Valentino Rossi and his Monster Yamaha crew will continue their quest for a MotoGP podium return by trying 'other solutions, something different' at Motegi this weekend.

Rossi's podium drought has now extended to twelve rounds - his longest rostrum absence since Ducati in 2011 - and he is in danger of losing sixth in the world championship to satellite Yamaha rookie Fabio Quartararo.

The Frenchman is now just two points behind Rossi after fighting Marc Marquez for victory at the final corner in Buriram. The Doctor was 20-seconds behind that battle in a disappointing eighth place after once again struggling with a lack of rear-tyre edge grip.

“During these upcoming three consecutive races we will try to solve some of our problems with the bike," Rossi said ahead of the Japanese round.

"Obviously, we are not happy about the latest results and in Motegi we will try other solutions, something different.

"Motegi is a track that I like, and I will try to do a good race.”

Rossi finished fourth at Motegi last season, as the top Yamaha rider, with his most recent Japanese rostrum being in the wet 2015 event.

Team director Massimo Meregalli said: "Motegi is traditionally not an easy track for us, but we look forward to starting work on Friday, because we are determined to put on a good show for the Japanese fans, who are always full of support.”

Rossi's team-mate Maverick Vinales is now the top Yamaha rider in the world championship, in fourth place, with three podiums in the last four races.

The nine-time world champion confirmed at Buriram that he will part ways with crew chief Silvano Galbusera at the end of this season, teaming up with current VR46 Moto2 crew chief David Munoz in 2020.



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