Rossi doubts Yamaha can ‘afford’ to continue current form

Valentino Rossi is hopeful of an improvement in Yamaha’s MotoGP fortunes as he doesn’t think the manufacturer can “afford” to remain at its current level of performance.

Yamaha is already amid its longest-ever winless streak in the category, and the manufacturer is expected to extend it in the upcoming races as well with Ducati and Honda having superior bikes.

But Rossi feels that Yamaha, one of the greatest manufacturers in MotoGP history, can’t allow itself to stay in its current form for much longer.

“The situation is very difficult, so it won’t be easy to recover,” he said. “What gives me hope is that I don’t think Yamaha can afford to do so much harm for another two years.

“Let’s hope that something changes. For my part, I am trying to do everything to motivate and spur the Japanese part of our box, because it is clear that we have to do a different kind of work, we have to do more.

“I’ve tried to talk to [Yamaha general manager Kouichi] Tsuji and [project leader Kouji] Tsuya, but in the next races there will also be some big boys, so we have to try to do our best to do better.

Rossi is under contract with Yamaha until the end of the 2020 season.

“It’s very difficult to continue like this, I’ve told them as well,” he said. “But I’ve already signed for the next two years, so I’ll be racing for the next two years.

“You have to have a bike competitive enough to start from home thinking you can fight for the win or at least get on the podium.

“Unfortunately that’s not the case now and we need to change our objectives: we can fight for sixth and seventh place.

“It also depends on what happens in front of us. It’s also difficult to keep our motivation up and give our all”.

While MotoGP hasn’t raced at Buriram yet, Rossi doesn’t expect Yamaha to be strong as the layout of the circuit, featuring several long straights, doesn’t suit the M1.

“On paper will be hard because the track is not very good, not fantastic for the M1. But for sure we will try.

“We did the test here in February, was not fantastic, but anyway we are in a difficult moment so we have to try to stay concentrated and try to take as much as possible.”

Additional reporting by Scherazade Mulia Saraswati

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