Sport Rossi: Yamaha 'in trouble' in the wet at Motegi

14:40  13 october  2017
14:40  13 october  2017 Source:   readsport.co

Kohta Nozane honoured to ride in place of Folger at Motegi

  Kohta Nozane honoured to ride in place of Folger at Motegi Yamaha test rider KohtaNozane says he is honoured to make his MotoGP debut in front of his home fans as Tech3 bring him in to replace the ill Jonas Folger. German Grand Prix podium finisher Folger pulled out of this weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix on Thursday after he was advised to return home for medical checks having felt unwell since the Misanorace. Revealing he had suffered from the Epstein Barr virus before, Folger believes this may have flared up once again. The German’s participation in Australia and Malaysia is in doubt. Determined to still run two riders at Yamaha’s home event, Tech3 was able to secure the services of the Japanese manufacturer’s test rider Nozane – who was one of the names linked with replacing Valentino Rossi at Aragon. “This is a big surprise for me,” he said. “I still can’t believe that I will rider at the Grand Prix of Japan. Motegi is my favourite circuit, and I have ridden the YZR-M1 with Michelin tyres here before as a Yamaha test rider. “It will be an honour to ride on home soil like a MotoGP rider. “I would like to thank Yamaha and Monster Yamaha Tech3 for giving me this opportunity.” Vastly experienced in the World Endurance Championship and in the All JapanSuperbike series, as well as being familiar with the M1, Tech3 boss HervePoncheral felt Nozane was the only person for the job. “We are proud to announce that KohtaNozane will compete for us here,” said Poncheral.

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The 2006 MotoGP season started off with Rossi , once again, being the favorite to take the Championship, but he had trouble in the first half of the season, including His win at Motegi was his first MotoGP victory at the track, and became the first Yamaha rider to win at the Honda-owned circuit.

Valentino Rossi says Yamaha is in ‘trouble’ after a difficult opening day of practice at Motegi for the Japanese MotoGP, in which all three factory riders finished outside of the top 10.

The 2017 YZRM1 has struggled with a lack of traction in extremely hot conditions and in the wet this season, and while a prototype 2018 chassis introduced at Silverstone has aided with the former problem, its wet woes persist.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

Maverick Vinales ended the first session ninth, but was 1.5 seconds off the pace, while Rossi and factory wildcardKatsuykiNakasuga languished down in 19th and 23rd respectively.

Vinales: Our bike works well in these three races

  Vinales: Our bike works well in these three races Maverick Vinales believes Yamaha will be strong throughout MotoGP’s flyaway campaign, but anticipates a difficult weekend at Motegi should the weather play a part. This weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix is the first of three back–to–back races across the Pacific region, and serves as a crucial portion of the world championship battle with 75 points up for grabs in quick succession. Cast 28 point adrift after a difficult Aragon weekend, in which he finished fourth, Vinales is confident of being able to mount a fightback during the flyaway races after topping the timesheets at the Phillip Island and Sepang tests during the pre–season. However, with rain forecast, Vinales is aware he could be in for a tough weekend having struggled in wet conditions with the 2017 YZR–M1 this season. “We have to keep working on the bike, especially for the race,” said Vinales, who finished third on the Suzuki at Motegi in 2016. “This weekend is going to be difficult. If it doesn’t rain, we are going to give our best to try to bring the bike at the maximum. “Last year I felt quite strong here, especially in the race, so let’s see. I’m curious to start and for sure push at the 100 percent. “For sure I prefer that (three races back–to–back). All the years I’ve been quite strong on the overseas, and this year too we tried already. “In Australia I felt really good, in Malaysia also. So I have more positive points in Australia and Malaysia, but let’s see.

Rossi and team-mate Maverick Vinales have struggled with the 2017-spec Yamaha bike in the rain all season. They qualified fourth and fifth in the dry at Sepa "You had the clear feeling that if you try a little bit more you crash, like I did in Motegi .

Rossi and team-mate Maverick Vinales have struggled with the 2017-spec Yamaha bike in the rain all season. "You had the clear feeling that if you try a little bit more you crash, like I did in Motegi . "On Friday in the wet I had some problems but I was sixth.

Vinales and Rossi finished second practice 11th and 12th in the standings, but were still missing 1.5s to session leader Andrea Dovizioso.

Rossi – who is still recovering from a broken right leg sustained at the end of August – said the team tried numerous alterations to the bike on Friday, but was still at a loss as to why his issue could not be resolved.

“Sincerely, we tried to do a lot of things with the bike, but we are in trouble,”

“And we don’t understand why, because last year I was very competitive in the wet.

“I had a good feeling with the old bike, but this year we are struggling. It’s something strange.

“We try to modify, but at the end we are quite far from the top and the bike is difficult to ride, and in general the problem is a bit like in the dry; we don’t have rear grip.

Luckless Rossi left with 'pain everywhere' after race-ending crash

  Luckless Rossi left with 'pain everywhere' after race-ending crash Valentino Rossi admits to feeling pain ‘everywhere’ after suffering a nasty highside in the early stages of the MotegiMotoGP race, and was lucky to avoid aggravating his right leg injury. The Yamaha rider had a similar incident during the fourth free practice session at Turn 8, which left him with just one YZR-M1 for qualifying – in which he finished 12th after a gamble to run slicks backfired. The Italian was running inside the top 10 at the end of the first lap, and moved ahead of former team-mate Jorge Lorenzo for eighth at the beginning of lap six. Struggling for rear grip – an issue that has been present all season in wet conditions – Rossi was powerless to stop the back-end of his Yamaha coming round on him at Turn 7 on the same lap. “It was a big crash this time,” Rossi said to crash.net. “Also yesterday, but today more. Today Turn 7, yesterday Turn 8. It was a highside again. I was behind (Aleix) Espargaro and tried to not give up because I can keep his pace. “But on the left (side of the tyre) I had zero grip. It was like riding on ice. “With the constant throttle the rear (came round). It was very fast, when I realised what was happening I was already flying through the air. “So, very lucky that the leg is OK. I have pain everywhere, but not a lot, so this is good.” While still unsure as to why Yamaha is suffering in wet conditions with grip, Rossi concedes the issue lies with the bike and not with the tyres. “When I ride the bike, I have a different feeling like the tyre is more soft and we suffer,” Rossi said before being told Michelin had not changed its tyre construction. “So for sure (something) from the bike is different. If on the bike is different, something is different. “But is also difficult to understand because, anyway, on the Honda and Ducati the tyre works, so it is our problem.

After a testing first day for Movistar Yamaha , Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi talk about the problems they are having in the wet .

Even I have trouble with that last thought, insofar as the championship discussion itself includes only the two Yamaha pilots. (I suspect Lorenzo would have lost more ground to Rossi on a truly wet track, as all of the Italian Pedrosa’s fifth premier class win at Motegi gives testament to that one.

“When we race with this (2018 prototype) chassis in the dry, like at Silverstone and Aragon, it is not so bad.

“We have some problem, but we were quite competitive. But in the wet, no way. Very difficult.”

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

Rossi admits to being left frustrated by the pace of the Tech3 riders – Johann Zarco was fifth after second practice – on the 2016 bike, and is concerned the team has already found its peak performance level for this weekend.

“If you look at the data with the old bike, it is a big frustration because, f***, in the corners, no way. So we need to try to understand, especially for next year.

“We are quite worried because today we do a lot of modifications, but at the end, no way.

“So we don’t have a lot more to do than this, this weekend, so we need to understand for next year.”

“Already in corner entry I’m very slow. I don’t feel the rear. In general, there is always (a lack of rear grip) and in acceleration we have a lot of spin.”

MotoGP of Japan - Free Practice © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport MotoGP of Japan - Free Practice

Marquez dominates wet Motegi FP1 .
Championship leader Marc Marquez dominated a soaking first practice for the Japanese Grand Prix from Motegi, with Aprilia’sAleixEspargaro his nearest challenger in second. Avintia Ducati’s Hector Barbera was the early pacesetter in the sodden first session with a 2m00.685s, though this was soon eclipsed by Yamaha’s Maverick Vinales with a 1m59.344s. Typically finding the going tough in wet conditions on the YZR–M1, Vinales – who is third in the standings and 28 points off of the lead – lowered his benchmark to a 1m58.303s with 30 minutes left on the clock. Marquez demoted his fellow Spaniard almost immediately, however, with a 1m58.303s and improved to a 1m56.349s to go almost two seconds clear at just over half distance. Nearest title rival Andrea Dovizioso – who comes into this round 16 points back – was able to briefly cut down the Honda rider’s advantage to 0.391 seconds as he jumped up to second, though was soon shuffled back to fifth while Marquez improved to a 1m55.418s. As the field pushed on in the final few minutes, several riders were caught out by the conditions. Suzuki’s Andrea Iannone slid off his GSX–RR at Turn 8, while Cal Crutchlow lost control of his LCR Honda under braking for Turn 9 and collided with Jorge Lorenzo – both walked away unscathed. Twitter: BIG crash for @lorenzo99 & @calcrutchlow! Fortunately both OK & errmm… discussing what happened in the gravel… https://t.

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