Whilst acknowledging that Valentino Rossi's departure from its Factory MotoGP team is a 'significant moment', Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis doesn't expect a major change in how the YZR-M1 is developed in 2021.

Rossi (41) is switching to the satellite Petronas Yamaha team this season and effectively swapping places with Fabio Quartararo (21), who joins Maverick Vinales (26) at Monster Yamaha.

While Rossi continues to receive a Factory-spec bike, MotoGP development is usually heavily weighted towards the requests of Official team riders and Quartararo, for example, will certainly expect more say in how the M1 needs to change.

Jarvis confirmed that "development will be led more by the Factory team" this year, but insisted that Rossi - who has unrivalled MotoGP experience from 21 years in the premier-class - remains a "very important part of our 'data gathering".

"[The end of the 2020 season] marks a significant moment for us and for Valentino, because he's done 15 seasons with the Yamaha Factory team. That's quite extraordinary," Jarvis said.

"Obviously, he did that in two stints, first he did seven years before he took a two-year break [at Ducati] and then he's done eight years since coming back.

"So it will be a change, there's no doubt, because moving 'next door' as such, will be different. But on the other side it will not be different because Valentino will still get full Factory support, he'll be riding a Factory bike with the same spec as the Factory team riders.

"It is true that some of the development will be led more by the Factory team, but Valentino is a very important part of our 'data gathering'.

"Having more riders on the track is important and there's no question that our engineers will be looking at the data of Fabio and Maverick and Valentino to develop and progress the Factory bike. But we also get some interesting information from having Franky out here [on the A Spec bike].

"So, I think that it will be not a huge change, it will not be a deficit in any case and it won't change very much the way that we develop the bike."

Rossi has also said he expects to have a similar level of development input in 2021, despite moving to the satellite team.

"I think I will be involved like this year. So it doesn’t change a lot," said the nine-time world champion, before quipping: "[But] we need to understand if this year I'm very involved or not!"

"What I can do is give all my experience and try to say what for me we need, but more-or-less we have the same problem, similar problem for a lot of time. So I think that next year doesn't change a lot.

"I think that anyway the Japanese [Yamaha engineers] hear what the riders say, but at the end they do what they want. I mean they have already [in] mind what they want to do…"

After struggling for podium form during the second half of 2019, Rossi and his crew 'pushed hard' to go their own way with bike set-up before ending the Italian's 17-race rostrum drought at round two of the 2020 season, in Jerez.

It was to be his only top 3 finish of the season, although he came within one lap of repeating the feat at Misano. A run of four DNFs combined with two races missed due to contracting the Covid-19 meant Rossi eventually finished just 15th in the world championship

 

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