After losing the title to rival Honda, Yamaha Crew Chief Ramon Forcada has opened up about the state of the team’s outlook 2017 and beyond.
When you’ve got a living legend who’s one championship win away from pushing his championship triumphs into the double digits, one might assume that the whole team would be rallying behind him at the start of a new MotoGP season.
And yet, such is not so, as Yamaha’s Crew Chief Ramon Forcada explains:
“The Japanese are very phlegmatic. They want to win, their number one enemy is Honda, their great rival. This is the main objective, and with which rider matters very little. Surely the marketing department is interested in this detail, but I can assure you the project leader is only interesting in winning, whether it’s with Folger, Zarco, Valentino or Maverick. They want a Yamaha rider to win and Rossi’s 10th title is not an obsession for them.”
– Ramon Forcada
It’s a fascinating tidbit of insider information to be sure. One would have thought over previous years that Rossi was not only Movistar Yamaha’s Golden Boy, but also a team mascot of sorts. Rossi’s been at the leading edge for so long it’s nearly impossible to imagine a Yamaha without him. Alas, per Forcada, the Japanese management simply does not see it like that.
However, he did go on to say that while the technical staff might have such a “phlegmatic” response, that might not be the case within the team itself:
“Within the team, which is run by Italians, it’s a different story. Surely if Valentino won a 10th title it would be important for the championship and the sport. It would be a huge achievement, coming so many years after his last title [in 2009], and it would have a big media impact for MotoGP.” – Ramon Forcada
With Marquez and Honda stealing the crown last year, we are sure to see an emboldened Yamaha strive for first. As for what happens with the riders themselves – we can only wait and see.