Valentino Rossi does not expect to receive seamless downshift technology for his Yamaha YZR-M1 before the end of the MotoGP season.

Rossi, like Factory team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, is pushing Yamaha to provide the upgrade in order to improve the M1's performance in braking and corner entry.

Honda was the first manufacturer to introduce seamless upshifts to MotoGP, in 2011. Ducati and then Yamaha subsequently developed their own versions of the technology, which slashes the amount of time taken to change gears.

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This benefits not only acceleration, but also upsets the motorcycle less when gear changes are made.

HRC then raised the bar by adapting the seamless technology to downshifts as well as upshifts. Ducati is understood to have followed suit from Misano, but the Yamaha is currently upshift only.

"It is one of the main projects and issues that Yamaha are working on," Rossi said at Motegi on Thursday. "Sincerely we don't know when we try, but we hope as soon as possible because we think it can help us in braking.

"We start at Yamaha to work on the seamless gearbox just last year, so from that point of view we are in a bit of a delay compared with Honda. But already our gearbox works very well and I think all the engineers are working to have the next generation as soon as possible."

Asked specifically about the timing of its possible introduction, Rossi replied: "For me this season no, but I hope next season."

Tech 3 Yamaha riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro are using last year's first generation of Yamaha seamless, which only works when changing from second to third gear onwards. A tell-tale extra lever on the handlebar, required to engage neutral, signals when a bike has the full range of seamless upshifts.

Most MotoGP riders no longer need to use the clutch lever when downshifting, however this is achieved via electronics rather than through the seamless gearbox.


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TrueFan: Well, the only real benefit of getting it now would be to bed the technology in before next won't make a difference to who wins the championship this year, or who wins the manufacturer's title either...they're better off getting it right than getting it early.[\blockquote]

Rossi & Lorenzo still have a shot at beating Pedrosa to 2nd.
I'm sure Yamaha doesn't want to see a Repsol 1,2.