MotoGP, Yamaha turns back: "The European test team will be all Japanese"


Yamaha has turned around. Last year, a European-based test team project was launched, with Jonas Folger as a test driver. A road already beaten by the other Japanese sisters (with Honda relying on Bradl and Suzuki in Guintoli) and blessed by Valentino Rossi, who has repeatedly described it as a necessity.

Until a few weeks ago, even in 2020 the test team seemed to be confirmed with the German driver, after Zarco had preferred to race with Honda in the last 3 races of the year instead of binding to Iwata's House. Today the cold shower, by means of a press release from Folger, with which announced the dismissal by Yamaha after receiving his word for the renewal of the collaboration.

"I'm very sorry for what happened with Jonas, but our plans have changed – explains Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha team manager, who does not deny Folger's words At Sepang we had a meeting with the Japanese leaders of Yamaha and by mutual agreement we decided to change the setting of the test team".

In other words, for the next year, the Japanese will directly manage it, also with regards to Europe.

"Logically we will continue to try in Europe, but we will do it differently – continues Maio – We will rely on our two Japanese testers, Kohta Nozane and Katsuyuki Nakasuga. The team will also be entirely composed of Japanese technicians, with the exception of Silvano Galbusera, and some electronic engineers from the Italian headquarters when the need arises".

The choice seems very strange, because it means going against the current at a time when the tests for official pilots are less and less and fast testers are needed to decide what's new. In this sense, Valentino had often complained about the performance of the Japanese testers, not always able to bring the M1 to the limit and therefore have a clear idea about the material tested.

"As I said, we will start with this structure but I do not exclude changes in the course of work – underlines Meregalli – I do not close any doors, there may be changes to our plans during the year".

It remains to be seen with whom, because not many drivers on the market are capable of bringing a MotoGP to the limit. Folger was one of the few, the others are practically all already occupied. At least Zarco can't change his mind.

"You should ask him this – observes the team manager – He preferred the opportunity to race with Honda, hoping that Lorenzo's place would be free. We'll see what happens, for now I don't close any doors".

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