Yamaha Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis concedes that the Japanese manufacturer’s spate of recent engine issues is “a cause for concern” following two retirements in two MotoGP races this season.
Yamaha have already gone through the entire five-engine allocation given for this season across just the first two race weekends at Jerez given its problems.
Valentino Rossi and Franco Morbidelli retired from the Spanish and Andalucian grand prix’s respectively after suffering major engine failures from top ten positions, with both engines-as well as Maverick Vinales’ Spanish GP race unit-sent back to Yamaha’s base in Japan for testing.
This means that all three engines are no longer usable, removing them completely from each riders allocation for the remainder of the season.
Jarvis admitted that the multitude of issues with the M1’s updated power train “is a concern”, but that they have “ideas” on potential fixes that could save its team’s more bother in the future.
“We haven’t checked Frankie’s (Morbidelli) engine yet, obviously we’ve got to do that, we lost two engines in the first race and then lost another in the second, so that’s cause for concern,” said Jarvis following the race.
“We already have ideas from the engines we have already examined back in Japan, Frankie’s will be shipped back tonight or tomorrow as well.
“But of course its cause for concern and that’s all I can say for the moment.”
Yamaha upgraded its 1000cc motor for the 2020 season following a ’19 campaign in which its M1 struggled significantly with acceleration from slow-speed corners, leaving it exposed at tracks such as the Red Bull Ring and Aragon.
While small progress seems to have been made, Yamaha were still significantly down in the Jerez speed traps-losing around 12km/h relative to its Honda and Ducati counterparts.
While not such a big problem at the tight and twisty Jerez venue, the more open Brno and Red Bull Ring circuits may provide more of a stumbling block for Yamaha.
While any movement in the power stakes is unlikely for the rest of the season, its pilots will be hoping that a fix for the engines reliability issues will be swift-particularly Fabio Quartararo who leads the championship having dominated the Jerez rounds of the series.
The Petronas SRT man scored both race wins on his way to a perfect 50 points score, while ’21 team-mate Vinales scored a pair of runners-up results in both contests.
The sweltering temperatures at Jerez-which saw track high’s of over 60 degrees centigrade- may have accentuated Yamaha’s engine problem, Francesco Bagnaia’s Ducati blew up from second place in the Andalucian encounter just a few laps from the end.