Why Yamaha Will Stick To The In-Line Four Engine Even In The Near Future

Categories:   MotoGP  

In MotoGP, Yamaha stands alone as the sole representative of inline four-cylinder engines. However, this is no reason to change the approach for team boss Lin Jarvis.

After Suzuki’s departure, it seems as if the end of the in-line four-cylinder engine in MotoGP has been heralded. Only Yamaha swears by the smoother-running variant.

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Since the Japanese signed a contract with Luca Marmorini’s company Marmotors a year ago to make Fabio Quartararo’s and Franco Morbidelli’s YZR-M1 engines competitive again as soon as possible, speculation keeps surfacing that Yamaha is working on a V4 concept for 2024. After all, Ing. Marmorini has been involved with V4 engines in Formula 1 all his life.

However, despite all the rumours and the great performance of the V4 concepts at Ducati and Aprilia, Yamaha team boss Lin Jarvis does not see himself at a disadvantage. 

Jokingly, the Briton tells SPEEDWEEK.COM“I always hear now: ‘Suzuki is gone, Yamaha is the only factory with an in-line engine’,” Jarvis records with a grin. “I then like to reply: ‘Yes, we are the only ones with that advantage!'”

He is firmly convinced that there is more potential in the in-line concept – Yamaha have already improved for the new season, why not even more?

An enormous effort and new regulations

In addition, there is an enormous effort that results from a complete reorientation of the engine concept. 

Jarvis knows: “It is a huge task to design, develop and produce a 1000cc V4 engine for the MotoGP World Championship from scratch.”

The Briton wants to wait for the new round of regulations starting in 2027 first: “If we were to plan that for the new regulations for the five years from 2027 to 2031, that might make sense.”

“But we haven’t decided which direction we’ll go then because the technical regulations haven’t been decided yet.”

So for Yamaha, the important decision-making question doesn’t start until late in the 2023 season, because:

“It [the new regulations] should be decided in 2023, after that we have four years for development.”

“Then, with the new technology, we will have the same opportunity for a new MotoGP engine as all the other manufacturers.”

Making a decision before knowing the new regulations would simply be too much of a risk, Jarvis said.

“It would be a very brave and far-reaching decision if we were to ‘re-engineer’ right now. We think it makes more sense to continue with an ‘engine design’ that we know inside out.”

The Englishman emphasises: “We are convinced that we still find great development capacities at our inline-four.”

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