So far, the relationship between Valentino Rossi and Maverick Vinales appeared to be pretty good. The pair are often seen talking and laughing at Yamaha events - and not in the same, manufactured way that has been seen with The Doctor and his team-mates before.
Vinales, though, is showing signs of huge frustration that the devastating pace he showed at the start of last season has never surfaced again. A change of tyres, the frame, electronics and a too-smooth engine have all been wheeled out as reasons why the M1 cannot live with the Honda and Ducati.
Although absolute accusations have not been levelled at Yamaha’s MotoGP management, various comments led season observers to deduce Vinales is about done with playing second fiddle to Rossi in the development curve and is now striking out on his own to find a solution to the problems.
He dubbed the Buriram test as his ‘worst ever with Yamaha’ as he just couldn’t find anything for the pace of Marquez. Rossi fared a little better but the team as a whole are nowhere near their targets this close to the start of a season. Vinales has pleaded with Yamaha to listen - which probably means to him and not Rossi.
“We have different engine, different electronics so I don’t know, honestly I don’t know. Maybe better ask Yamaha. I try many things in these two tests and I don’t know now,” he said in Thailand.
“For sure we will continue but I don’t think the problem is in the garage, it is something more because we try everything on the bike, set-ups that last year we were never going to try because impossible to work. Honestly, Yamaha has to realise that we have a problem and they have to put the work.
“My request is to have the bike I rode the first time I rode the Yamaha. To have this feeling. I just jumped on the Yamaha, and it was a totally different feeling to right now.”
Rossi acknowledges there are problems but says Vinales is free to do as he sees fit. “If Maverick wants to use some other stuff, he can…”