Ducati and Honda learned from Yamaha by taming their MotoGP machines to mimic the smoother riding character of the M1.

That's the view of Valentino Rossi, who is pushing for electronic and possibly engine modifications to improve acceleration in the face of Yamaha's 22-race losing streak, equalling its barren run in 1997-1998.

Yamaha made major changes for Rossi's arrival in 2004, but has stuck with the Inline four-cylinder concept - combined with big-bang (crossplane) style firing order and counter rotating crankshaft - ever since.

But with Ducati and Honda winning every race since Assen last year using a V4 layout - also now featuring an uneven (big bang) firing order and counter-rotating crankshaft - could it be that a V4 naturally works better with the lower-spec unified MotoGP electronics and Yamaha should therefore consider a fundamental change?

"It's possible that also the engine is a problem, yes," Rossi replied.

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"We have to say that Ducati and Honda learned from Yamaha, because already 3-4 years ago the Yamaha was very smooth and the Honda and Ducati 'screaming' a lot, more aggressive.

"It looks like in the last years Ducati and Honda make their bikes more like the Yamaha. But they have the V engine, we have the Inline 4…. Can be [part of the problem]. But sincerely I don’t know."

Team-mate Maverick Vinales, fifth and top Yamaha in Sunday's Misano race,  also said he's not in a position to comment on the merits of different engine designs. All he knows is that the bike needs grip.

"I'm not a technician, I cannot know [if Yamaha needs to move to a V4]," said the Spaniard.

"I just know that when the bike has grip, it's one of the best bikes to ride. But as soon as we lose the grip, the electronics don't help the bike, and it makes it so difficult to go fast and to be precise, you know?

"I mean, I never missed the corner in 100 laps at the test, and even yesterday and Friday. Today {Sunday], I missed in one lap, maybe two or three corners. So it means that today, there was something wrong on the bike.

"We need to try to understand and to work. I mean, it's one and a half years suffering the same, so one more race, I don't care. I'm happy that yesterday and Friday I was competitive, top three, so when the bike permits me to go fast, I'm there."

Suzuki is the only other factory to use an Inline four-cylinder MotoGP engine, with KTM and Aprilia joining Ducati and Honda in running V4s.

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