MotoGP: 2016 bikes ‘a step back in time,’ says Rossi

Valentino Rossi rounds the bend during the first day of MotoGP tests in Valencia at Ricardo Tormo Circuit on Nov. 10, 2015 in Valencia, Spain.

Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images

Valentino Rossi says that MotoGP has made a step back in time with the control electronics for 2016 and that the bikes are "less fun" to ride.

But the seven time MotoGP champion says the racing next year could be more unpredictable and better for fans.

The 2016 season opened at the Valencia circuit on Tuesday with riders starting work on assessing the new electronics package and the switch to Michelin tires.

Rossi reckons the standard electronics package designed to cut the cost of rampant development by factories is "like the software from 2008 or 2009" and will be "a big problem" next year.

"The electronics are a clear step back and at the beginning you are also a little bit angry on the bike because you think ‘[explitive]! It doesn’t work," said Rossi after trying the prototype Yamaha M1 at Valencia.

"But on the other side, it can be good for the racing. Because it will be a lot more difficult to always make the same lap time because the bike is more difficult to ride.

"So can be better for the battle during the race so can be more fun about this.

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"But the bike wasn’t more fun to ride with less electronics because in the end the higher the level of the bike then the better it is for my enjoyment."

Rossi’s now entrenched enemy, Honda rider Marc Marquez, largely agrees that the rule changes for 2016 are a step back in time and will require a lot of adaption for riders and setup.

"We must spend a lot of time on the electronics setup because it looks like we did like one step back and it will be difficult to arrive at the same level as before," Marquez said.

“But we are working especially on the acceleration side, traction control, and torque delivery which is where we must improve more, the connection with the gas.

"On my last runs today we tried the new engine for 2016 but honestly it was difficult to give the right feedback because still we must fix the electronic software.”

Marquez has complained all season about the aggressive power delivery of the Honda motor. This is a key area for Honda to address if Marquez hopes to reclaim the world championship he conceded to Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo this year.

Marquez was one of 10 riders to crash on the opening day of the Valencia test as they struggled with the less predictable feel of the Michelin front tire compared to benchmark Bridgestone used in recent seasons.