MotoGP: Rossi criticises new Yamaha engine

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Valentino Rossi has slammed the new engine that Yamaha have delivered to him as part of the 2017-specification M1 machine that he tested for the first time today at Valencia, criticising it for failing to fix the problems they’ve struggled with so far this year.

Calling out the Japanese manufacturer, not for the first time this season, the Italian was quick to say that the development just wasn’t good enough despite finishing second on the timesheets – ominously for him, behind new teammate Maverick Viñales.

“Today wasn’t that bad, but I did my time with the old bike. Afterwards, we tried the new engine, and it’s not fantastic. I expected more. We haven’t improved a lot. It’s just the first version but we have to work. I expected better, but there hasn’t been a lot of difference.”

The news will come as a worry to Yamaha and to Rossi, as former teammate Jorge Lorenzo finds his form on the blisteringly fast Ducati, a bike that doesn’t struggle on acceleration or top speed. The difference was further reinforced by the speed trap times, with Lorenzo finishing the day 10kph faster than the Yamaha duo.

But Rossi was quick to shrug off a crash at lunchtime, admitting that while it caused a delay to his testing schedule, it didn’t seriously affect the day’s plans.

“I crashed because I put in the harder front, and it doesn’t have enough grip on the right for our bike. I crashed don the new chassis, and damaged the bike and didn’t have time to try it again. Now the guys work, and I’ll try it tomorrow and we’ll see.”

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Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer