Rossi To Test Engine Upgrade During FP1 At Brno

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.

Back to top


Reading between the lines of their code, this means that they think they found some more power with whatever fuel was left in Rossi's tank at the end of Laguna.  Or, that they found an overall change in the fuel map that they hope will provide a more tractable power curve while not running him out of fuel.

The process will have to somehow include a race-distance simulation early in the session, IF he likes the engine at all.

Maybe Stoner should sandbag about 1/2 second in that first session to really give Yamaha a false sense of security?  ;-)

funny, i was just recording some musings about this very thing (minus the actual story) for this week's MotoGPod.  basically that the rest of the season is going to be very tricky for rossi and yamaha. 

do they take a chances with new stuff before the race as opposed to testing afterwards or do they play it safe and try not to bleed too many points and hope to finish ahead of stoner at tracks like misano and valencia?

  the problem with post race testing is that you are testing the bike for a track you will not run again so you can only test general settings (important, yes, but not as important as dialing the bike in during the fps). 

but if you take a chance with a radical difference and you DNF as a result...  rossi has not yet had a mechanical failure this year, something that plagued him for 2 years.  is there a mechanical fault still left in his 2008 season?

he's going to have quite a difficult decision to make especially if the new stuff actually does give him better lap times...