Yamaha bosses play down risk of F1-style spy row

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Valentino Rossi’s Fiat Yamaha team boss Davide Brivio has played down any possibility of spying amongst the factory Yamaha team next season, similar to that which tarnished last year’s Formula One world championship.

Rossi and new team-mate Jorge Lorenzo will run in Fiat Yamaha colours in 2008, but the Italian will use Bridgestone tyres, while double world 250 champion Lorenzo will ride his YZR-M1 on Michelin rubber.

Rossi’s controversial move to Bridgestone has already forced Yamaha to divide its factory team in half, with Rossi and Lorenzo operating out of completely separate pit boxes to protect the intellectual property of the tyre companies.

Brivio said everything would be done possible to avoid a repeat of the spy scandal that rocked Formula One in 2007, when McLaren were severely punished for obtaining confidential information about Ferrari’s car.

Speaking at Yamaha’s official factory team launch in Italy today, Brivio said: “We have changed the setup in the pit box to split the teams up to prevent spying. It is impossible for Valentino and Jorge to share data because of the different tyres so this year there will be two separate computers to take down the data – they can’t check up on each other. This will be more complicated because it is a strange arrangement  but we have taken all the necessary steps possible.”

Rob Hull

By Rob Hull