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Furusawa reveals that Yamaha Racing had doubts on Valentino Rossi's return

Valentino Rossi’s return to Yamaha was not as seamless as it was made out to be.
Besides Rossi, two other riders were gunning for Ben Spies M1, Andrea Dovizioso and Cal Crutchlow who both thought they deserved the ride much more than the unlucky Spies and certainly more than Rossi, after his two highly disappointing and disastrous years in Ducati.

Masao Furusawa has always been one of Valentino Rossi’s staunchest supporters, but the former engineer in an interview in Italy’s latest edition of Motosprint, revealed that Yamaha’s Racing department were very reluctant on the Italian’s return, but it was the marketing and PR departments who threw him the much needed lifeline, knowing full well that despite his winless years, Rossi is still highly popular and what he can still bring to the table just in terms of pubblicity (the number of journalists and photographers in front of the Yamaha garage during the Valencia post season test proved it).

“Given the doubts of the racing department, Yamaha’s marketing and communication departments became the greatest movers behind Valentino’s return,” said Furusawa.

The Japanese engineer who retired from Yamaha at the end of 2010, also said that if Yamaha or Valentino should happen to need him at some point during the season he would be available and he also believes that Rossi will be competitive on the M1.

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