Yamaha: There’ll be changes within our organisation

Yamaha’s MotoGP Managing Director Lin Jarvis tells Crash.net the factory is “far from out of the woods,” despite a recent upturn in results; reveals there will be changes “within our organisation.”
Yamaha: There’ll be changes within our organisation

Despite its recent upturn in results, Yamaha is planning an internal shake up of its MotoGP project, which will include the hiring of more engineers both from within the factory and from outside, as well as “a change in how we fix problems” after a largely difficult 2018.

That is according to Managing Director Lin Jarvis, who feels the factory is “far from being out of the woods at this moment,” even after the ending of its 25-race winless drought at Phillip Island and largely positive weekends in Thailand and Malaysia.

In conversation with Crash.net, Jarvis stated Yamaha management has already decided on a course of action for 2019, but was unable to give too much away. “We will have more engineers and new engineers,” he said before admitting there is a need to “accrue additional staff” from outside the factory.



“We’ve had so many meetings and discussions and evaluation and investigation to find the way forward,” said Jarvis. “So finally I would say we are far from being out of the woods at this moment. There’s still a lot of work that we have to do to be fixed and to be ready for next season.

“But anyway, that win gave us a feel-good factor again. That just kind of lightened the load a little bit. I would say it if anything will really serve to motivate us because we’ve already made our decisions on what we plan to do for next year.

“So now this win at this moment doesn’t mean everyone’s going to relax and say the bike’s okay. On the contrary. Yes, that’s what we’re here for. That’s what we want to experience.”

Pressed on those changes, Jarvis continued: “It’s too early to say. I will say it will obviously be across all of the different parameters because team-wise anyway we’ll be different next year.

“Maverick will change the crew chief [Esteban Garcia replaces Ramon Forcada]. So this will be a change. Wilco [Zeelenberg – Viñales’ rider coach] will move to the SIC team. So then he’ll have a new rider performance analyst [ex-125cc champion Julian Simon] on his side.

“So these are two important people in his side that will change, in Maverick’s side in particular. So yes, there will be other changes within our organization, and surely in the way that we try to fix the problems. So I can’t really say much more than that. We will have more engineers and new engineers, but I can’t say where.”

Will those new engineers be from within Yamaha or from other teams and manufacturers? It will be both,” said Jarvis. “They will revisit the organization in Japan and if it’s in Japan, it will be internal.

“There we need to just work in a different way and there will be hopefully some increased manpower there. In Europe, we’ve reallocated some of the priorities and responsibilities to some of our people, but we will surely need also to accrue additional staff.”

Much has been made of the 2018 M1’s engine, its inability to manage tyres, and how this has handicapped riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales through the year. A new motor, which delivers its power in a more linear fashion will be chief among the new testing items at the Valencia test.

On this year’s engine, Jarvis said, “Definitely I think a sweeter engine would have been advantageous to our riders. I think the engine’s a little bit harsh in the low RPMs, [in the] first touch, first contact [with the throttle]. That’s definitely one of the major things.

“The electronics is the other thing. The way to manage and work with the new unified software. I definitely believe our competitors have an advantage on us because they’ve understood more how to work with the system. That means that we’ve been struggling in low traction tracks, struggling with spinning, struggling with drive.

“Very often our riders come out of a corner and they can only touch the throttle and bring on the throttle as the bike’s coming up, whereas it looks like our competitors are more or less able to automatically open the throttle and it all self-manages itself. So it picks itself up and they drive away from the corner. That’s where we’ve been struggling.

“Of course we will be testing the new engine there [at the Valencia test], yeah. We have two tests [one at Valencia, one at Jerez], both important. At each different test, we’ll be testing different things. But I would say anyway in Valencia we’ll be starting with the core, and then we’ll see what happens. I can’t give you any more details.”

Click here to read the full interview with Lin Jarvis.