As we reported early on, Yamaha MotoGP is developing a substantially changed bike while its number one rider develops Bridgestone tires. The problem is every other Yamaha MotoGP rider is on Michelins, and Rossi’s data cannot be shared as it normally would be.
Rossi favors a unique bike set-up to begin with, but the fact that he now has unique tires on the team makes development of the bike all the more difficult, and sometimes inconsistent with the development followed by the Michelin-shod Yamahas, including the bike of Jorge Lorenzo. Now, Yamaha factory representatives are reportedly acknowledging these problems, and the challenges they face developing the new YZR-M1 for the 2008 series. Time will tell whether Rossi can win races, and even the championship this year. Rider talent won’t be the issue, but bike set-up just might be.