Nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi believes Yamaha will not switch to a V4 engine configuration in an effort to match the rest of the MotoGP grid in terms of top speed.
The Doctor reckons that although an inline four lack in top end, it is a bit less vicious to ride and remains the cornering weapon of choice.
“From what we understand, the inline four is a bit more easy to ride, but is a bit more slow,” said Rossi, speaking at Sepang.
““It’s always difficult because the V4s are faster in the straight and to go faster in the straight is ‘gratis’. You don’t have a big effort.
“Looks like our bike is a bit better in the corners, but to be faster in the corner you have always to risk, always to make more effort. So it’s not easy.
But this is our DNA. The Yamaha is like this and I think it will remain always like this, the four inline, so we have to do the maximum like this.”
Yamaha’s 2020 model is still down on top speed compared to the Ducati and Honda but Rossi is pleased with its performance over the three days at Sepang.
The feeling is positive because it looks like we gained some grip. And it also looks like we improved the rear tyre degradation, which is our main issue. But it’s just one track, so now we have to check in Qatar,” he said.
“The new bike is a bit different so we need to work to understand all the potential. The bike with new tyres is very good, also for the time attack. But we need to understand if also at the other tracks our pace is better at the end of the race. And work on the speed in the straight.
“We improved a little bit in the top speed but still the gap is quite big [because] the other bikes also made a step. Now we need to understand if we can keep the slipstream, but I don’t see a lot of difference. We need to wait also for another track and need to see if we don’t lose a lot in the race.”