Yesterday, Petronas Yamaha team manager Wilco Zeelenberg explained how he hopes Valentino Rossi's switch from a Factory to Satellite rider will result in the Italian spending less time and energy analysing data behind a computer screen.

Responding today, Rossi made clear that he's open to anything as far as changing working methods, especially since development workload - which he appeared to link to the data analysis - is heavier at a Factory squad, while a Satellite team is much more race-orientated.

"Sincerely I’m open to everything," said the nine-time world champion.

"From what I understand in the Satellite team we’ll have less people to work around the bike. But also in the Satellite team the way to work is a bit different, you can concentrate more on performance in the race and the priority is not to develop the bike. So this is good for the result.

"When you are in Factory team, part of the work is to develop the bike during the season and for the next season. And this takes a lot of time. We saw that in the last year the Satellite riders have a lot of strong results and sometimes the Factory riders have more problems.

"This is my idea, my picture looking from the outside, but I’m not inside the team yet. I can’t wait to start to work with this team. We have to understand the better way to work together, also with Wilco and all the guys, but for sure I’m open for everything."

Rossi raced in Factory MotoGP teams – Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and then Yamaha again – from 2002 to 2020, but he still has fond memories of his first two premier-class seasons, as a Satellite Honda rider in the 500cc class.

"During my two seasons in the 500s I was in similar situation because I was in a Satellite team. It’s true it’s 20 years ago and with the 500 it was another world, but in that moment I felt very comfortable," said Rossi, who won his first premier-class title as a Satellite team rider in 2001.

"I’m happy about my technical situation. I have the full support from Yamaha and this team in its first two seasons has shown they can win races and can bring their riders to the top. I expect a very high level and I can’t wait to start the season."

Although Rossi returned to the MotoGP podium, for the 199th time, at the second Jerez event, the season ended with a career-worst 15th in the world championship – having missed two rounds after contracting Covid.

The Doctor made clear that he isn't just racing for fun this season and is determined to feature at the front once again.

"I don’t race just to spend the time. This is a very important season for me. I come from two seasons, '19 and '20, that were less than I expected. Especially the results," he said.

"The result will be the key. I want to be competitive, to be stronger than in the last two years, fight for the podium, try to win races and try to be competitive through all of the season.

"The target is to be strong from the beginning to the end.

"I think for me at this moment it’s good to be in the Petronas SRT team. The technical support is good and the team has demonstrated they can win races.

"I hope also, if the Covid is not fixed, it will at least be more normal than last year and we can use all the tracks in the right period of the year."

Rossi will continue with a Factory-Spec Yamaha this season, while new team-mate and reigning title runner-up Franco Morbidelli remains on the older A-Spec bike.

The #46 made clear he won't be testing the A-Spec and is fully focussed on solving the consistency problems with the Factory bike.

"Yamaha have already decided last year. They said that the 2020 is for me, Maverick and Fabio. And Franco will continue with the ‘19 bike," Rossi said. "This will be a very important aspect for this year. We need to understand if they are able to improve the 2020 bike or if the ‘19 is still very competitive.

"Having two different bikes will be a bit harder in the team. This makes a bit of confusion. But it’s not a big difference and anyway I will not ride the old one."

Rossi will make his track debut in Petronas colours at the start of the Official Qatar test on March 6.

 

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