Valentino's patience when it comes to Yamaha seems to be wearing thin; despite remaining calm, Rossi has shot a few arrows in Iwata's direction. The problems are well-known: the M1 is not at the level of its rivals and new parts are slow to arrive, as well as failing to resolve the issues.
The Brno test, which the team hoped would be a turning point, proved to be another wasted opportunity and Rossi is not keeping quiet any longer. When asked what his hopes are ahead of 2019, he gets straight to the point.
“Firstly, I really hope the situation improves before the end of this season. I don't expect anything dramatic, because historically Yamaha takes small steps in terms of its evolution. But we need to understand to what extent they want to win and therefore to what extent they are prepared to commit and spend”.
This is the crucial matter, but it's not all, and the Doctor points the finger.
“It looks as if Honda and Ducati have spent more to me, I mean the test teams and investment in people. I'd like them to fully commit and believe that Yamaha has all it needs, both technically and financially speaking, but there needs to be more commitment”.
There are those who look to the past and to Masao Furusawa, the man responsible for Yamaha's rebirth in MotoGP.
“Furusawa was a person of reference for me from a technical standpoint, he helped me to grow a lot. He was also a person who would question things, he made some aggressive and brave moves throughout his career."
Something that's now missing.
“I also got on well with Tsuji - continues Rossi - but now we need people who are prepared to take responsibility as well as some risks, otherwise we'll carry on like this, just getting by”.
The picture Valentino paints is less than reassuring, particularly ahead of such a complicated race as Austria.
“Can I win here? This is one of the worst tracks of the year. We need to stay focused, anything can happen come race day. Last year I struggled, but in 2016 Lorenzo and I were fast, though I didn't do enough for the podium”.
So what can we expect?
“This isn't the best time for us, technically. We need to work well and hold on. I think that the team and I are doing a good job, I'm pleased, but we need to wait for help to arrive. The M1 is a bike I like to ride, if we can improve the acceleration I think we can be competitive”.
Rain is forecast, and it is unclear whether this might help.
“Wet conditions were a nightmare for us last year, the M1 was unrideable and as soon as you tried to speed up you'd crash. This year I hope and believe that our bike is better, though I haven't had much chance to test it in the wet. I'd prefer dry conditions, because I think our electronic limitations may be worse in the wet. A flag-to-flag race? That's not really my field” he concludes with a laugh.