M1 stays the same for 2016
One thing that will remain largely constant for Rossi in 2016 is the specification of his Yamaha M1, after both he and Lorenzo chose to reject Yamaha’s 2016-specification bike in order to stick with the machine they took to the constructor’s crown last season. Yamaha were one of a handful of manufacturers caught out by the impressive development pace of the new Michelin tyres, building a new chassis that suited the rear grip-orientated tyres first tested by the riders during the 2015 season.
However, no one expected the French firm to turn up to the 2016 winter tests with a much-improved new tyre that ended up acting much more similarly than anyone expected to the outgoing Bridgestones.
As such, Rossi’s M1 machine will revert back to what he knows best, with only a few minor tweaks to get the best out of the new tyres.
The primary one of these is a new fuel tank, which moves much of the weight of the petrol further back into the seat unit, maximising weight over the back wheel and getting the most out of Michelin’s grippy rear tyres.
“I prefer the 15 bike because I’m faster and the front feels better. With the 16 I have more issues in the corner entry. With lap times, I’m not so far away, but I’m still slower.
“It’s possible that we could be faster with the 16 bike eventually, but it’s a longer story. We tried to make it work and to give Yamaha some important data for the future but for this moment we have to concentrate on the present not the future.”