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Yamaha engineering guru Masao Furusawa on the arrival of Valentino Rossi

Yamaha engineering guru Masao Furusawa on the arrival of Valentino Rossi

Yamaha engineering guru Masao Furusawa on the arrival of Valentino Rossi

Masao Furusawa, General Manager of Yamaha Motor Company's Technology Development Division, has spoken out about the arrival of MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi to Yamaha and the factory's plans to accommodate him over the next few months. Furusawa outlined the engineering department's plans to provide Rossi with a winning machine from the first race of the season and explained the structural changes made within the company to integrate the Italian and his key mechanics to the squad.

"Our engineers are busy to improve and upgrade every part of the M1 to be ready for the 2004 season," explained Furusawa. "We have already tested new prototype chassis in Valencia and a revised engine is currently being completed in Japan (based upon Yamaha's chosen inline-four concept). We will use an extensive winter test program to further develop the bike and to adapt it to match Valentino's and our other riders' needs.

"We've recently made a lot of changes in our motorsport organisation and we feel confident that we will be able to produce the right package. We can't make any guarantees and we know it's not going to be easy but we're working as hard as possible to make sure the package is fully capable to get the results we desire. It is certainly our aim to put him in a position to challenge for race wins from the first race of the championship in April.

Despite the fact that Rossi cannot test the bike until January, Furusawa revealed that the factory will be working around the clock to prepare the M1 to be adapted swiftly to his needs.

"During this season we've learned a lot about what is good and what is not so good for the current M1 bike, verifying with engineering analysis from our measured data. Some of that data will be put into a computer simulation to further develop the bike until Valentino becomes available in January. Of course more time would be welcome but I believe the M1 can easily be adapted to suit his needs, even with a limited time frame during a race weekend. The M1 is a bike that can be adjusted to each rider's preference with its adjustable steering position, adjustable pivot location for the rear arm, etc.

"Everyone in Japan is very interested in Valentino Rossi and in MotoGP. Many newspapers are writing about how good the MotoGP championship will be in 2004. In Yamaha head office the staff are really excited and looking forward to the new challenge. It seems they can't wait for the season to start!

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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