Motorcycles Rossi “worried” by current MotoGP form after qualifying 17th
Suzuki enquired Brivio about Rossi signing over Facebook
Ex-Suzuki team manager Davide Brivio has revealed the Japanese marque reached out to him through Facebook to enquire if Valentino Rossi would be interested in joining for its MotoGP comeback. © Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images Joan Mir, Team Suzuki MotoGP, Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing Brivio helmed Suzuki’s MotoGP squad from 2013 to 2020, guiding it back to world championship status again last season with Joan Mir, before announcing his departure last week to become Alpine’s racing director in Formula 1.
Valentino Rossi admits he is “worried” about his form on the Petronas SRT Yamaha compared to his factory counterparts, after qualifying 17th for the MotoGP Portuguese Grand Prix.
The Algarve International Circuit proved to be one of Yamaha’s weakest last season, with only Rossi’s new teammate Franco Morbidelli on the ‘A-spec’ M1 having any decent form.
After registering his worst-ever qualifying result last time out in Qatar, Rossi’s form failed to rebound much in Portugal as he qualified 1.1 seconds slower than poleman Fabio Quartararo on identical Yamaha machinery down in 17th.
Petronas SRT unveils 2021 MotoGP livery with Rossi and Morbidelli
Petronas SRT has become the latest MotoGP team to unveil the livery its 2021 challengers will race in the new season with revised line-up Franco Morbidelli and Valentino Rossi. © Petronas Yamaha SRT Valentino Rossi, Petronas Yamaha SRT, Franco Morbidelli, Petronas Yamaha SRT The 2021 season will be SRT’s third in the premier class, the Yamaha satellite team in its short tenure already a six-time race winner. Last year, Morbidelli won three times on his way to runner-up spot in the championship, and ended up just 13 points behind title winner Joan Mir.
It is understood Rossi has performance criteria in his current deal he must meet in 2021 before any discussions with Yamaha over 2022 can be had, with Rossi once again looking to make a decision on his future after the first six or seven races of the season.
Admitting his pace is “nothing fantastic” in Portugal, while both Quartararo and Maverick Vinales – as well as Morbidelli – displayed strong race pace in FP4, Rossi concedes his current situation is alarming.
“Yes, the two bikes of the factory team with Quartararo and Vinales are stronger than me, they are faster,” he said when asked by Motorsport.com if his current form concerned him.
“So, yes, I’m worried especially because I expected – and I want to try – to be more competitive.
Valentino Rossi praises Yamaha progress: "Working much smarter now"
© Motorsport Images After the positive impressions at the Qatar test, Valentino Rossi is in good spirits After a difficult test start, Valentino Rossi found himself in Qatar as the MotoGP tests continued on the right track. His conclusion is consistently positive. With 1: 53.993 minutes, the 42-year-old drove faster than ever before on the Losail circuit. "The balance is positive because we have significantly improved the bike. In terms of grip and feel," said Rossi, praising the Yamaha team.
“But the only way is to work and try step by step to improve a bit.”
Rossi says he is marginally faster in Portugal this time around compared to 2020, but admits making major steps with the bike is proving difficult.
“It’s very difficult to make a big step, sincerely,” he added.
“But every race track is different. Here, compared to the second race in Qatar I am a bit better, but anyway I’m not in the top group.
“I’m a bit faster compared to last year during the practice, but anyway it’s not enough to fight for the good positions.
“So for sure tomorrow will be hard starting from behind, and my pace is nothing fantastic.
“But for the warm-up we can try something else and we hope to be a bit faster tomorrow.”
MotoGP 21 game review: Are its new features enough? .
The official game of MotoGP is back with a 2021 season instalment. Are the new features enough to elevate MotoGP 21 into the pantheon of great racing games? © FIA Formula E Start: Stéphane Sarrazin, Venturi leads Six manufacturer teams, unpredictable results, young upstarts, ageing legends, half a field covered by just 5.3 seconds at the end of a race. There’s a strong argument that MotoGP is not only in rude health, but is the best form of premier class motorsport right now.