Yamaha: No regrets about missing Stoner
Fiat Yamaha boss Davide Brivio has told MCN he has no regrets about twice missing out on the signing of Casey Stoner to join Valentino Rossi.
Yamaha pursued the Australian in the summer of 2005 and ’06, but negotiations petered out and both times Yamaha opted to stick with Texan Colin Edwards in its official factory team.
With Stoner making such a brilliant start to the 2007 season on board Ducati’s factory GP7, Brivio said he does not regret failing to lure Stoner to Yamaha.
Stoner has won three of the opening five races and leads Rossi going into next weekend’s crunch Italian GP in Mugello by 21-points.
Brivio said: “We decided that we wanted to remain with the current team last year. With Colin we have started a very good relationship in 2005 and 2006. It is always a dilemma. The dilemma is always whether you start working with a new generation rider or to continue with the existing riders.
“In this moment I have to say that our team and our rider combination and atmosphere is the best I ever had in my career. During the winter Valentino and Colin worked very closely on developing the new bike.
“I would say there is an almost unique relationship between them. It is rare and not often seen in racing that there is this type of relationship. For us this is a big asset.
“Sooner or later we have to start to think about the future but in this moment we are working on the present. There is no doubt that Casey has a great talent but we knew this before. We didn’t need to wait and see his results now to know that.”
Brivio confirmed though that Yamaha is currently looking at a future strategy to hire young talent, so an up and coming rider can be groomed and readied for when Rossi decides to hang up his leathers.
The 28-year-old is contracted to Yamaha until the end of the 2008 MotoGP season and Brivio added: “What Yamaha is thinking about for the future is no different to Honda and Ducati. Many good riders are coming from 250s.
“Casey and Dani Pedrosa were the good guys to come first and now we wait for the new generation like Jorge Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso. We are looking at the market right now.
“In 2008 and 2009 though I’d expect there will be eight or nine very strong young riders, because Casey and Dani will still be very young, and Nicky Hayden, Marco Melandri, Toni Elias not much older. Everybody is looking for the next best one and Yamaha, Honda and Ducati all want a card too play.”