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Valentino Rossi officially presented by Yamaha in Tokyo

Valentino Rossi officially presented by Yamaha in Tokyo

Valentino Rossi officially presented by Yamaha in Tokyo

Yamaha factory management was in full attendance at a Tokyo hotel earlier today, as they were presented with their new rider and MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi. Takashi Kaji, the representative of Yamaha Motor, Masao Furusawa, the Yamaha MotoGP department chief and Davide Brivio, Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha team manager, escorted the new team star in his first official event for the famous ‘tuning fork' brand. In the last few years Yamaha had not gone through this formality in the Japanese capital, and their return to old traditions is a symbol of the change the factory is undergoing after the arrival of the World Champion amongst their ranks.

The Italian rider was in typically aloof mode, and exchanged helmets with popular Japanese comedian Joji Tokoro, with whom he also traded a few blows of a samurai sword for the benefit for the photographers present. Rossi was demonstrably cautious about the objectives for the new campaign, "It's going to be very difficult to win races in the first half of the season, our objective is to get onto the podium. Depending on how the season comes along we will try to keep improving the YZR M1 and win a few races," he boldly added.

Riders from the both the Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha and Fortuna Gauloises Tech3 teams will be testing next week for the fourth time this year, with three days at the Australian Phillip Island track, the scene for their last test just over two weeks back. This will be the team's last test outside Europe before joining the other MotoGP teams for the official tests at Catalunya and Jerez.

MotoGP, 2003, Valentino Rossi

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