Valentino Rossi has given his verdict on Yamaha’s issues at Brno after taking his best MotoGP result in two and a half months in awkward conditions for the M1.

After a 40-minute delay to proceedings, the Italian came home in sixth place, an upturn on his recent rotten run, especially considering the struggles of team-mate Maverick Viñales, who could place no higher than a listless tenth.

And while there were positives in his latest showing, Sunday’s Czech Grand Prix was a tough outing for Yamaha’s contingent, an outcome inherently linked to the intense shower of rain that peppered a section of the track before 2pm.

Rossi explained that, due to Yamaha’s considerable top speed disadvantage in 2019, its riders “need to make the lap time in the corner” more than ever. Should grip be less than adequate, the M1 suffers considerably more than rival manufacturers.

“For sure, we are not happy about a sixth place, but better than the last races, I was able to ride my bike in a better way, and in the end was not too bad,” said 40-year old Rossi.

“The guys that finished in front are faster than me, but at the end, it was better than the last races, so it was quite better.

“This year, the bigger problem is the big, big gap in the speed. So we lose in acceleration, but also in the top speed we are very far from everybody. Especially from the top bikes. So we need to improve that. And also the electronics and other things.

“For me, we need to work a lot on the engine. Yamaha have to work a lot, because it looks like that the other engines made a big step, because they are very fast but they are also better to ride. So it looks like we need something important to recover the gap.

“Our bike is very sensitive to the change of conditions, of the weather. Usually if we have a weekend that everything is perfect and the weather is dry, everybody puts rubber on the asphalt, and we are faster. If something happens, it rains or the temperature changes, it looks like we suffer more.

“For me, about the electronic side, we need to work, because it looks like that the good factory bikes are better. But also, it looks like because we are quite slow in the straight, we need to make the lap time in the corner.

“And if the grip is lower for some reason, we suffer more than the other bikes that make 10 or 15 km/h [8 or 9mph] more than us. So maybe it's also for that reason.”

Rossi was one of the grid’s more outspoken members on the start line when the first section of the track was wet. The Italian was seen in a heated conversation with Dorna CEO Carmelo Ezpeleta as he voiced his concerns of the field riding toward a wet turn one on slick tyres.

“It was a very strange condition, because just the first corner and the last corner were full wet,” he said. “But anyway, everybody would have to start with slicks because the rest of the track was fully dry already.

“So for me, because everybody would have to use the slicks, it was very, very dangerous if we arrive all together at the first corner, especially at the start, on a full wet track.

“For me it's the most dangerous thing you can do. So I said if it's possible to delay, and I think it was the right choice, because at the end, it was a real race, completely dry.”

 

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