Valentino Rossi’s impressive return to Yamaha’s factory YZR-M1 in Malaysia last week is proof that the Italian will be a major force again in the MotoGP world championship.
That's the view of Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis after Rossi buried his own personal doubts about his potential folliowing a nightmare two-year spell with Ducati when he set the third fastest time during the three-day Sepang test.
Only dominant Spanish duo Dani Pedrosa and factory Yamaha teammate Jorge Lorenzo were faster than Rossi, who is looking to add to his tally of 46 wins with the Japanese factory this season.
Rossi finished 0.442s behind Pedrosa but the 33-year-old said proving he was still competitive after a torrid time at Ducati had been a big relief.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis said Rossi’s quick return to form was obviously a huge relief to Rossi but also a major positive for MotoGP and Yamaha.
Reflecting on Rossi’s fast return to Yamaha in the Far East, Jarvis said: “I can imagine from his side that is must have been an a breath of fresh air after two difficult years where he has been struggling. Obviously if you are struggling you have self-doubt.
There is no doubt that he never really clicked with that motorcycle (Ducati) but after two years do you still have it or not? The competition has moved on from then but to see him back at the top very quickly confirmed that he is still there.
I think he is also still very realistic about it and he recognises the speed of Dani, Marc (Marquez) and Jorge but there is no question that he is going to be in the mix. That’s great for the sport, for Yamaha and for him personally it must be an enormous relief.”
See the February 13 issue of MCN for an 11-page test special from Sepang.