Rossi pushing Yamaha to develop Ducati-style winglet
MotoGP legend Valentino Rossi says he is pushing the factory Yamaha team to develop a winglet similar to that used by Ducati this year, as part of improving its in-season development programme.
Speaking to media at the Grand Prix of the Americas, Rossi was informed that Honda also ran an aerodynamic attachment on its swingarm in FP2 at COTA, which he charmingly referred to as “the spoon!”
When asked if he’d like to see a similar part homologated for his Yamaha M1, Rossi replied: “For me it’s something that could be quite important for us. It would help the rear tyre to have a little less temperature, like Ducati said, a little bit more cold. And that would be good for the race.
“I push on Yamaha to have something similar. Already we have this for the wet. I hope that we can try. I think it’s a small thing, but I can think it’ll be a small help. I hope [to have it] during this year, because we need to continue to work.”
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Rossi highlighted the need for Yamaha to improve its in-season technical development, to counter the gains that Honda and Ducati have made in previous seasons.
“In the last years, Yamaha started well at the beginning of the season, and Honda and Ducati improved and we don’t,” said Rossi. “From this point of view, we have to try to improve, test by test during the season.”
So far in 2019, Rossi has been encouraged by the pace of his bike. Fifth place in the Qatar season opener was followed by his runner-up spot in Argentina last time out, and he was satisfied with his one-lap pace in Austin too.
He said: “We work well, we work in the right direction. We have a good group of engineers and people around this year, but the work is long. We lost time in the last two years, so we need the time.”
Speaking specifically about the straightline speed deficit to Ducati in particular, he added: “The bike is not very fast in the straight, but in some other areas we improve. We know the engine is close. We have to work in the corners and try to [benefit from our] strong points.”
Additional reporting by Gustavo Roche
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