Yamaha’s 2009 factory YZR-M1 is good enough to withstand a fresh onslaught from Ducati’s impressive new GP9, according to Valentino Rossi’s crew chief Jerry Burgess.
After a nightmare first season in the new 800cc era, Yamaha roared back to prominence in 2008 with the YZR-M1 winning ten races to become the dominant brand again in MotoGP.
In retaliation, Ducati has rolled out a radical new GP9 featuring a carbon fibre chassis and frame and Aussie Casey Stoner has been phenomenally fast during winter testing.
Burgess though believes the new YZR-M1, which features a shorter wheelbase to improve rear grip with Bridgestone tyres and revised engine and electronics to enhance corner exit acceleration, will be a match for Ducati and Stoner.
He told MCN: “The bike was good last year with us winning the world championship.
"But we have refined some things and tried a couple of things and from the outside you can’t see too much difference, but certainly from the inside we have made a lot of improvements.
"We could identify last year some areas where we felt our opposition had some advantage over us and they have probably done the same and looked at us.
"Everybody has tried to improve in the areas where they felt there was something to be gained. Certainly off the slower corners we seemed to lose out to the Ducati.
"We could see that clearly in the last corner in Laguna Seca although we did go on to win the race. It doesn’t mean the problems go away. We identified that clearly and certainly the Ducati seems to explode in the lower gears.
"We have all got 800cc so we should be able to make something better. We have got a good handling package and a good rider so we have just tried to refine the bike.”
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