Rossi: We have to work in all areas

Aside from confirming rider coach Luca Cadalora will no longer work in his corner in 2019, Valentino Rossi has a rather downbeat take on where Yamaha is.
Rossi: We have to work in all areas

His team-mate may intimate differently. But at the close of preseason testing in 2018, Valentino Rossi was clear: “We have a lot work to do if we want to be competitive.” Another stark warning for Yamaha bosses.

Rossi described the two-day outing at Jerez as “positive,” where the Italian improved his pace, and both he and Maverick Viñales came to agree on which of Yamaha’s two ‘2019-spec’ engines were better.

But still it is not enough. Ducati appears to have taken further strides with the early version of its GP19 racer, while Honda and even Suzuki aren’t far behind. Rossi pushed to ensure Japanese bosses in Iwata don’t sit still before the next outing at Sepang in late January.



“I think from the engines that we try in these days it’s quite easy to make a decision,” he said. “Today we worked and it was a little bit better. We improved especially the pace.

“But for me we have a lot of work to do if we want to try and be competitive especially with Ducati and Honda, but also with Suzuki. So I hope that Yamaha continue working and pushing to have something better in February.

“We have to work in all the areas because we still suffer. These two tests were not so bad, especially this one. But we need to continue to work.”

Pressed on his day further, Rossi said, “It was a good day because we work more deeply and we improve. My pace was not so bad and the feeling with the bike was quite good.

“From the stuff we have that we have to decide we already decided and I think the situation is quite clear. But for me we still have to work. It looks like we improve a little bit but it’s not enough.

“We’re always struggling with grip in acceleration with the slide and spin. We improve a little bit but for me it’s not enough. We need some more effort for next year.”

Rossi also revealed current rider coach and ex-500cc race winner Luca Cadalora will retire from his role for 2019 due to personal reasons.

“Cadalora unfortunately said to us ‘Bye bye’ because after three seasons he decide to stay at home because sincerely it’s a long, long season. You stay out a lot of days. It’s a great shame because I feel very good with Luca. I think also him with me.

“But he make a family decision. So this is a personal decision. You cannot say… We try! We try a lot to keep him here but in the end he decided this. In the end remain a very good relationship that will for sure will continue.

“Now we will decide. But we still have to decide for next year.”