Yamaha will ditch its 2017 YZR-M1 designs that caused much wailing and gnashing of teeth from Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales, preferring to base its 2018 bike on last year’s version with which Johann Zarco had no particular problems.
After a two-day test at Sepang, where the three riders spent time evaluating the new engine specs, it was decided that the 2017 model was ‘much worse’ than the 2016 bike, so Yamaha’s engineers will take something like the 2016 bike to the next set of IRTA tests at the Sepang track in late January.
“We tried the old bike, the one from 2016. We deliberated and we were all agreed the 2017 bike was worse. We still have to see what the new bike will be like, there will be something interesting. But the base will be the bike from 2016,” said Rossi.
“Now is a critical moment. Between now and February, Yamaha needs to make a big leap forward.”