Rossi: 2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “very similar” to 2020 M1

Petronas SRT rider Valentino Rossi admits the feeling between the 2021 Yamaha MotoGP chassis and last year's M1 is “very similar” after encountering rear grip issues in the Qatar test.

Rossi: 2021 Yamaha MotoGP bike “very similar” to 2020 M1

Yamaha has brought a new chassis to the Qatar test which is derived from the 2019 bike, after all M1 riders suffered a lack of consistency on the 2020 machine.

Rossi worked with both chassis on the second day of the Qatar test, but admitted he didn’t feel much of a difference after finding the traction issues which have dogged him in recent years on the Yamaha.

“We tried some different things but we didn’t find a very good solution, so in the end it was difficult,” Rossi said on Sunday after ending up 19th on the timesheets.

“We suffer especially under acceleration because I don’t have a lot of rear grip.

“We tried to use the bike with the setting that we tried in these two days, but now we have two days to check the data and try to be ready and more competitive for the next test.

“Today we continued to use both chassis, but my impression at the end of the two days is that it’s very similar to last year’s bike.

“No, it’s not very similar to the 2019 chassis. It’s something between, but when I ride I feel very, very similar to the 2020 [bike].”

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Rossi’s lap time on Sunday was two tenths slower than what he managed on the opening day, though a problem with his bike late on stopped him from attempting a time attack.

Despite this, Rossi admits he simply wasn’t quick enough, having ended the test 1.6 seconds off his factory Yamaha replacement Fabio Quartararo at the top of the standings.

“For sure the position is not fantastic and my lap time was not fantastic,” he added. “But I didn’t feel comfortable with the bike.

“At the end we also don’t try to push with the soft tyre, so if not I could do a bit better.

“But this is not the problem. The problem is I was not fast enough, so now we need to check the data together with the team and try to follow a different way for the next test.”

Rossi says he spoke with new Yamaha test rider Cal Crutchlow this weekend and felt his ideas about the M1 were “interesting”, given his experience of the Honda.

“Yes, I did two or three laps with Cal at the beginning of the session,” Rossi said.

“I speak with Cal, I speak also with Sylvano Galbusera [Crutchlow’s crew chief, formerly Rossi’s], and they gave a lot of interesting feedback.

“I think that he rides fast, he’s good, and also it’s interesting his ideas because he rode the Honda for a long time.

“So, I think he can help us a lot.”

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