Rossi, Furusawa and Jarvis look back on seven years of success
Masao Furusawa, Yamaha Engineering Operations Executive Officer:
I really wanted to make the YZR-M1 a better bike but the more investigated it, the more I realised I needed something else, more than the bike. So we found Valentino Rossi.
First of all I didn't believe Valentino would come to Yamaha because the bike wasn't great but somehow it worked. After South Africa in 2004 I felt like I was in heaven, it was a very exciting and memorable year.
In 2004 Valentino was the only one who could win on the YZR-M1 so he contributed a lot to developing the bike.
This year not only Valentino but also three other riders were fast so it's clear that our YZR-M1 is a pretty good bike. This is mainly because of Valentino's contributions over the years so I really appreciate that an d I want to wish him all the best in the future."
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing:
"In 2003 when we had our worst year ever in GP racing and finally we said that whatever we were going to do, without Valentino Rossi on the seat it wasn't going to work!
That was the point where we decided that we needed him. There were some exciting and secretive negotiations with Valentino and it was a very important decision but, with the backing of Masao Furusawa and the President of Yamaha Motor Company, we made it happen.
It was ‘do or die'. With a huge commitment from Yamaha, the engineers and everybody in the team we made it work. We are very, very grateful because Valentino's arrival really turned things around for Yamaha and we came back to victorious ways.
We are incredibly thankful and grateful to him for that. We've had so many exciting and enjoyable moments with him and with the crew that he brought with him, who are great guys. Today we will be saying goodbye to a great number of people including Davide Brivio, Jerry Burgess and the whole crew. We've had a super time, it's been a really excellent team and we will miss them tomorrow, it will be a strange day."