MotoGP: Battered and bruised Rossi working for 2018

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A battered and bruised Valentino Rossi has admitted that the goal of him and his Movistar Yamaha team for the remaining three races of the 2017 season is to begin work on next year’s iteration of the M1 bike, after yet another disastrous weekend at the Twin Ring Motegi.

Crashing out of yesterday’s race in wet conditions, Rossi admitted afterwards that the long-standing problems of the bike in low grip and wet conditions hasn’t eased at all – and that they need to start fixing it for next season.

“Today was the end of a very difficult weekend. Because of the wet conditions I was not very competitive, I was struggling a lot with the wet setting of the bike. In the race I was trying to follow Aleix Espargaró and I was trying to stick with him, but unfortunately I crashed. Now we’ll try to do some good races and it will be important during the next weekends to give Yamaha as much information as possible to improve the bike and to decide on the direction for next year.”

His views were echoed by teammate Maverick Viñales, who had a disastrous race of his own, finishing behind the satellite Yamaha of Johann Zarco.

“I expected things to be a little bit worse, because this morning I was trying to be in the top-15. Finally, in the race, I pushed a lot in the beginning. I tried to risk only the necessary, trying to give our best. Today this was the maximum and we will have to think now about Australia.

“Until all the points are collected it is impossible to know if there is still a chance to win the championship. For sure we we’ll face different circumstances in Australia. It will be a different bike and different tyres, we don’t know what we’re going to have there, but it’s a track I like a lot, I like to ride there, so I can’t wait to be on the bike again.”

Simon Patterson

By Simon Patterson

MotoGP and road racing reporter, photographer, videographer