Rossi denies targeting Vinales's crew chief

Rossi denies targeting Vinales's crew chief
By AutoSport

13/07/2018 at 13:12Updated

Valentino Rossi has denied reports linking him with a move for his Yamaha MotoGP team-mate Maverick Vinales's crew chief Ramon Forcada.

Amid tensions between Vinales and Forcada, Spanish media had suggested Rossi wanted to bring Forcada over to his side of the Yamaha garage to replace existing crew chief Silvano Galbusera.

But Rossi dismissed this notion ahead of this weekend's German Grand Prix at the Sachsenring, reaffirming his commitment to Galbusera - who replaced the long-serving Jerry Burgess as his crew chief in 2014.

"I don't know where this story regarding Forcada came from, because I feel very good with my team, with Silvano," Rossi said. "I enjoy working with them a lot, we have been on a nice journey together.

"[Galbusera] helped me become quick again, he helped me to understand our bike better.

"I think I'll stay with him as long as I continue riding."

Rossi did suggest Forcada - who had been targeted to become Dani Pedrosa's crew chief at the new SIC Yamaha team next year before Pedrosa opted instead to retire - could join forces with Rossi protege Franco Morbidelli at SIC in 2019.

"It would be nice if Forcada [pictured above] worked with Morbidelli," he added. "But for now it's just a thought. He would be a good crew chief for Franco, but for now nothing is settled."

Having payed tribute to the retiring Pedrosa's achievements, Rossi lamented the fact the career-long Honda rider would not be joining the Yamaha camp and sharing his knowledge of the RC213V.

"For me, having Pedrosa at Yamaha would have been significant, because he's a strong rider," he said.

"Of course, he can beat you, but on the other hand he can tell you some things about the bike.

"Having always been with Honda, he would have been able to analyse well what was better about his bike and what was better about ours."