Yamaha wants 2020 bike that's easier to "fight" with

Yamaha's 2020 MotoGP bike has been designed to make it easier to battle in the pack, says the Iwata marque's group leader Takahiro Sumi.

Yamaha wants 2020 bike that's easier to "fight" with

The appointment of Sumi as the head of the M1 project was one of a number of organisational changes Yamaha made in the wake of a disappointing 2018 campaign.

These were followed by an improved 2019 season in which it beat Ducati to second in the manufacturers' standings, although it still only managed to win two races - both taken by Maverick Vinales - and its riders lagged behind Honda's runaway champion Marc Marquez.

Looking ahead to the 2020 season, Sumi said in an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com that it would be focussing on allowing its riders to be able to fight more easily in a race situation rather than seeking gains purely on laptime.

"Winning a race by escaping at the front, it’s only one way to do so," said Sumi. "But if the ideal line is disrupted by the rider in front, the speed cannot be shown.

"In other words, it’s hard for the riders to fight. That’s where we are still missing.

"We have to work to regain our strength in the races. We are working on that. Of course, the engine is a big place [for development].

"To beat your rivals on top speed, this is what Yamaha did not have in the past.

"I think the philosophy of the manufacturer appears in the way you try and get more speed, either just by increasing horsepower or improving the total balance of the package."

Read Also:

As well as Vinales' victories at Assen and Sepang, Yamaha's points tally was further boosted by the emergence of rookie Fabio Quartararo as a regular front-runner aboard a satellite M1, the Frenchman scoring six of Yamaha's nine poles last year.

Looking back on Yamaha's uptick in form in 2019, Sumi said the key was to shift development focus away from constant chassis changes and towards honing the character of the engine.

Sumi reflected: "2017 and 2018 were difficult seasons. We had a hard time winning and we introduced a lot of updates, which did not lead to results.

"There were many problems, so during the winter [prior to 2019] we tried to look back and identify where we had gone wrong, to put ourselves on a surer footing.

"We don’t have an engine to match Ducati. That’s why I adopted the philosophy: ‘Let’s make a bike that is second to none 100 metres either side of each corner'. And instead of modifying the frame, we developed an engine to improve in the corners.

"Because it’s hard to get top-end and mid-range performance at the same time, the 2019 model was aimed at improving the area from cornering to acceleration."

Interview by Yosuke Nagayasu

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Fabio Quartararo, Petronas Yamaha SRT

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Iannone's doping appeal hearing date set
Previous article

Iannone's doping appeal hearing date set

Next article

Marquez: Surgery recovery harder than last year

Marquez: Surgery recovery harder than last year
How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022 Prime

How in-form Quartararo is evoking Marquez in MotoGP 2022

OPINION: Fabio Quartararo has seized control of the 2022 MotoGP world standings after another dominant victory as his nearest rivals faltered. And he is very much heading towards a second championship echoing how the dominator of the last decade achieved much of his success.

MotoGP
Jun 20, 2022
Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success Prime

Why Marquez's surgery is about more than just chasing on-track success

OPINION: Marc Marquez will likely sit out the remainder of the 2022 MotoGP season to undergo a fourth major operation on the right arm he badly broke in 2020. It is hoped it will return him to his brilliant best after a tough start to the season without a podium to his name. But it’s the human victory that will far outweigh any future on-track success he may go on to have

MotoGP
May 31, 2022
Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma Prime

Why Ducati holds all the power in its MotoGP rider dilemma

OPINION: The French Grand Prix looks to have made Ducati’s decision on its factory team line-up simpler, as Enea Bastianini stormed to his third win of the campaign and Jorge Martin crashed out for a fifth time in 2022. But, as Ducati suggests to Motorsport.com, it remains in the strongest position in a wild rider market

MotoGP
May 16, 2022
The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP Prime

The seismic aftershock of Suzuki's decision to leave MotoGP

Suzuki's sudden decision to leave the MotoGP World Championship at the end of the season has acted as a stirring element in a market that had already erupted. We analyse what this means for the grid going into 2023

MotoGP
May 11, 2022
How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP Prime

How the real Ducati began to emerge in MotoGP's Spanish GP

Ducati’s 2022 MotoGP bike has had a tough start to life and the expected early-season title charge from Francesco Bagnaia did not materialise. But the Spanish Grand Prix signalled a turning point for both the GP22 and Bagnaia, as the 2021 runner-up belatedly got his season underway after a straight fight with Fabio Quartararo

MotoGP
May 2, 2022
How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt Prime

How praise for Honda's MotoGP bike has given way to doubt

In a little over two months, Honda has gone from setting the pace in MotoGP testing with its new RC213V prototype to being at a crossroads - caused by the discrepancy in its riders' feedback. After a Portuguese GP that underwhelmed, serious questions are now being asked of Honda in 2022

MotoGP
Apr 26, 2022
Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes Prime

Why Quartararo's win was vital not only for his title hopes

Fabio Quartararo got his MotoGP title defence off the ground in the Portuguese Grand Prix as a dominant first win of 2022 rocketed him to the top of the standings. While a significant result in terms of his title hopes, it has come at an even more important time in terms of his 2023 contract negotiations

MotoGP
Apr 25, 2022
The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year Prime

The MotoGP rookie fighting two fronts in his debut year

Darryn Binder has found himself in the unenviable position as MotoGP's most under-pressure rookie in 2022 having made the step directly from Moto3 with a reputation as an over-aggressive rider. This hasn't been an easy thing to shake at the start of the season, but he believes tangible progress is being made

MotoGP
Apr 18, 2022