Yamaha is under investigation over accusations that it used illegal valves in its M1 engines during the first round of the year at Jerez, where the manufacturer suffered a series of mechanical issues and was subsequently forced to take corrective action.
The story comes from Simon Patterson of The Race. The direct consequence is that the 2020 MotoGP World Championship could be decided off-track at this weekend's European Grand Prix. Any confirmation of the accusation would in fact have a devastating impact on the title hopes of Fabio Quartararo, Maverick Vinales and Franco Morbidelli.
As you may recall, Yamaha first discovered a problem with the faulty component manufactured by an external partner at Jerez when Vinales broke an engine during practice.
Subsequently there were breakdowns in the middle of the race for both Rossi and Morbidelli.
Yamaha consequently asked for a possibility to open the engines, which was refused if it did not provide some specifications first, which it did not do.
At that moment it was thought that Yamaha had solved the problem by reducing the revs of the remaining engines and as a result increasing their life-span.
Now it seems that the issue was not actually linked to the entire batch of valves, but specifically to those used in the Spanish Grand Prix in Jerez, which prompted the MotoGP technical director to investigate what happened.
Today speculation was going around at Valencia about what could happen if the Iwata manufacturer started the year with an illegal component. When asked about it, Yamaha said it was aware of the investigation but declined to comment.
If Yamaha is found guilty, any punishment is likely to come in the form of a points deduction that could bring an end to the title hopes of its three riders. In the event of an irregularity, Quartararo, Vinales and Morbidelli could lose the points scored in the Spanish GP. A victory (25 points) for Fabio, second place for Vinales (20), and 5th place for Morbidelli (11). The win therefore would go to Dovizioso, with Miller second and third Pol Espargarò.