“So far, so good”
Leading the riders, constructors´ and teams´ World Championships over the summer break and with their full factory and satellite rider line-ups already sorted for 2009 Yamaha have certainly been taking care of business so far this season.
Furusawa, Executive Officer, Engineering Operations of Yamaha Motor Company, and his colleague Lin Jarvis tied up the all-important signature of title-chasing five-time MotoGP champion Valentino Rossi for two more years last weekend in California - ahead of the Italian´s first ever win at Laguna Seca on Sunday, but the hard work will continue over the summer.
Asked to analyse the season thus far Furusawa´s honest assessment included an insistence that further improvement of the Yamaha M1 would be on the agenda, as the manufacturer seeks to give Rossi the tools to stay ahead of Ducati rival Casey Stoner and regain the MotoGP crown. The factory boss commented, “So far, so good. The first half of the season has been very good for us.”
“But in racing it is all about competition and we have a very strong competitor. The red bike... Casey! Now we have to come up with some ideas to beat him in the second half of the season.
Yamaha have seen Jorge Lorenzo make an electric start to his premier class career this season, though his form has tailed off in recent weeks, while the Tech 3 satellite team have been heavily backed by the Japanese factory, with the result being three Yamaha riders in the top six in the standings – while all four feature in the top ten.
“All our riders are doing very well”, said Furusawa of Yamaha´s overall competitiveness. “Racing is another story, with the combination of rider, bike and tyres, and no-one can know what the result will be, but I think our bike is pretty good.”
Commenting on what Rossi´s stunning victory in California meant for Yamaha, Furusawa stated, “Here at Laguna Seca in the U.S. it is a key market, which is really important for Yamaha. Also it is the first time for Valentino to win here so it is really significant.”