Rossi hopes new record Yamaha MotoGP winless streak prompts action
|By Jamie Klein and Oriol Puigdemont||Sunday, September 23rd 2018, 17:25 GMT|
Valentino Rossi says he hopes Yamaha's new record run without a MotoGP victory will prompt a response from the manufacturer after a dismal Aragon weekend.
After recording his equal-worst ever qualifying on Saturday, Rossi made up nine places from his grid slot of 17th to finish eighth in the Aragon race, two places ahead of Yamaha team-mate Maverick Vinales.
Tech3 satellite riders Johann Zarco and Hafizh Syahrin also suffered a weekend to forget, finishing 14th and 18th respectively.
It means Yamaha has now gone 23 races without a premier class victory, surpassing its previous barren run of 22 winless races from 1996-98.
Asked about the milestone, Rossi replied: "I hope it's important for Yamaha to react.
"Maybe some top guys see the number, and somebody asks: 'Why?'"
The Italian rider said he took some comfort from making improvements after qualifying, having doubted he would finish inside the top 10 on Saturday.
"We tried to make some big changes on the bike, and I felt a lot better already in warm-up," he explained.
"In the end, the race was not so bad for me.
"I started very much behind, but I could keep a constant pace for the race and I took some points - I made the top 10, that yesterday I wasn't sure [I could do].
"It's like this - this is our potential now. We hope to improve."
Asked when he last felt Yamaha had made significant progress with its M1 bike, Rossi said: "At one test here in Aragon in 2015, we made a big step with the bike.
"This is the last time. It was still with Bridgestone [tyres; Michelin became MotoGP's supplier in 2016].
"We did that test before the Assen Grand Prix in June, and in Assen I won."