Yamaha never worried Valentino Rossi would quit

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Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa has said he never had an ounce of doubt that Valentino Rossi wouldn’t sign a new contract with the Japanese factory.

Rossi recently put pen to paper on a new two-year deal with Yamaha, meaning he will race a YZR-M1 until the end of the 2010 MotoGP campaign at least.

Rossi put intense pressure on Furusawa during the winter by demanding a faster and more reliable bike in 2008.

A disastrous 2007 culminated in Rossi telling Furusawa during a frank meeting in Valencia last November that failure to significantly increase the performance of the YZR-M1 would see him quit.

“He was concerned about the technical level, “said Furusawa. “He wanted to know about specific items for the bike and as long as the M1 keeps its competitiveness he is satisfied. The problem was last year we struggled and he was very worried about the M1.

“He asked me to improve the bike like we did in 2004. That was a big jump from 2003 so he asked me for the same jump from 2007 to 2008.

“So I talked to Valentino at Valencia and he wanted to know that we would have a good bike like in 2004. He was more comfortable when he listened to me and before the winter tests we showed the bike and at the first winter test he rode the new M1 and he felt it was good.

“All of the discussions over a new contract after this were so smooth and we didn’t have to negotiate too much or to involve too many people.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt