Yamaha takes advantage of MotoGP concession rules with new M1 engine

Like Honda, Yamaha is benefiting from the operational and technical advantages approved at the end of last year in an attempt to help the manufacturers most in need from a performance point of view.

One very beneficial aspect of the concessions is the possibility for the race riders to carry out private test days, limited only by the number of tyres available — which has also increased.

Another advantage is to be able to develop the engine which, unlike the constructors without concessions, is not frozen.

Since the beginning of the year, Honda has been following an extensive testing programme, with around 22 private events scheduled — although it is unlikely all will be completed as the concessions will be recalculated during the summer break, depending on the results obtained until then.

So far, Honda’s Luca Marini has made the most of these concessions, and before the Portuguese GP he was riding at Jerez to try to speed up his adaptation to the RC213V.

Yamaha was not as aggressive initially, the Iwata-based company setting a roadmap with the European calendar as a reference.

Fabio Quartararo and Alex Rins stayed at Portimao on the Monday after the last race in order to improve the performance of the bike which, so far, has not allowed either rider to finish in the top five in the two rounds held so far.

Photo by: Gold and Goose / Motorsport Images

One of the aspects that has weighed Yamaha down the most in recent years is the lack of punch from its engine. In fact, Yamaha hired the services of Marmotors — the consultancy firm owned by renowned engine engineer Luca Marmorini, known for his time at Ferrari and Toyota in Formula 1 and Aprilia, among others.

After crossing the finish line seventh at Portimao, Quartararo was asked if he could give any clues as to the elements he should test the following day.

«Hopefully we will be able to test several things,» said the Frenchman. «I think we have a lot of parts.

«Let’s hope that the weather will respect us. I don’t know if I can say exactly what we’ll be testing, so I’d rather not say anything.»

Motorsport.com has learned one of the most important components that Quartararo was to test was a new engine specification.

It is a different specification to the one used so far, but with Yamaha’s signature inline four-cylinder configuration. A V4 power unit does not seem to fit in the Japanese factory’s plans, at least in the short term.

However, the bad weather that Monday in the Algarve area — especially the strong wind — prevented Quartararo and Rins from completing the planned programme with both riders restricted to six laps each.

In these conditions, Yamaha technicians opted not to fit the new engine to Quartararo’s bike, leaving its evaluation for a later date. It remains to be seen, however, whether the power unit will be fitted to the #20 and #42 bikes this weekend in Austin.

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