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Yamaha´s Furusawa reviews the 2008 season to date

Yamaha´s Furusawa reviews the 2008 season to date

Yamaha chief describes Rossi as a `genius´, and believes that the M1 is still the best bike on the grid.

Masao Furusawa, Yamaha´s Executive Officer for Engineering Operations, has the utmost faith in both Valentino Rossi and the Yamaha M1 in 2008. The factory are enjoying a fruitful year in the premier class, and Furusawa has been present to see the impressive podium record in person, even sharing the stage with Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo and Colin Edwards at Le Mans when the trio invited him onto the rostrum.

Reviewing the season to date, the Japanese chief´s attention was obviously first focused on the title chase, with Rossi the current leader of the MotoGP World Championship.

`Valentino has become more and more satisfied race by race and we have been able to find an ideal set-up for him that enabled him to win three races in a row. Since then, Casey Stoner and his team have found new solutions that have allowed them to make a big step forward and now of course we know that the remaining races will be tough, although we are still leading by 25 points after the excellent win in Laguna Seca,´ he stated during the summer break.

`It is clear that we at Yamaha will have to develop a better and better electronics system, in order to beat our rivals. I still think that the M1 is best bike out there, although Casey has had a string of very impressive results.´

Furusawa continued with a detailed assessment of the changes performed on the 800cc machine since the 2007 season, with some obvious adaptation having had to be made for Rossi's switch to Bridgestone tyres.

`We have made many changes to the 2008 M1 compared to the 2007 version and we have improved it a lot; Valentino is satisfied with our work so far. Of course the biggest change for us has affected Valentino´s side only – the change of tyre manufacturer. After the switch we had a hard time learning how to get the best performance from the new tyres and of course we had no data. Last however year Valentino predicted that changing would be the right thing for him and he was right, although of course we weren't able to predict how differently the tyre would behave. We have had to work a lot on the chassis setting and we have also changed the geometry of the bike in order to get a good balance with the tyre character.

`Lately we have been experiencing some problems with acceleration on the exit of the corner, so we need to work to find better bike geometry and chassis setting alongside the development of the engine control system.´

Yamaha have become the first team to confirm their lineup for 2009 –unchanged from that of this season. The Rossi-Lorenzo partnership is a pleasing one for all at Yamaha, with their podium pedigree in 2008 racking up the points in the manufacturers championship.

`The reason I always continue to be confident is because I trust Valentino so much!´ says Furusawa, delighted with Rossi´s decision to sign a new two-year contract with Yamaha.

`I like his way of thinking, he is always positive and this rubs off on everyone else. He never complains or criticises; on the contrary, he is always looking forward and searching for new solutions! He has exactly the same approach to problems as I have. He is the genius behind the bike

`I like Jorge very much; he is a good guy and a very good rider. Honestly, he is very different than I had expected before he joined Yamaha; I was impressed by his mature attitude and his fluent English. He is a very smart guy, smarter than I expected! He has a big talent as a rider; he is very smooth and very effective. I am sure that in the future he will dominate in MotoGP.

`Our entire team is made up of good people and good workers! As far as our riders are concerned, we have a very strong weapon; Valentino is the present and Jorge is the future!´

MotoGP, 2008, Fiat Yamaha Team

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