Four race wins, both Maverick Vinales and Valentino Rossi leading the MotoGP riders' championship - but also persistent misery in low grip conditions and two training injuries for the Italian.

It's been, in the words of Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis, a season of 'extreme situations' for the factory M1 team.

New signing Vinales failed to win after round five, at Le Mans, leaving him best of the rest behind Marc Marquez (Honda) and Andrea Dovizioso (Ducati). Rossi meanwhile took a lone win at Assen before an enduro accident silenced any title aspirations.

Injuries go with the territory, but the biggest conundrum of Yamaha's season was how a satellite Tech 3 team - using last year's bike and an-rookie line-up - beat the official team in no less than seven of the 18 races.

Low grip proved to be 'kryptonite' for the 2017 Yamaha - despite numerous chassis changes to try and replicate the performance of the 2016 machine in such conditions.

"We at least have Maverick in third place in the championship. So, it’s not by any means a disastrous year. We won four races in total. Three with Maverick in the beginning of the season, one with Vale in mid-season," began Jarvis.

"Winning at the beginning, but not since [round five] with Maverick, is a little bit the story of our season. We began last year’s winter tests super strong. We began the early races super strong. We won three out of the first five races, and then we got into difficulty.

"We got into difficulty where we didn’t expect. At tracks that we’ve normally excelled. So, we’ve had a difficult year from a technical point of view, trying to resolve the issues where we struggled, which is mainly when we encountered low grip, whether that be due to the tarmac or rain conditions.

"So, we’ve been sort of struggling since to get to grips with that, to work on the bike, changing chassis, improving."

Nothing illustrated Yamaha's see-sawing fortunes better than the back-to-back Japanese and Australian rounds.

"Sometimes we came to situations which were sort of a bit of a disaster - Motegi is a good example where it was a very, very disappointing result.

"And just when you think it’s really terrible then you go to Philip Island and you’ve got grip, the sun is shining and we’re amazing - able to fight to try and win the race. So, we’ve seen these sorts of extreme situations and it’s been a tough year.

"Obviously we also had Valentino’s injury. Being injured actually before both of his home races. Firstly in Mugello when he had his motocross accident, and then breaking the leg of course [on an enduro bike] prior to Misano. But he bounced back from that.

"So, it’s not been a bad year, but obviously we’re accustomed to doing better. We’re not in the top two, so we’ve got work to do."

Jarvis also paid credit to the achievements of Johann Zarco, who swept to top rookie honours for the Tech 3 team on the back of three podiums in a stunning debut season, which ended with the Frenchman finishing just 0.337s from victory at the Valencia finale.

"On the positive side I’d also like to pay a compliment to Johan Zarco. I think winning the best rookie and winning the best Independent team is also something that they should be proud of. And it shows that our base level is good, but to beat these other guys, we need to step up."

Zarco got to try a 2017 Yamaha at the post-race Valencia test… and said it give him 'more possibilities' than the 2016 chassis, which Vinales and Rossi had switched back to on the eve of the race.

The double Moto2 champion is rumoured to conduct further back-to-back tests of the 2016 and 2017 frames at the start of pre-season testing. Meanwhile the new factory Yamaha is rumoured to be based on the 2016 chassis…


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