Valentino Rossi will only need two or three races to understand his level of competitiveness, according to Monster Yamaha team director Massimo Meregalli.

Like most of the grid, the MotoGP legend is out of contract at the end of this season, with the 41-year-old facing a milestone decision over whether to extend his racing career.

Rossi says he will only continue if he's competitive. That 'wait-and-see' stance has already cost the Italian his place at the official Yamaha team to Fabio Quartararo next year, although the factory has pledged to give Rossi full support at a satellite team if he does continue.

Most believe Rossi planned to use the six races prior to his home Italian Grand Prix on May 31 to make a decision, but the coronavirus pandemic means the new season is unlikely to start until June at the earliest.

Could the compressed season complicate Rossi's big decision? Not according to team boss Meregalli, who told GPone.com: "For a rider of his calibre, I think 2-3 races is enough. Vale is a very intelligent person who immediately understands his level."

Like his Yamaha colleagues, Rossi had an encouraging winter on the latest M1… until the final outing in Qatar, when last year's tyre degradation issues suddenly reappeared during The Doctor's race simulation.

Meregalli insisted Rossi had kept 'some margin' in testing and was 'satisfied', but admitted the tyre wear problem needs addressing.

"His style is different to Maverick and Quartararo and consequently he stressed the tyre more," Meregalli explained.

"Both Yamaha and Valentino will have to take a step to meet halfway. Yamaha will work to put Valentino in the best situation and he will do the same, perhaps by modifying his riding style, as he has been able to do in the past."

Meanwhile, Meregalli has few question marks over the potential of team-mate Vinales, who will stay on to partner current Petronas star Quartararo in 2021.

"Maverick was very fast, he found a lot of confidence in race pace with the bike and tyres. The same was true of Quartararo," Meregalli said.

"From what we saw at the tests I would say Vinales" would have won the season-opening race, he added.

Qatar is the only round so far cancelled for the MotoGP class, but running all 19 remaining rounds is increasingly unrealistic.

"I personally think that before July it is impossible to start," said Meregalli. "I am of the opinion that holding 12-13 races would be a fair number."

 

Latest 2020 MotoGP Calendar (March 26)

Round

Date

Race

Circuit

1

8 March

Qatar (no MotoGP class)

Losail

2

3 May

Spain (postponed)

Jerez

3

17 May

France

Le Mans

4

31 May

Italy

Mugello

5

7 June

Catalunya

Barcelona

6

21 June

Germany

Sachsenring

7

28 June

Netherlands

TT Circuit Assen

8

12 July

Finland*

KymiRing (Subject to circuit homologation)

9

9 August

Czech Republic

Brno

10

16 August

Austria

Red Bull Ring

11

30 August

Great Britain

Silverstone

12

13 September

San Marino

Misano

13

27 September

Aragon

Aragon

14

4 October

Thailand

Chang

15

18 October

Japan

Motegi

16

25 October

Australia

Phillip Island

17

1 November

Malaysia

Sepang

18

15 November

Americas

Circuit of the Americas

19

22 November

Argentina

Termas de Rio Hondo

20

29 November

Valencia

Ricardo Tormo

 

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