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Following a 15-year stint and four MotoGP™ World Championships, Valentino Rossi's association with the factory Yamaha team came to an end at the conclusion of last season. 2021 will see him continue within the Yamaha family but this time for satellite side Petronas SRT, and it has been acknowledged as a big change by Managing Director Lin Jarvis.
"[The end of the 2020 season] marks a significant moment for us and for Valentino, because he's done 15 seasons with the Yamaha Factory team. That's quite extraordinary," Jarvis said in an interview with crash.net.
"Obviously, he did that in two stints, first he did seven years before he took a two-year break [at Ducati] and then he's done eight years since coming back.
"So it will be a change, there's no doubt, because moving 'next door' as such, will be different. But on the other side it will not be different because Valentino will still get full Factory support, he'll be riding a Factory bike with the same spec as the Factory team riders.
"It is true that some of the development will be led more by the Factory team, but Valentino is a very important part of our 'data gathering'.
"Having more riders on the track is important and there's no question that our engineers will be looking at the data of Fabio and Maverick and Valentino to develop and progress the Factory bike. But we also get some interesting information from having Franky out here [on the A Spec bike]. So, I think that it will be not a huge change, it will not be a deficit in any case and it won't change very much the way that we develop the bike."
Rossi has also said he expects to have a similar level of development input in 2021, despite moving to the satellite team.
"I think I will be involved like this year. So it doesn’t change a lot," said the nine-time world champion, before quipping: "[But] we need to understand if this year I'm very involved or not! What I can do is give all my experience and try to say what for me we need, but more-or-less we have the same problem, similar problem for a lot of time. So I think that next year doesn't change a lot."
2 years ago