At the previous MotoGP race at Laguna Seca, Valentino Rossi unveiled his strategy for dealing with the relentless pace of Casey Stoner: Get in front of the Ducati, and get in Stoner's way. Those tactics worked beyond expectation at Laguna, but part of that was down to the nature of the narrow, twisty California track. Back in Europe, on wider, faster tracks, it's going to be a good deal more difficult to apply the same strategy.
To do that, Rossi would need more horsepower from his Yamaha M1, to allow him to keep up with Stoner on the straights and attempt to pass him on the brakes again into the corners. The Italian was due to test new electronics for the bike at the post-race tests on Monday and Tuesday, which may be able to help in this area.
Now, in a tacit admission by Yamaha that Rossi's Laguna Seca tactics are going to be tough to apply at the fast and wide Brno, MCN is reporting that Rossi will test the upgraded electronics during Friday morning's FP1 session. According to MCN, the revised electronics are aimed at improving the traction control system and allowing the engine to turn more revs.
60 minutes is not long to test upgrades before making a decision on whether to use them or not, and this is complicated by the fact that Brno has been resurfaced since last year. But if they work, and if the engine copes with the extra revs, the upgrades could well be used in the race. The key will be how far off Stoner's times the Fiat Yamaha team is. In the last 4 races, the entire field has been over half a second off the blistering pace set by Stoner during most free practices. If the electronics get Rossi within a couple of tenths, they're likely to be in.