At the conclusion of the penultimate MotoGP pre-season test at Phillip Island, Valentino Rossi revealed he will start the new season using the 'standard' Yamaha, similar to his 2015 bike.
Rossi and team-mate Jorge Lorenzo have been conducting back-to-back tests between a lightly updated version of the M1 and a more radical design - including a different chassis - created using early data for the new Michelin tyres.
“I prefer the 2015 because I'm faster, but especially when I ride I feel better. Especially the front,” Rossi explained. “With the 2016 I have a bit more issue in the entry to the corner. I'm not so far with the lap time [on the 2016], but anyway I am a little bit slower.
“So I think it is done. We will race with the bike more similar to the 2015.”
Asked if the 2016 might have greater long-term potential, for example if the front feeling was improved, Rossi added:
"This is possible but is a long story maybe. In fact we tried also today to modify and work to understand and give to Yamaha some important advice and data for the future.
"But at this moment we have to concentrate on the present and with the standard [bike] I'm fast, so I think we will continue with that."
Rossi was fifth fastest on the final day of testing in Australia, but the top Yamaha rider and just 0.277s behind pace setter Marc Marquez (Honda).
Choosing which machine to race was one of two 'question marks' team director Massimo Meregalli hoped to solve in Australia. The other was to conduct their first race simulation using the Michelin tyres and new unified ECU, but the wet-dry weather prevented long runs.
The last pre-season test will be held in Qatar from March 2-4, with the first race of the year at the same venue on March 20.
Rossi, 37, lost out on a tenth world title by just 5 points to Lorenzo last season. The Doctor's decision to use the '2015' bike will also be music to the ears of Tech 3 riders Bradley Smith and Pol Espargaro, who are running last year's machines.
UPDATE: Jorge Lorenzo has also chosen to start the season on the '2015' version.