Reigning MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi are widely expected to test Yamaha’s new 2014 prototype YZR-M1 machine in a two-day test session at the Brno track this week.
It has been traditional for Yamaha to unveil its new prototype for the following season during post race testing at the Czech Republic venue in August.
But the annual Brno test will not happen this season as it falls in between the Indianapolis and Silverstone races.
Yamaha has a private two-day test booked at Brno though that kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday) and sources have hinted the new YZR-M1 will be available to evaluate.
With no official Brno test on this year’s schedule, HRC took the opportunity to unveil its 2014 factory racer back in June at a rain-hit session at the Motorland Aragon track in Spain.
By getting initial feedback and impressions off Spaniard Lorenzo and nine-times world champion Rossi at this stage of the current campaign will then give Yamaha technical staff time to work on any modifications ahead of the start of 2014 testing immediately after the final race in Valencia in November.
This week’s Brno test is almost certain to see Lorenzo and Rossi finally get their first chance to test a new seamless shift gearbox.
Both have been piling pressure on Yamaha’s engineering group to make the seamless shift system available, which has been used by rivals Honda and Ducati since 2011.
The seamless shift gearbox helps stability under acceleration when upshifting but Yamaha has lagged miles behind Honda and Ducati in getting the system ready.
During the recent Laguna Seca round in California, Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said: “Yamaha is developing a seamless shift gearbox and the process is going fine and we are now in a track testing phase and at some time we will test it with our factory riders. When we are completely satisfied we will start to race it."
With Lorenzo and Rossi both still in title contention behind Repsol Honda duo Marc Marquez and Dani Pedrosa, it is not clear if Yamaha will take a risk on introducing such significant new technology for the second half of the season.
Lorenzo is 26-points behind Marquez after an injury ravaged recent spell while Rossi sits 46-points behind the Spanish rookie sensation, who has won three races in 2013.