Rossi: 2021 MotoGP engine freeze "no excuse" for Yamaha

Valentino Rossi insists the freeze on engine development for the 2021 MotoGP season is "not an excuse" for Yamaha not to improve its problematic motors.

Rossi: 2021 MotoGP engine freeze "no excuse" for Yamaha
Listen to this article

Due to cost-saving measures brought in as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, all manufacturers (except KTM, who is allowed to build a new engine after losing its concessions) must start the 2021 campaign with their current engine specification.

After the first round, normal update rules apply, meaning all but Aprilia will be unable to develop their engines for the rest of the season.

Yamaha has been beset by problems with its engines this year, with its motors regularly the slowest through the speed traps and also fragile, with three of its four riders – including Rossi – losing an engine to mechanical issues after the Jerez rounds.

The engine freeze looks like it will impact Yamaha the hardest, but Rossi insists there are other avenues related to engine performance the Japanese marque can look into.

"The engine is frozen [for 2021], but it's not an excuse," Rossi said after his European Grand Prix ended with an engine issue.

"In MotoGP now, you can make a lot of things around the engine to improve the performance, from the electronics side, to the way to [keep] fresh the engine, to keep the engine temperature low, and from the exhaust [side].

"So, also if you can't go inside the engine [to improve] you have a lot of different issues that you can improve.

"So, for me, if Yamaha can work well and in the right direction, we can do better."

Rossi's first race since his return from COVID-19 ended after just five laps, when an "electronic problem" in the engine forced him to park up.

Rossi noted it seems the other manufacturers out-develop Yamaha in the pre-season and ultimately move ahead as the campaign wears on – but stresses the biggest issue is still the engine.

"It's true that like a lot of time happened, we are ready, we are fast at the beginning of the season," he added.

"And then it looks like the other manufacturers bring a lot of new things, so they need some races to fix and at the end of the championship they are very strong.

"But it also depends on race by race, last week Franco [Morbidelli] won and here in Valencia it's difficult for all the Yamahas.

Read Also:

"I think and I always said to them the engine is a big problem for us because we are always the slowest the straight, but at the same time we have reliability problems.

"So, we have a lot of problems to finish the season with five engines. So, we don't have enough performance, but we also don't have enough reliability.

"Also, the engine character that was for a long time was the strong point of Yamaha, now it looks like the other engines are also smoother in acceleration than us.

"So, if you put all the problems together this is the place where we have [to improve]."

shares
comments
Dovizioso set to take MotoGP sabbatical in 2021
Previous article

Dovizioso set to take MotoGP sabbatical in 2021

Next article

Where it all went wrong for 2020's MotoGP title favourite

Where it all went wrong for 2020's MotoGP title favourite
Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 MotoGP riders of 2022

The 2022 MotoGP season was another hotly contested championship, with Francesco Bagnaia emerging as the title winner after the campaign went to the wire. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers of the season

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo? Prime

Was the MotoGP 2022 title won by Bagnaia or lost by Quartararo?

Reigning MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo had a 91-point lead over rival Francesco Bagnaia after the German Grand Prix, a seemingly impregnable gap to overcome in the remaining 10 races. But as the Frenchman struggled for pace with his Yamaha, Bagnaia stormed back into contention and swept to Ducati's first riders' title since 2007

MotoGP
Nov 25, 2022
Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests Prime

Why there's more to Honda's 2023 MotoGP bike than the Valencia test suggests

After a run on Honda's 2023 prototype MotoGP bike, six-time champion Marc Marquez made his pessimism clear with his initial reaction. But the Japanese marque has made leadership changes behind closed doors - and a more representative bike promised for the Malaysia test in February could placate Marquez.

MotoGP
Nov 23, 2022
Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems Prime

Why new MotoGP champion Bagnaia has a stronger character than it seems

While new MotoGP champion Francesco Bagnaia might not be the loudest rider on the grid, his calm exterior belies a steely backbone. His part in turning around Ducati's fortunes at the start of the year, when displeased with a new engine concept, shows the strength of his character.

MotoGP
Nov 16, 2022
Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough Prime

Why Bagnaia's MotoGP triumph is as worthy as Stoner's Ducati breakthrough

OPINION: Despite the superiority exhibited by the Ducati in 2022, the context in which Francesco Bagnaia became MotoGP world champion means that both the rider and the Italian marque merit the same recognition that the brand and Casey Stoner received after their 2007 title

MotoGP
Nov 9, 2022
Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending Prime

Why the 2022 MotoGP season had a bittersweet ending

OPINION: MotoGP’s fifth last round showdown of the modern era delivered a tense finale despite the predictable outcome, as Francesco Bagnaia ended 15 years of pain for Ducati. But as emotions ran high for the Italian marque, a final victory for a departing Japanese rival tinged the campaign’s conclusion with sadness.

MotoGP
Nov 7, 2022
Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun Prime

Why the 2023 MotoGP title battle has already begun

Since Ducati announced the arrival of Enea Bastianini to its factory team for 2023, the staging of the four-time race winner has strained the atmosphere within the Italian manufacturer, which has raised its guard in anticipation of what may happen between him and championship favourite Francesco Bagnaia.

MotoGP
Nov 1, 2022
Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future Prime

Why Yamaha has just six months to safeguard Quartararo's future

Yamaha's decision to dispense pre-season with the 2022 engine it had intended to use due to lack of reliability, the promises of improvement to Fabio Quartararo and the advance with which the rider market moves leaves the Japanese brand with less than six months to prevent the Frenchman from starting to look for a way out

MotoGP
Oct 28, 2022