Valentino Rossi has gone more than two years without a victory, and the nine-time world champion’s opening half of the 2019 campaign has been his worst in the MotoGP era.
Difficulties finding a comfortable feeling with the 2019 Yamaha have led to a run of results devoid of any podiums since the third round and three crash-induced non-finishes for the first time since Rossi’s woeful Ducati tenure in ’11 and ’12.
Rossi is being overshadowed by his team-mate Maverick Vinales thus far, and wunderkind Fabio Quartararo has emerged as a regular podium contender on the SRT Yamaha.
As the current contract cycle comes to an end next season, and major moves are likely to be firmed up early in the year, Yamaha now faces a choice: hold out for Rossi to decide his future, or move to secure its future star in Quartararo.
Autosport’s International Editor Jack Benyon and Motorcycle Racing Correspondent Lewis Duncan discuss why Yamaha must embrace a future without Rossi now, and whether MotoGP can survive the loss of its brightest star and biggest draw.