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MotoGP, Rossi jokes: Zarco doesn't want the '17 M1? He's not wrong

Valentino after his 7th place at Sepang in the rain: "Drastically changed the bike and the same problems are there. We can't seem to do two good races in a row"

MotoGP: Rossi jokes: Zarco doesn't want the '17 M1? He's not wrong

When Valentino saw the first drops of rain fall a half hour before the MotoGP race start, he knew that it would be a difficult Sunday. Despite starting from the second row, he soon found himself just outside the Top Ten, forced to do some damage control and finish 7th.

In the dry I could have ridden a good race, but in the wet I have almost always been slow - he complained - We confirmed our difficulties in these conditions. I had no traction. We need to understand why we are having these problems and then improve.

With the soft rear tyre and the old bike, Zarco finished on the podium…
It could have been an option. Maybe I would have been able to do a bit better, but it wouldn’t have changed much. Today I just tried to take home as much as I could. If I had tried to push I would have ended up in the gravel like in Japan.”

Could it be a tyre problem?
The Bridgestone and Michelin rain tyres are very different, but last year I did well with the French tyres. This is still a bizarre season. There are weekends when you do well straight away and others when you struggle and are unable to improve. I don’t want to think about anything else. Honestly, these are not things that we can change.”

What can you take away from this weekend?
The good speed in the dry. Naturally, last year I was very fast in the wet and we only had one race in the rain. Now that I am slow, there are a lot (he laughs) Zarco’s podium doesn’t surprise me. He rode well and with that bike last year I finished 2nd battling against Dovizioso.

You struggle to find consistency…
We needed another good result, but it seems like we can’t do two good Grand Prix races in a row. It happens to us and a lot of others. I wasn’t very fast on Friday in the water. Today we drastically changed the bikes and the same problems were still there.

What would you save from this bike in view of next year?
I think that it has good potential, but it is unable to make the tyres work right. The bike we had at the beginning of the year had more problems and we have less experience with this one. We have only been using it since Silverstone and then there was my injury in the middle, so we are lagging a bit compared to our rivals.

Shouldn’t this frame have been a sort of prototype for the 2018 version?
Something like that. The Japanese engineers had brought it to Maverick and me for the Misano tests. We tried it and liked it straight away.”

Zarco says that Yamaha would never give him the 2017 M1 if it had problems…
I agree with him, although I’d like to see him on this bike (he laughs). Johann isn’t stupid. I remember he won the Moto2 title last year after discarding the 2016 Kalex frame and he kept racing with the one from the previous year.”

Changing the subject, what do you think about the Ducati team orders?
In the last F1 race I saw, Mercedes ask Bottas to slow down Verstappen. What do you want me to say?”

Translated by Jonathan Blosser

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