Valentino Rossi labelled Tuesday’s test day at Valencia as “positive” after he posted the fourth fastest time using Yamaha’s 2016 M1.

It was an inauspicious start to proceedings for the Italian, who crashed early into the day at turn ten when using Yamaha’s 2018 spec engine, and totalled most of the machine in the process.

But Rossi was soon back up to speed, setting the fourth quickest time in the afternoon with just Maverick Viñales, Johann Zarco and Marc Marquez ahead.

The ’16 chassis, which he raced on Sunday, provided him with more feeling than the ’17 bike he used in recent races, he said. But “it’s not enough”, in his opinion, to cure the rear tyre degradation woes that hampered him during the past two years.

“The day was not so bad because we have a bit more time to work on the 2016 chassis and I feel good,” said Rossi. “I feel strong. The day was positive because I have a good pace and also with the new tyres I can make a good lap time.

“I am in the P4, not so far from the top. Also the feeling with the bike is quite positive. We were able to find the right balance. But the problem is – like we know – we have some problem with the rear tyre degradation.

“So the ’16 is not enough. We need to work. But I confirm that I’m able to go faster with the old bike. A crash in the fast right like always but for me no problem. I just slide and the bike was done.”

On Yamaha’s 2018 engine he said, “The first priority is the engine, which is the first prototype of the 2018 engine but unfortunately I did two laps and I crashed. I hope they are able to fix and we can use another time the engine tomorrow and I can understand. But no. I think the engine can be a bit faster but it don’t help a lot with helping the rear tyre.”

And the crash? “[It happened at] Turn ten. Maybe a cold tyre. I was already with two and a half laps so I push. I lost the front. I don’t know if I was a little bit off the line or it was cold. I don’t know.”

No one could accuse Yamaha of not seeking solutions for the current woes, with Rossi, Zarco and Viñales all testing different chassis-engine combinations through the day.

Asked whether he felt Yamaha was working in the right direction, Rossi said, “Sincerely I don’t know which direction Yamaha will follow. I heard Zarco try the ’17 bike and he feel comfortable. Also this one is good. What we can do is try and give our feelings as much as possible. And after Yamaha will decide which way to follow.

“We try to speak with Yamaha and give the information. We speak together but in the end Yamaha will decide. We know that with the ’17 bike we have something good to fix the problem of last year. But we try to work with some different chassis through the year to re-create the feeling of the ’16. So now it will be very important to decide but still we don’t know.”


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The carsh was unbelievable, the bike looked horrible. Good day for all Yamaha riders.I hope they can fix the problem with tire wear.

I was reading a report on, and it seems like there is a lot of contradiction between the Yamaha pilots; Rossi says the 2016 is better than the 2017, Zarco says the 2017 is better than the 2016, and Viñales is not yet certain between the two. Not easy...

Just rotate the 16 and 17 chassis amongst Rossi, Maverick, Zarco. Then listen to those three, see how they interpret the different chassis. Or just bring the all "new" 2018 when almost ready, I'm sure Yamaha squad is ferouciously developing one back in Japan.

Wasn't the 17 bike ok with Vinales at last year's test?? Valencia is a bit of a one off track anyway, they need to take all the chassis and riders to the Sepang test they have planned and get some if from there.

Even as a rookie Zarco performwell on the old bike. Even with the softs.

Maybe time to look more at changing riding style, than the bike?

But the majority of riders on different make@ of machine are suffering tyre wear problems,the more aggressive style riders suffer more,but zarco,Lorenzo etc,the supposed super smooth riders are so having problems,it strikes me as simpler all round for everyone involved for Michelin to be given a final ultimation, either supply reliable,standard tyres that can finish a race or your out of MotoGP.  Michelin still seem incapable of supying even one tyre,say a medium,that can be used at different tracks and conditions,every weekend seems to bring something slightly different about the tyres,yes some tracks/surfaces do need different rubber and some need to asymmetric, but every weekend they seem to have changed something about the tyres..

Mad,it's ruining g the racing and is making a very difficult job for the riders and teams basicaly impossible,and we didn't suffer the same problem as much before miichelin given supply contract..

Didn't Michelin provide a standard set of tyres, and can't remember whether it was after jerez or catalunya, they were asked to revert to a harder compound? 

Not saying they are doing an immaculate job, but surely, you can't please everybody.

Wrong title, let's try: "Yamaha: 2018 Rossi strong, but not enough"

Hey Rossi, you're not enough. 

I think Yamaha should not deviate too much from their sweet handling, easy riding bike.

Rossi was able to do well from a bike which had Jlo's input, in 2016, so not sure what had to drastically change and cause even more issues with low grip.