Valentino Rossi has spoken positively about his burgeoning relationship with new crew chief David Munoz following his return to the MotoGP podium for the first time in 17 races in Jerez.

In what will be his final season competing with the Yamaha Factory team, Rossi initiated a major behind the scenes change for his 2020 MotoGP campaign by taking on Munoz as his new crew chief, replacing Silvano Galbusera.

Promoted from Rossi’s VR46 Sky Racing Moto2 set up, though Munoz came to the multiple world champion with no previous experience in MotoGP, his influence appeared to show last time out in Jerez as Rossi – who has struggled with persistent tyre-related problems on the Yamaha M1 – enjoyed his most competitive weekend in more than a year.

Speaking ahead of the Czech Republic MotoGP in Brno – scene of his first GP win back in 1996 - Rossi says the fresh, young eyes of Munoz is allowing him to learn something new.

“The last race in Jerez we changed something that gives me a better feeling and I enjoyed [it] all weekend. At the end, back on the podium after a long time and a difficult period is a great feeling. It is very important to understand if I can be strong here also.

“In the summer of last year, I understood we needed something different, so we changed chief mechanic and we tried to bet on a younger mechanic from Moto2 with no MotoGP experience.

“I liked his approach because it was working in Moto2 and I feel very good. He can teach me a lot and it is another way to work on the bike, we need[ed] fresh eyes.

“Apart from his technical skills, his approach is quiet and optimistic and this stage for a rider it is important to have this support from the box.”

Even so, Rossi says the relationship with Munoz is still being forged, with the next few races to prove whether the positive changes of Jerez can be replicated elsewhere

“For sure, we need time to improve our relationship and for him to understand what I need but in the next races we can understand if we are in a good way.”

 

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