Valentino Rossi admitted he is able go faster on the 2016 MotoGP Yamaha chassis than he is on the 2017 version, though still does not think the older frame ‘is enough’ to be competitive.
The Italian and team-mate Maverick Vinales reverted to the 2016 frame for the season-ending Valencia race – something they had planned to do for the test, but felt race miles would give them more useful data.
Despite finishing fifth and 12th respectively, both felt the 2016 frame – which has been used all season by the satellite Tech3 team – was a step in the right direction, and continued to work on it on Tuesday in Valencia along with the 2017 chassis.
Both Rossi and Vinales used the 2016 chassis to set their best times on the first day of testing, with the Spaniard topping the times with a 1m30.189s while Rossi was just four tenths back.
Rossi says the team was able to find good ‘balance’ with the bike, though admits more still has to be done to cure rear tyre degradation – a common issue for the factory Yamaha riders in 2016.
“The day was not so bad, we continued to work, we have a bit more time to work on the 2016 chassis and I feel good, I feel strong,” Autosport.com report Rossi as saying.
“The day was quite positive because I have a good pace, and also with new tyres I can make a good laptime. I am in P4, so not far from the top.
“And also the feeling with the bike is quite positive, we are bale to find the right balance, but the problem is like we know, we have some problems of rear tyre degradation.
“The ’16 is not enough, we need to work. But I can confirm that I cam able to go faster with the old bike.”
Twitter: @ValeYellow46 That’s a write-off!
The remains of @ValeYellow46’s crashed Yamaha! #2018StartsNow https://t.co/EwElwxxKCl (@MotoGP)
Rossi‘s day was interrupted by a fast crash at Turn 10 just under two hours into the session.
The Italian is unsure why the crash happened, and reveals the bike was fitted with a prototype 2018 engine which he was unable to use for the rest of the day.
“The first priority was the engine, that is the first prototype of the 2018 engine, but unfortunately I did two laps and I crashed.
“I hope that they are able to fix and we can use the engine tomorrow, so I can understand.
“I was already two and a half laps, so I push, lose the front, I don’t know if I was a little bit out of the line or (the tyre) was cold, I don’t know.”