Yamaha pair pin deficit on rear tyre issues
14 August 2017 – Yamaha riders Maverick Viñales and Valentino Rossi pointed to rear tyre wear as a crucial limiting factor after the duo slumped to sixth and seventh respectively at the Austrian Grand Prix.
Neither Viñales nor Rossi were able to fight among the lead group at the Red Bull Ring, with both running wide at Turn 1 on separate laps, classifying behind Tech 3's Johann Zarco.
As a result, Viñales was jumped by Ducati's Andrea Dovizioso – who captured his third win of the season – in the standings, with both works Yamahas losing further ground to title leader Marc Márquez.
"I suffered from a big drop in grip of the rear tyre for almost the entire race," said Viñales.
"When I went wide as I was fighting with Valentino, I just tried to calm down, make the tyre work until the end, but it was totally impossible.
"Not only with other manufacturers, but also with Zarco, it was really difficult to keep following them.
"We have to work really hard if we want to fight for this championship."
Rossi feels that Yamaha suffered a repeat of the tyre problems that severely compromised its prospects at Jerez and Barcelona earlier in the season.
"The problems started after 10 or 12 laps," said Rossi.
"Unfortunately, we stressed the rear tyre too much, so the rear tyre dropped a lot and we lost a lot of performance and speed.
"From that moment on it was very difficult to control the bike and I also made a mistake on the brakes.
"I didn't have the pace in the second half of the race, I suffered too much from a lack of grip.
"It's a shame because we worked a lot, but it looks like it's the same problem as we had in Jerez and Barcelona.
"When we use the rear tyre too much, the bike becomes slower and more difficult to ride in the second half of the race."
Yamaha will conduct a private test at Misano on Sunday in a bid to understand its rear tyre issues.