Yamaha hopes that Valentino Rossi’s long-awaited return to winning form in Assen last weekend is the catalyst for the Italian legend to claim more victories in the 2014 MotoGP world championship.
Rossi’s brilliant victory in Assen was his first since the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang in 2010 and came just a time when doubts were creeping in about his potential to win again on a factory Yamaha YZR-M1.
After a stunning recovery from seventh to second in the season’s opening race in Qatar, the 34-year-old didn't manage another podium in the next five races.
But crucial front-end tweaks during a recent Motorland Aragon test gave Rossi more feeling on hard braking and corner entry with Bridgestone’s soft casing front tyre and he was transformed in Holland.
With reigning world champion Jorge Lorenzo out of victory contention with a broken left collarbone, Rossi seized his chance to notch an 80th career win after he passed Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa, Stefan Bradl and Briton Cal Crutchlow.
Yamaha boss Lin Jarvis is now hoping that Rossi will be a victory challenger for the remainder of the season having never doubted he would be able to return to the top step of the podium after a miserable two-year stint at Ducati.
Jarvis told MCN: “It is fabulous to see Valentino back on top of the podium and we knew there was a chance he was going to get better results again because of the very positive test in Aragon.
"He found the feeling again with the front of the bike and it wasn’t a surprise for me honestly to see him win the race and I had my money on him. But I was very pleased to see it happen.
"What we don’t know about Valentino is his potential to win the championship again. These young guys are so fast and the level is so high and it is not easy when you are 34. But the fact that he can win races, be a great team rider, great ambassador and animate the sport, we always believed in that.
"We got a little bit concerned in the last races because he didn’t have a good feeling with the bike. What we saw in Qatar was vintage Valentino, coming back and fighting.
"We saw what he could do in the first race but we lost it a bit but he has found it again and I think we will now see him rejuvenated and believing in himself again and we could see more victories.”