Yesterday, the 2010 MotoGP season came to a close at Valencia. Jorge Lorenzo won one last race, and his teammate, Valentino Rossi, said goodbye to his Fiat Yamaha team. After the race, Rossi, Masao Furusawa, and Lin Jarvis sat down to give their thoughts on the end of the Fiat Yamaha / Valentino Rossi era.
Rossi finished his final race with Fiat Yamaha on the podium, his 84th with Yamaha.
Rossi: "This is a very emotional day but I'm very happy as well because I don't have any regrets and there have been no bad moments or thoughts throughout these seven seasons together with Yamaha. From the beginning it was something great and we worked very well together. Like in life, in sport the results are crucial but just as important is the enjoyment and we had this at Yamaha.
“If in 2004 somebody had told me that I would win four world championships with Yamaha and 46 Grand Prix I would have signed in blood!... I just have to say a big thank you to everybody who helped me in these seven seasons, and wish everyone good luck."
Masao Furusawa, Yamaha Engineering Operations Executive Officer:
"I would like to thank Valentino very much, I started in MotoGP in 2003 and it was a terrible year, it was almost like I was in hell! I really wanted to make the YZR-M1 a better bike but the more investigated it, the more I realized I needed something else, more than the bike. So we found Valentino Rossi.
“This year not only Valentino but also three other riders were fast so it's clear that our YZR-M1 is a pretty good bike. This is mainly because of Valentino's contributions over the years so I really appreciate that and I want to wish him all the best in the future."
Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing:
"In 2003 when we had our worst year ever in GP racing and finally we said that whatever we were going to do, without Valentino Rossi on the seat it wasn't going to work! That was the point where we decided that we needed him. There were some exciting and secretive negotiations with Valentino and it was a very important decision but, with the backing of Masao Furusawa and the President of Yamaha Motor Company, we made it happen. It was ‘do or die'.
“We are very, very grateful because Valentino's arrival really turned things around for Yamaha and we came back to victorious ways. We are incredibly thankful and grateful to him for that.”