020 this season made its difficult start to the new MotoGP campaign even more disappointing. But a key update has seen KTM's fortunes reversed over the last week and returned it to the top step of the podium in Barcelona

MotoGP
Jun 7, 2021
The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement Plus

The signs that point to Rossi's MotoGP retirement

It's not been a happy start to 2021 for Valentino Rossi at the Petronas SRT satellite squad, with performances that are a shadow of the rider that utterly dominated MotoGP at the start of the new millennium. At the age of 42, how much longer can he go on?

MotoGP
May 19, 2021
Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's Plus

Why the most significant Le Mans MotoGP performance wasn't Miller's

Hot on the heels of his first MotoGP win in five years, Jack Miller made it two from two with a commanding French Grand Prix victory at Le Mans despite two long-lap penalties. Impressive though it was, it was an expectation-defying performance from an anticipated title rival that was the real standout

MotoGP
May 17, 2021
The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike Plus

The impossible problem Honda faces with its 2021 MotoGP bike

Honda hasn’t enjoyed an easy start to the 2021 MotoGP campaign, despite gains last season which looked to have carried over into the pre-season. Now admitting it does have issues in serious need of resolving, it faces an almost impossible task in doing so

MotoGP
May 11, 2021
How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem Plus

How Jerez underlined MotoGP's speed problem

The brutal nature of a series of crashes at Jerez has reopened the debate about whether current MotoGP speeds are beyond the safety limits of the tracks. But even if riders are supportive of the move, getting the manufacturers to find a consensus on how speed reductions should be achieved may be altogether harder

MotoGP
May 4, 2021
How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption Plus

How a Crutchlow helped Miller to Jerez MotoGP redemption

Jack Miller’s tough start to life as a factory Ducati MotoGP rider left him mentally battered and bruised, but a pep talk and positive reinforcement from a surprising source aided the Australian to show his full potential with victory at the Spanish Grand Prix

MotoGP
May 3, 2021