Yamaha MotoGP: “Allons enfants de la patrie”

Before the winter break, after Jerez test, it was impossible not to notice Valentino Rossi’s disappointment, as the Italian didn’t feel the improvement he expected on his factory Yamaha M1. By contrast, his “student” Franco Morbidelli did very well and this partly cheered up the nine times World Champion. During Monza Rally Show, Rossi said: “We hope to be more competitive than in 2018 season and we hope that Yamaha will make some progress, so that we can be in the front. In particular, we must improve in 4 or 5 crucial areas. They’re working on it, we need time.”

THE BOSS’ THOUGHTS – Eric de Seynes, Yamaha Motor Europe CEO and Chairman, was interviewed by French website paddock-gp.com and his opinion is pretty different from Rossi’s: “I know our factory team is working hard and I’m sure that their effort will be rewarded. In the last 2018 GP, both Rossi and Viñales were fighting for the win.” The Frenchman is much more optimistic than “The Doctor”: “First winter test was quite positive, also for our new satellite team SIC Petronas. We shouldn’t forget that electronics and tyres are the same for everyone, so factory and satellite teams are much closer to each other than before. Going just three tenths faster is enough to make a huge step forward in the standings.

CONSISTENCY – Anyway, De Seynes admits that factory team experienced huge trouble in 2018: in particular, Rossi and Viñales weren’t consistent at all, as they were fast in a GP  and far behind in the following one. The main problems concerned tyre usage, more precisely particle size, track temperature and grip. However, De Seynes is confident: “Our bike is basically very competitive and we should respect its strengths, which were proven proven by how Morbidelli and Quartararo performed at their first test on Yamaha M1.” De Seynes also talked about French hopes Johann Zarco and Fabio Quartararo: “Whatever it happens, I’ll always love Johann, his talent and his skills.

REGRET – De Seynes admitted he felt sorry for Zarco leaving Yamaha, although Johann had been promised a more competitive package for 2019. As well as they did with the rider from Cannes, De Seynes closely followed Quartararo and he believes that he’s no privileged: “For what concerns Fabio Quartararo, I got in touch with him thanks to our retailer in Nice, Jacques Onda, who has followed him since when he was child. When he debuted in Moto2, I wanted to offer Fabio a Yamaha R6 for his training, as I had done with Johann Zarco. Furthermore, I often congratulated him when he scored a podium or when he performed well in Qualifying Practice. When rumour mill said that he could have joined SIC Racing Team, I pushed for him to be signed. His background, achievements, experience and age are compelling. He has time to grow in MotoGP and he may be the first French rider to have such opportunity. I’ll follow his progress very closely and I’ll do my best to help him ias well as possible.”


Translated by Alessandro Palma

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