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MotoGP: Yamaha recover ‘3 or 4 years’ with ECU progress

"It was not strange that they felt lost on the first day" - Wilco Zeelenberg.
After his first day with MotoGP's new compulsory ECU, Valentino Rossi stated it felt like "a jump in the past: 2008-2009” compared with the bespoke Yamaha system.

But significant progress was made during the second day of last month's Valencia test - the final MotoGP action of the year for Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo, the newly crowned triple champion.

Lorenzo's team manager Wilco Zeelenberg told that Yamaha had “caught up about three or four years” relative to Rossi's '2008-2009' day one assessment, but with plenty still do to.

“It's true that we still need to work on that a lot and of course these bikes - from Honda and Yamaha - were very finely tuned in this area: Wheelie control, traction control, engine braking, all these matters,” Zeelenberg said.

“Now they've changed suddenly to [an ECU] system that has never been tested before. So it was not strange that they felt lost on the first day. 'Whoa, whoa, what's happened?' But as soon as they can read the data, they can see what is going wrong and now it is a question of adjusting everything.”

Repsol Honda's Marc Marquez had complained that the new system was cutting the engine too aggressively and preventing any smooth slides.

“I think that's also the case for us. I can't give a specific answer because I have not been on the bike but from what I hear from Jorge it [the ECU] is controlling a lot and not in the right way,” Zeelenberg said.

Lorenzo finished the Valencia test as the top Yamaha in fifth, with Rossi seventh.

While closest rival Honda then used three days at Jerez to gather further data for the ECU and Michelin tyres, Yamaha opted to save all of its private test days until 2016 meaning Lorenzo and Rossi will next be on track at Sepang in February.

Tagged as: Yamaha , Lorenzo , ECU

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December 08, 2015 9:52 AM

We mustn't forget that the factory teams still have a big advantage. The spec ECU & software has vast complexity & options instead of being the far simpler thing I'd have liked to see imposed. A simple system would have meant that customer teams without vast data engineer & analysis resources would be able to use the s-ware as well as the factory's. But it is complex, which means the factories still have the ability to buy performance others cannot. So little has changed. Maybe (MAYBE) early on in the season (I.e. Until the factory's have crunched terabytes of data & computed setup solutions and base setups well) there might be a small chance for a non-factory rider & team to compete. But it won't be long before the status quo & the 2-tier MotoGP is restored - which is Tier1- Factory Teams & Tier 2- Also Rans. Dorna have sold it as a brace new world, but really it's the same old hierarchy & still the same few that'll do all the winning. Sorry, but that's how it is IMO.

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