Valentino Rossi says he would be interested to see the satellite Tech3 Yamaha team’s riders on the manufacturer’s 2017 machinery instead of year-old bikes.
Tech3 has traditionally used Yamaha bikes from the previous season, but Rossi has highlighted Honda’s approach in having Cal Crutchlow as a factory-contracted rider at the satellite LCR team as something that Yamaha could benefit from if it adopted a similar strategy.
While Tech3 has an all-rookie line-up of Johann Zarco and Jonas Folger this year, both Moto2 graduates have shone in 2017, occasionally being able to defeat Rossi and his factory team-mate Maverick Vinales.
“Folger and Zarco are fast and it would be interesting to see them with our bike,” said Rossi.
“This is something Yamaha has to decide.
“Honda is doing a great job with Crutchlow and he sometimes tests at tracks where [Marc] Marquez and [Dani] Pedrosa don’t.
“We can’t do that with Tech3 as we have different bikes.”
The Tech3 riders were given the first iteration of Yamaha’s 2017-spec aerodynamic fairing to try at Silverstone, and while they both decided against racing it until MotoGP goes to more suitable tracks, they welcomed the level of support they are receiving from the manufacturer.
“I’m really happy that Yamaha gave us this opportunity to try these parts, and that we get the support from Yamaha in that way,” said Folger.
“Every time I hear that we get new parts I’m happy and I’m surprised because to be honest I didn’t expect in the beginning of the season that we would get so many upgrades because we are a satellite team.
“In some races we are quite fast compared to the factory team but they are still supporting us, and that’s really nice.
“To test some things for Yamaha, it’s nice because it means they believe in you, they trust in you, and you can help them make the bike better.
“They need as much information as possible from many riders and they have four riders [including Tech3] so I think it’s important that we all get to test these things.”
Zarco added: “It’s good to have a good connection with the factory team to always feel like you have the best thing with you.
“I’m happy with the way it’s going, I think it’s very good and we need to use it well.”
Rossi said Zarco’s size means his data is less useful to him than Folger’s, but the Italian likes to keep a close eye on what he can learn from the other riders.
“Sometimes I check [the Tech3 data] because I enjoy a lot to try to understand more,” he said.
“Zarco is very different in weight, in the height, in the riding style.
“When Folger is fast we can check more because he has a similar riding style.
“But in the end you try to check all the other riders, rivals, [even though] they have different bikes.”