It's difficult to decipher what's going on in the Yamaha garage, speaking to Vinales it all sounds like plain sailing, but when we listen to Valentino it appears that his M1 is still navigating choppy waters. The riders' positions at the end of the day are very different too, the Spaniard just a fraction off the pace of the Honda, the Italian mid-field.
“I really like Maverick's optimism, but before we sing a victory song we need to solve the problems - he smiles - This doesn't take awat from the fact he was fast here, one of the best riders on track”.
Is Yamaha not showing the commitment you expected?
“I think the technical situation in MotoGP has changed in recent years. Ducati was the first to make a big change, particularly in terms of the number of people working at the track and back at the company. Proportionally speaking, they have moved closed to the organisation of F1, and Honda has followed likewise. This is what I was pointing out in recent months. We need to do the same if we want to compete with them”.
And that's not happening?
“What are you seeing? Let's just say I hope Vinales is right (he laughs)”.
So does yesterday's pessimism persist?
“Today went a little better, we were able to improve but there is still a lot to do if we want to compete with Honda and Ducati, and Suzuki too. We're still suffering, the steps forward are not big enough”.
What's your mood heading into the winter break?
“After today, I'm a little more positive because I was able to demonstrate quite strong pace. The bike rides well, but the problem is that our rivals are still stronger, we still have a long road ahead”.
Have you chosen the engine for next year?
“The decision was quite easy, but that's not the point”.
So the first request to Yamaha is a new engine for the Sepang test?
“I don't know to be honest, i don't know what will happen or what they will bring, whether another engine, or focus on the electronics. I only know that we have various problems, the engineers have listened to me as always but I don't know what their next moves will be”.