Yamaha: We would have had same issues with Lorenzo

Yamaha MotoGP team boss Lin Jarvis says the team would have still encountered the same problems that hobbled its title challenge this season even if it had kept Jorge Lorenzo as a rider.

Yamaha: We would have had same issues with Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi
Jorge Lorenzo, Ducati Team, Gigi Dall'Igna, Ducati Team General Manager
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After nine seasons at Yamaha, three-time premier class champion Lorenzo left to join Ducati at the start of the season, and was replaced by Suzuki convert Maverick Vinales.

However, Vinales and teammate Valentino Rossi struggled to overcome the rear grip issues of the 2017 bike, and ultimately could only finish third and fifth in the championship standings between them.

It marked the first time in 10 years that neither factory Yamaha rider finished inside the top two of the points.

Asked whether his team was "missing" Lorenzo in light of its struggles, Jarvis said keeping the Mallorcan rider on board would not have dramatically altered its fortunes.

"Do we miss him [Lorenzo] as such? No," said Jarvis. "Of course we had a long relationship with Jorge, he won three titles with us, so we have a lot of fond memories of Jorge and we still see him around the paddock.

"I think we would have encountered the same problems that we encountered with or without Jorge. I miss him on a social level, but I don’t think in terms of performance.

"Maverick has had a very good season with us, finished third, he’s making a step forward. Potentially he could have done better if we’d given him a better tool.

"What we did with Jorge was great, but now we’re on a different path and that’s also fine."

Rossi: Lorenzo departure timing "a coincidence"

Likewise, Rossi said that he believes the problems of the 2017 M1 would have remained the same regardless of who his teammate was, despite the disparity to Vinales in the early part of the season.

"I thought about this, but I think it's a coincidence," said Rossi.

"Last year [in Valencia], Lorenzo went off [to Ducati] on Sunday and I got on the [new] bike on Tuesday, and I told him that I didn't think the bike was for me. However, Vinales was very fast.

"Perhaps if Lorenzo rode it, he would have agreed with me. But I don't think that it was for this reason [that we struggled].

"In my opinion, the original error was that this bike was made to solve problems which it did not solve."

Additional reporting by Oriol Puigdemont

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