Franco Morbidelli insists the latest specification Yamaha M1 remains the more logical choice for his stablemates in 2021 despite Fabio Quartararo and Maverick Vinales both signalling a desire to revert to the 2019 machine in the wake of disappointing results.

Morbidelli gave the pseudo-2019 Yamaha M1 (which blends 2020 parts into the 2019 base) its third victory of the season with a comprehensive victory in the Valencia MotoGP, which in turn marks his second success in three races.

However, the victory will be seen as a bittersweet one for Yamaha off the back of growing discontent among its 2021 factory pairing Quartararo and Vinales, who have suffered a slump in form in recent races over a difficulties getting the tyres working properly in race conditions.

 

 

It has led Vinales to brand the 2019 machine as the better bike, while speculation ahead of the Valencia race that Quartararo wanted to go back to that machine, even if he later distanced himself from the comments when asked.

While Morbidelli’s win, coupled to a tenth for Vinales and a 12th for Valentino Rossi would appear to justify this concern, the Italian doesn’t believe they would be better off swapping to the 2019 bike for 2021 because there is significantly greater margin for improvement 

“A new bike can develop, you can work on it, you can bring modifications that the factory is working on developing. My bike is step one, I need to take out the maximum from it, from that package. 

“Of course there are some items I can pick up from the factories and adapt to my bike but I always say the latest bike is the best one because of this reason, because you can put all the energies of the factory into that package in order to make it grow and develop. 

“The newest and latest has the most margin, mine has the least margin.”

With regulations frozen for 2021 to ease the strains brought on by the long COVID-19 pause, teams will be limited as to what they change with regards to their current machinery, particularly on the engine side, an area where Yamaha is traditionally weak versus its rivals.

Meanwhile, Morbidelli has confirmed he will remain on the specification he is riding this season, despite form that has seen him ascend to second in the standings as the best represented Yamaha rider.