French MotoGP: Yamaha delay engine upgrade

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Valentino Rossi’s first Bridgestone win in Shanghai earlier this month has seen Yamaha delay the introduction of an updated factory YZR-M1 motor.

Already delighted with significant engine improvements in 2008 after a nightmare 2007, Rossi was expecting an updated motor to test on Monday at a test session in Le Mans.

But after his victory in Shanghai where the improved Yamaha was easily a match for rivals Honda and Ducati on the long China straight, Japanese engineers have delayed testing of the motor.

Italian Rossi, who can equal Spanish legend Angel Nieto’s tally of 90 MotoGP victories this weekend in Le Mans, will now test the revised spec in-line four-cylinder motor after the Catalunya MotoGP in Barcelona next month.

Valentino Rossi told MCN today in France: “Our bike this year is fast and the straight now is not a nightmare and it is a lot easier. Looking at the performance of the bike in China, Yamaha has decided to wait.

“I think we will have it for the Barcelona test, but for now we will continue with the same spec bike as Shanghai.

“The plan was originally to have a different engine spec for Le Mans. We’ll stay for the test but only for tyres and settings.”

Rossi said the new step for the engine was more horsepower without sacrificing any of the Yamaha’s smooth power delivery.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt