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Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

New Frame Reportedly Behind Resurgence of Rossi and Viñales at Silverstone

The performance of Yamaha Factory riders Valentino Rossi and Maverick Viñales has been a mystery at some tracks this year.  Just two weeks ago in Austria, Viñales and Rossi finished 6th and 7th, complaining about a lack of traction (a circumstance that was also evident at other tracks earlier in the season). At Silverstone, both riders seemed to have great traction (evidenced by excellent lap times) right up to the checkered flag.

Several journalists who follow the MotoGP series closely report that the difference at Silverstone was a new frame and other chassis parts tested in Italy by Yamaha between the Austrian and British rounds. Viñales, in particular, appeared to have excellent traction throughout the race, and surged in the last few laps, despite being one of the few riders to run a soft rear tire.

Viñales dominated off-season testing prior to this year, and his confidence on the bike seemed to soar at Silverstone. Rossi, on the other hand, nearly led the Silverstone race from beginning to end before taking the third spot on the podium.

This MotoGP series has been fascinating for a number of reasons.  First and foremost, it has been unpredictable, and several manufacturers have seemed to gain an advantage only to lose it shortly thereafter. The performance of the Yamaha Factory riders is the latest surge, but the Ducati Factory team (with Lorenzo slowly approaching the level of his four-time winning teammate Dovizioso) also appears to be getting stronger.  With just 13 points separating the top 3 riders (Dovi, Marquez and Viñales), the remainder of the 2017 championship season should be a barn-burner.

See more of MD’s great photography:



  1. Dave says:

    Such a bummer about Rossi’s injury. I hope he’ll come back.

    Interesting photo at the top. Rossi & Vinales showing very different positions in the same turn.

  2. joe b says:

    any information on Rossi breaking his leg, ?

    • Pacer says:

      Just that it is “a suspected broken leg”, and that he is going in for surgery. Damn.

      • scarecrow800 says:

        This is about the most recent update I could find, 3 hours old. Apparently we will have to wait until Friday to find out how bad it really is. I’m a Marquez fan but … DANG IT !!!

        Valentino Rossi, possibly the greatest MotoGP rider of all time has been hospitalised after a motocross accident, with reports suggesting he has broken his right leg. The Italian news channels have said that Rossi sustained the injury to both the tibia and fibula.

        Rossi is currently in Urbino Hospital, and is planned to have surgery on Friday. It is understood that he was riding an enduro bike on a downhill section when the accident occurred.

        Rossi’s father Graziano said, “Valentino is not optimistic. They fear there is a fracture. To do the radiograph they had to cut the boot, and Valentino told me he feels very bad.”

        His Yamaha team issued this statement: “Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Team rider Valentino Rossi was involved in an accident, during a training activity close to his hometown, on Thursday, August 31st. The 38-year-old Italian rider was taken to the ‘Ospedale Civile di Urbino’ for a check-up. A further medical bulletin will be issued in due course.”

        Rossi had already sustained one motocross accident this year, suffering minor chest injuries in May.

    • David says:

      from an Italian web site ( it appears that Valentino broke both tibia and fibula of the right leg, while practicing with a motocross bike. Prognosis is at least 30days.
      If it’s true, it sucks!

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      Pretty bad tib-fib break resulting from an MX accident. So says the Italian press anyway.

  3. wjf says:

    They need the swing arm to pivot around the roll axis for variable grip/contact patch….and something to affect the system cg electronically…kind of like when the riders hang off the bike for longer to keep the bike more upright for greater acceleration

    • motocephalic says:

      yep, I like the idea, some kind of servo rotating axis at the pivoting arm, allowing the lean,keeping the wheel contact significant.

    • blitz11 says:

      Not sure I understand your comment regarding “roll axis” in the context of a motorcycle. Unlike a car,the motorcycle roll axis is defined by the contact patch of the motorcycle tires. The bike rolls about the ground – the sprung mass doesn’t roll independently of the unsprung mass (wheels/suspension).

      • motocephalic says:

        like a very limited universal joint, allowing for correction to maybe 5 degrees at the swing arm, possibly, computer controlled.

    • TimC says:

      It’s motorcycle racing, not car racing

    • MotoMaster39 says:

      Sounds like a good idea for MotoGP, but I highly doubt it would ever see production. In general, people don’t service thier suspension until it’s absolutely necessary. This crazy pivoting swingarm would need all kinds of special bushings and possibly a linkage system where it attaches to the frame. Sounds really high maintenance compared to the standard swingarm/linkage which people already neglect.

  4. dt 175 says:

    (breathless) was it “built to harness the pulse-quickening tork” “while maintaining the classic look of a hard tail” ” and easier side-stand liftoff” ?…

    • Mick says:

      I don’t think that the Yamaha engineers are sophisticated enough to tackle those lofty goals.

      But it is certainly a splendid thing to hope for in the distant future.

  5. Pacer says:

    I hope Yamaha figures it out. I am a fan of their program.