Yamaha backtracks on promised 'revolution'
Yamaha's 2017 MotoGP bike will not herald a radical shift in philosophy, despite previous suggestions the new YZR-M1 would be a 'revolution'.
Massimo Meregalli, Yamaha's technical director, said at the end of 2016 that the firm was slightly behind schedule with the development of its '17 prototype because it would be a "revolutionary" bike.
But a high-level source within the team has suggested the new machine - to be unveiled at title sponsor Movistar's headquarters in Madrid on Thursday - will not be as dramatic a step as had been hinted.
Only the engine is a completely new design for 2017, with the rest of the bike based on its predecessor.
"In the end, if you are not coming from a very serious problem, what the factory does is change a lot of things but without modifying the bike's philosophy," a senior Yamaha source told Autosport's sister title Motorsport.com.
"The base of the 2017 bike is the same as in 2016, with a different chassis, a different swing-arm, a different engine, different suspension and everything different - but without ruining the philosophy of the 2016 bike."
But the Yamaha was widely considered the stronger bike, with some early-season engine failures among its only weaknesses.
The source added: "At Valencia [in the post-season test], a few new things were tested, but it wasn't the final 2017 bike and it wasn't the one we'll see at Sepang.
"There, we'll have a prototype based on all the 2016 data, plus the data gathered in Valencia and Sepang [where Yamaha tested privately in November].
"But I'm sure the bike will continue to change after the remaining pre-season tests."
With Lorenzo having left for Ducati, ex-Suzuki rider Maverick Vinales has joined Rossi in Yamaha's 2017 line-up.