Yamaha boss: ‘I would release Rossi to test Ducati’

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Yamaha boss Masao Furusawa has said his personal preference is not to block Valentino Rossi from testing for Ducati in Valencia in early November.

But the senior race boss, who was influential in helping Rossi win four MotoGP titles for the Japanese factory, said it was difficult contractually to let the Italian begin testing for Ducati immediately after the final race.

Yamaha has still to release Rossi from his contract to test for Ducati in Valencia in early November.

The Italian has piled pressure on Yamaha management recently by declaring his confidence that he will be freed from his contract to make his much-anticipated Ducati debut on November 9.

He has said it is only fair that Yamaha grant Ducati’s request for Rossi to test after he transformed the YZR-M1 from a no-hoper into consistent winner.

Yamaha is aware that holding Rossi to his contract could be a spectacular PR own goal, with any backlash inevitably hitting them.

Furusawa said: “From a contract standpoint he will not be allowed to test after Valencia. It is not just between Valentino and Yamaha, we have a lot of sponsors and contracts and it is really difficult to convince all of the people who are involved in this issue. So it is really difficult to allow Valentino to test at Valencia.”

Furusawa though has enjoyed an intimate relationship with Rossi since he signed the Italian at the end of 2003.

And it is clear that his personal view is Rossi should be released.

“My personal view is I am a fan of Valentino’s and I would release him to Ducati after Valencia. But as this moment I can’t say anything,“ added Furusawa.

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt