Yamaha needs to adopt a more aggressive approach with its electronics in a bid to catch up with MotoGP rivals Honda and Ducati, says Valentino Rossi.
Seven-time premier class champion Rossi identified electronics as a weakness of the 2018 Yamaha in pre-season testing, believing it to be the root cause for the M1’s long-standing rear traction woes and he urged for a quick resolution.
Yamaha’s rear traction problem was demonstrated once again in last weekend’s Czech Grand Prix. Rossi qualified second and led three laps in the middle of the race before slumping to fourth, unable to keep up with the pace of the leading trio of Andrea Dovizioso, Jorge Lorenzo and Marc Marquez.
MotoGP introduced control electronics in 2016, banning manufacturers from using custom software, and Rossi says Yamaha’s rivals have been able to make their systems behave more like the old open electronics.
“Yamaha made a mistake with its approach to the spec electronic unit,” said Rossi.
“It was designed to reduce the gap between the works bikes and the satellite bikes, so there were more competitive races. Yamaha believed in this.
“However, the others found a way to make it function like the custom electronics.
“Honda and Ducati have a more aggressive approach, while Yamaha is a bit calmer and we have to try and encourage them.”
MotoGP announced last month that the rules surrounding the electronics are to be tightened with the introduction of a control inertial measurement unit (IMU), furthering the attempts to level the playing field.
Yamaha project leader Kouji Tsuya said he doubts the custom IMU ban will allow the manufacturer to boost its competitiveness in 2019.
Tsuya said: “The situation will be equal for everybody, and we don’t hope the [spec] IMU can help the electronics [situation].
“Our current IMU is better than the unified IMU of next year. Maybe we can at least keep the current performance, but we don’t think it can help us.”
The Czech GP marked 20 races without a win for Yamaha, its longest spell without a victory in the premier class since its barren spell of 22 races between Loris Capirossi’s 1996 Australian GP win and its 1998 victory at the British GP through Simon Crafar.
Rossi says the current uncompetitiveness of his bike is made more frustrating by his belief that he is in strong form.
“It’s a shame to be on such good form and to have a bike that is a bit behind the others, otherwise we would have everything necessary to win,” he said.
“Unfortunately this is the situation and it has been this way for so long, because it has been 20 races without a win. I am doing the maximum, but it’s not enough.”