Movistar Yamaha duo Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales are stalled in a perplexing losing streak which resemble some of Yamaha’s lowest times in MotoGP.
More misery came in the French GP with a third place little consolation for Rossi, who still dreams of adding to his 89 MotoGP wins. Viñales was a distant seventh, a considerable 23 seconds behind Honda’s race-winner Marc Marquez.
Viñales, touted by pundits as a world champion one year ago, has now not won for 18 races. His most recent win was 12 months ago, the French GP, at a time when he won three of the opening five races of the 2017 season. Rossi is on a 15-race losing streak with his last win the 2017 Dutch TT, an anniversary looming next month.
Fifteen years ago Yamaha was being similarly hammered by Rossi and Honda until it took the bold step of pinching Rossi for the 2004 season. Now it is Marquez and Honda dishing out the medicine with Ducati and Andrea Dovizioso topping up the pain.
“The bike evolves each year, and we must continue to improve. One big focus must be in electronics, Honda and Ducati are ahead in this area,” Rossi said.
“The Le Mans podium is important, but it arrives in a difficult technical moment for us. I would like to say the M1 will be good for other tracks but unfortunately it is this race track which is usually fantastic for us, that has helped us a lot. Our opponents are faster than us.”