Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis has said that negotiations to bring Valentino Rossi back into his team alongside Jorge Lorenzo started in July and were instigated by the Italian, not the factory.
The Doctor made his approach after becoming disillusioned with Ducati's lack of progress with the GP12 and the fact he had no assurances he would be on a competitive bike come the start of next season. The Yamaha deal means he will get the same machinery as Jorge Lorenzo, starting at the Valencia test.
"The reason to have Valentino back is the seven years of excellent history we had together. We had Valentino with us for seven years, we won four world titles together and we made a great history in the sport and also a lot of positive publicity for Yamaha together," said Jarvis.
"So finally, the reason for having Valentino back is to come back to the good times. The divorce, I'd like to say, was not in my opinion a bad divorce. Of course, any separation has its issues, but we have remained on good terms as Yamaha with Valentino since."
"I would say there had been some discussions in the background for some time and the real negotiation probably began in July. As you know, as Valentino clarified, after Laguna, he made his decision, in the week after Laguna Seca, and then we made the announcement the Friday a couple of weeks after that.
"It was quite final after that, the earlier discussions went on from time to time, but the final negotiation was quite short, because having the history we have together, we know the challenge, we know the essential elements.
Jarvis denied that Rossi was bringing a big-money sponsor to Yamaha in order to facilitate his transfer but added he hoped the Italian's return to the team would help negotiations to secure a title backer.
"The main motivation, the main reason for us to be here is not to get a title sponsor, our reason to be here is to promote the Yamaha brand and also to go racing, and to animate our motorcycle business in general and motorcycle sport. And so the main motivation is to do that.
"Of course we've been looking for a title sponsor, looking for major investment over the years, and with a super team as we believe Valentino and Jorge together will be, hopefully we will have the best possible tool with which to search for investment."
Image by Ducati Corse
3rd September 2012