Rossi/Lorenzo pairing will create a 'big problem' for Yamaha
|By Michele Lostia and Sam Tremayne||Friday, December 14th 2012, 17:25 GMT|
Valentino Rossi's return to Yamaha as team-mate to Jorge Lorenzo will lead to a tumultuous year for the Japanese outfit's crew and management, reckons a key figure in Rossi's first Yamaha stint.
Masao Furusawa, the guiding hand behind Yamaha's YZR-M1 project and boss at the team during Rossi's run of four world championships and 46 grand prix victories, predicts the pair's rivalry would lead to acrimony.
Furusawa's departure at the end of 2010 was cited by Rossi as a factor in his switch to Ducati.
In their last season together at Yamaha, Rossi and Lorenzo's animosity led to a wall being erected to separate the two halves of the garage.
"I realise it will be good enjoyment for the fans with Valentino and Jorge sharing the same garage again, but it will be a very difficult year for the people who live inside that garage," Furusawa told Motosprint.
"I think [Rossi and Lorenzo] will fight a lot: it will be a good spectacle, but it will also be a big problem for Yamaha.
"I can't see anyone managing a situation that, in my opinion, will get harder and harder."
Furusawa said team dynamics had played their part in the increasingly fractured relationship between both riders in 2010, and warned that there was a potential for similar tensions to arise once more.
"Before Jorge arrived at Yamaha, Nakajima liked Valentino very much. Then he began to prefer Jorge, because sometimes it is hard to deal with Valentino: instead Jorge was young and easy to deal with.
"With Lorenzo everything went well at Yamaha until they learned of his negotiations with Honda, back in early 2012.
"[Masahiko] Nakajima was really hurt and changed attitude towards him: he understood that Jorge behaves like the other riders, in the sense that he looks after his interests. Valentino's return comes in this atmosphere, and I have no idea what might happen."
Furusawa said Rossi was already questioning his move to Ducati in the summer of 2011. He backed the Italian to enjoy success on his return to Yamaha, and what is 'his' bike.
"Valentino and I have always kept in touch," Furusawa explained. "I had the chance to meet him during summer 2011: he told me that leaving Yamaha had been a big mistake.
"I think he is still competitive. In my opinion he'll be quick, because while he's grown older, he trains plenty to keep up the pace with the younger guys.