Yamaha’s various chassis problems this year were more of a drawback for Rossi’s title hopes than his double leg fracture, the multi-champion told media in Malaysia on Saturday.
Even if he hadn’t broken his leg, missing his home Misano GP before a heroic return barely three weeks later, he could not have fought for the title, he said.
With handling problems both in the dry, losing pace towards the end of races, and more acutely in the wet, Rossi and team-mate Maverick Vinales were at a costly disadvantage, he explained.
When asked what his position would be without the injury, he replied: “For me, not a lot better, because we have too many problems during this season. Even before Silverstone [before the injury] I said I was not strong enough for the championship.”
Yamaha had brought a series of different chassis during the year, with riders switching to a version of the 2018 chassis at Silverstone, but after Vinales won the first two races, the team-mates have only claimed one more victory apiece. At the same time, class rookie Johann Zarco has been successful in both wet and dry conditions using a 2016 Yamaha.
By Michael Scott