SIC running 'A-spec' bike a "win-win" for Yamaha
The new SIC Yamaha MotoGP team running an ‘A-spec’ bike next season for Franco Morbidelli represents a “win-win” situation for the Iwata brand, believes Lin Jarvis.
It was revealed last month at Silverstone that the Petronas-backed SIC outfit, which replaces the Angel Nieto team on the premier class grid next year, will be given one Yamaha M1 similar in specification to the factory bikes for Marc VDS Honda convert Morbidelli.
Moto2 graduate Fabio Quartararo meanwhile will campaign a Valencia 2018-spec 'B-spec' machine for his first season in MotoGP.
It marks a departure from Yamaha’s previous strategy with current satellite team Tech 3, which has traditionally used year-old material handed down from the works squad.
But Yamaha boss Jarvis believes the new approach will assist the factory team, which hasn’t won a MotoGP race in over a year, in its battle with Honda and Ducati at the front of the field.
“I think it’s related primarily to SIC’s desire,” said Jarvis at Silverstone when asked by Motorsport.com where the impetus for the ‘A-spec’ bike had come from.
“They want to run at the front as early as possible, they want to make results. It’s a significant investment by SIC, the Malaysian government, by Petronas.
“It’s primarily led by them, supported by us, because if they have the desire to do that, then we have three, let’s say, high-level bikes on the grid which will help us in terms of data and trying new things.
“I think Franky [Morbidelli], being an Academy rider, training and living close to Valentino [Rossi], there are some synergies there that will surely help him to be able to discuss together with Valentino.
“For me it’s a win-win for everybody.”
Franco Morbidelli, SIC Racing Team
Photo by: Gold and Goose / LAT Images
SIC will be able to draw on the experience of Jorge Lorenzo’s former team manager Wilco Zeelenberg, who has been selected as team manager for the new project, as well as Maverick Vinales’ current crew chief Ramon Forcada, who will engineer Morbidelli in 2019.
But Jarvis emphasised that “it will take time” for the new outfit to get up to speed and that it would be unreasonable for Yamaha to expect instant success.
“Their first challenge is going to be Valencia [post-season testing],” he said.
“Within 24 hours of the last race, this team, which doesn’t exist today, has to exist and to run two guys that have never ridden a Yamaha, from scratch. Frankly, that’s a big ask.
“There’s no doubt they’ll come across things, even if you have experienced people. You have maybe two guys that have the experience, but for all the other guys it’s all brand new and they’re going to come across new problems, new issues.
“We need to take the pressure off the team and we need to give them the time they need to get up to speed.”
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