Jorge Lorenzo has claimed that Yamaha teammate Valentino Rossi is improving his laptimes at the Circuit of the Americas by not only using his data to improve his bike, but “copying” his gearchanges.
During practice on Friday, for example, Lorenzo was noticeably short-shifting following the exit of Turn 1 to balance the bike into Turn 2 so he could hold more throttle through the downhill right-hand sweeper.
“Valentino was struggling to get down to 2m04s,” said Lorenzo of Rossi’s Friday pace. “But this communication [of Lorenzo’s data] has made a big change to him, as happened many times last year.
“He is not only taking my data on settings, but he is even copying my gear selection in the corners.
“It is what it is, and you cannot change that.”
In Rossi’s defence, he was less than a tenth off Lorenzo’s best time on Friday, and all but matched him in FP4 before Lorenzo pulled four tenths on him in qualifying.
On the subject of whether the communication of data would continue if Lorenzo, as expected, switches to Ducati next year, he said: “I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. Now the situation is like this."
Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont