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MotoGP: Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo are teammates?? Cold war stronger than ever at Yamaha


by Marc Cantin ,

Fiat Yamaha “teammates” Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo, definitely not bosom buddies, are moving hostilities up one notch this year, with the team manager admitting that they will not share data directly during a grand prix weekend. The “Directly” likely means that data will be exchanged at the post-race technical review, but not at all during the weekend, when it might make both guys quicker.

A “Berlin” wall was put between the two riders and their technical teams a few years ago, when Rossi was running on Michelin tires and Lorenzo on Bridgestone. At the time, it was alleged that the tire manufacturers wanted the two riders and their own teams to operate independently, so that no trade secrets were passed around and leaked to the opposite tire manufacturer.

Very ironic shot of the two Yamaha warriors, with Lorenzo sticking his shoulder in front of Rossi, and the Italian jokester waving from behind as if to say "Hey, I am back here" Not on the track, he isn't!.

As Lorenzo got quicker and closer to Rossi, our gallant Italian insisted that the wall stay in place in 2009, and that the exchange of information be limited, even though both were now on Bridgestone rubber. After winning the 2009 championship, Rossi declared that he would honor his 2010 contract with Yamaha, and fight off the Lorenzo challenge, but that for 2011, Yamaha would have to designate a No 1 rider and give him preferential treatment, whereupon the other guy would assuredly leave the team.

In the meantime, Rossi now wants to split the team in two, preferring to take on Honda and Ducati alone, rather than have to also fight off Lorenzo, who would stand to gain from Rossi’s technical input. This is classic Rossi, who feels that he can take on the world with his own track-side team, as he did when he left Honda and turned Yamaha into a GP winner.

Making the best of a bad situation, Yamaha team manager Davide Brivio stated that this decision was more or less logical, as the two Yamaha riders are the main rivals for the 2010 championship. This is a lot of el torro poopoo, as if the boss said that “as we are the strongest team, we will weaken ourselves voluntarily”. In reality, Yamaha has lost three leading software engineers to Honda, and the new Big-Bang Ducati is quicker and easier to ride than the 2009 model. Yamaha is certainly not alone out there, facing 2010 as a weaker team than last year, and their lead man has dropped them squarely in the bucket!

Photo Credit : MotoGP