Valentino Rossi doesn’t expect Yamaha’s new testing parts to provide instant performance jumps for the rest of the season or going into 2020 but feels the Japanese manufacturer is heading “in a good way”.

The nine-time world champion and Monster Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales trialled a new carbon fibre swingarm, new exhaust, new aerodynamics and a 2020 engine at the recent two-day Misano test which received positive initial feedback from both riders.

While Yamaha has remained tight-lipped on whether the new parts will be tried again this weekend, with the exception of the 2020 engine due to technical rules, Rossi feels the overall upgrade package puts the Iwata squad closer to where it needs to be in order to close the deficit to its rival front-running manufacturers.

Yamaha’s biggest weakness has been unlocking consistent and strong rear tyre grip under acceleration while it is also seeking further power for its top speed deficit.

“We tested some important things. I felt good, not so bad, it is not a big difference but I liked the swingarm and I liked the new pipe, new exhaust, which is a bit better for the engine character,” Rossi said.

“It is not a big difference but anyway we worked and Yamaha worked hard and it looks like we’ve worked in a good way. The feeling after the test was positive.”

After being denied the chance to fight for the podium due to rear tyre grip problems at Silverstone, Rossi hopes to be battling for the rostrum again at Misano having seen a strong showing from all Yamaha riders at the test.

While Petronas Yamaha’s Fabio Quarataro topped the final day of the test, all four Yamaha riders claimed a place inside the top six at the Rimini circuit with Rossi in fourth place overall.

“Here in Misano is always a special Grand Prix as it is a home Grand Prix,” he said. “In the last races I was a bit better but in Silverstone after a solid weekend in the race I wanted to try to fight for the podium but I was not strong enough so we will try another time here.

“We did some tests, some important tests, and my pace was quite good. I felt quite well with the bike so we tried and we are ready. We will see if we are strong enough to fight for the podium.”

Rossi started his home race weekend with a ‘dream’ tour from his Motor Ranch in Tavullia to the Misano circuit on Tuesday.

The 40-year-old is currently sixth in the riders’ standings after dropping two points behind top Yamaha rider Vinales after the British round last time out.

 

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