Valentino Rossi gained further understanding of Yamaha’s intentions for its 2020 M1 at Jerez on Monday, when he noted an improvement in terms of top speed but said “it’s not enough” to close the gap to rival manufacturers.

The 40-year old was 14th fastest at the end of the first day of testing in Andalusia, a considerable 1.6s slower than pace setter and team-mate Maverick Viñales. Fabio Quartararo and Franco Morbidelli ensured there were three Yamahas in the top five places.

Rossi was testing the same package as the two-day Valencia outing last week, and while he experienced enough to say the early version of the 2020 M1 was an improvement, he called on Yamaha to continue working over the winter months.

“It [the package at the Jerez test] is exactly the same, Yamaha are working hard on the engine. But you know it's not easy, you need time because the difference is quite big.

“The Valencia and Jerez tracks are not the perfect ones to understand the top speed but you already feel something. For sure we need to work but at this moment the engine is just like the one in Valencia.”

Rossi faced a near constant uphill battle throughout 2019 as a lack of top speed continued to undermine his attacks in the races in the second half of the year.

Despite that, Viñales and Quartararo’s performances in the second half of the year suggested Yamaha was finally getting it right after several seasons in the wilderness.

On how the Iwata factory can address its top speed issues without sacrificing the usable nature of its engine character, Rossi stressed the need for engineers to master power delivery as well as added horsepower.

“Yes, you know if you want to make an engine which is faster, its not so difficult. The problem is to have the power but with a good power delivery,” he said.

“And with Yamaha we work very much because we need the top speed but must do better with the power delivery. Under this point of view they work and we already feel something but it's not enough.”

 

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