From Motociclismo comes this little report, where Mat Oxley – ex-racer and eminent moto-journalist – talks about the Yamaha YZR-M1. Says Oxley, ‘Yamaha has a mountain to climb in 2008. At the end of last season, the M1 was one of the slowest bikes on the grid, and also the most fragile. To return to its former glory, the M1 needs more horsepower, much more horsepower.’
‘Handling-wise, the M1 is agile, but it needs to make more power, and reliably so. In doing so, Yamaha may have to abandon their big-bang engine – which helps improve traction with its rider-friendly power delivery – but which also consumes more fuel and makes less horsepower,’ says Oxley.
During the 2007 MotoGP season, Yamaha worked hard to find more horsepower for their M1, but with little success. The pneumatic-valve engine, which was unveiled in September, also did not help. Rossi was quite frustrated with the engine, which broke down often, compounding his tyre problems. At one time, reportedly, Rossi even demanded that Yamaha should abandon their inline-four format and build an all-new V4 engine for more power and reliability.
With The Doctor having moved to Bridgestone rubber for 2008, the pressure will now be on him to perform. Rossi and Stoner are likely to be on a mission to beat each other next year, and it isn’t entirely clear whether Yamaha can actually build a bike which lets Rossi perform to his potential. Guess we’re in for one hell of a MotoGP season in 2008!
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