Video: Masao Furusawa Interviews Valentino Rossi About Yamaha

At the end of 2010, Yamaha lost two of the driving forces behind their MotoGP program. Valentino Rossi left to try his luck at Ducati, and Masao Furusawa, head of Yamaha's engineering operations, reached the age of 60, when senior figures in Japanese firms are expected to retire. Valentino Rossi has repeatedly said that these two departures were linked: the loss of Furusawa - the engineering genius behind Yamaha's M1 MotoGP bike, and the man who turned it into arguably the best machine on the MotoGP grid - left a hole at Yamaha, and one that Rossi could not see being filled easily.

Before the two men departed, Yamaha organized a remarkable interview. In it, Rossi and Furusawa quiz each other on their time together at Yamaha, about why Rossi came to Yamaha, about how the pair developed the M1, about the successes and the failures, of which there were far, far more of the former than of the latter. It is a fascinating document, having the two key figures behind Yamaha interview each other, and well worth hearing.

Masao Furusawa and Valentino Rossi Interview, part 1:

Masao Furusawa and Valentino Rossi Interview, part 2

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Thank you very much David, loved it. Great races to remember and a very nice insight into the relationship. Up in the night for laguna and can't remember taking a breath till Casey went off. Donnington 05 wettest I've ever been and 2004 says it all. What a partnership together with JB..
Long may VR continue to be succesfull.

Thank You David! Who can forget South Africa! Who can forget Donnington in a monsoon! Rossi is a Master who has tamed and won on numerous bikes! What a joy to watch over the years . . . OK a decade +! Been watching Rossi since he was on 125's!

2011 will be a VERY interesting year in Moto GP!

As sad as I am to see Rossi leave Yamaha, why hasn't anyone asked the real question which is "Did you leave because of Lorenzo?"

That aside I won't ever get over that fact that he left Yamaha, from these videos it really does seem he didn't want to leave and was truley sad for him as well. I'm not a fan of Ducati but cant seem to bring myself to go for Ducati even with Rossi on board.

I always thought he would be a Yamaha man but now he will forever be remembered and be a Ducati man. Just like Schumacher will now be known as someone who finished his career as a Mercedes driver.

krka1073 wins the inaugural "Why Didn't I Think Of That Comment First?" Award!

Rossi hasn't too terribly much to lose, Yamaha has lost both of their prime movers, the M1 may be nearing the end of its era as "belle of the ball", and there are now quite possibly bigger fish to fry. Like ALL the Honda boys. Rossi's reasoning seems much closer to sane than I originally figured. I think the loss of Furusawa is hard to overemphasize. Any word on a title sponsor?

Yes, people will always ask "what if". So? And? What if "C-A-T" actually spelled DOG? :)

For me (and, I believe, others), Jordan will always be a Bull. Schumacher will always wear a Marlboro/Ferrari fire suit. Emmitt Smith will a always be a Cowboy. Lewis will always be a McLaren boy. Favre will always have a yellow helmet with a green and white "G". And Mark Ingram will always wear Crimson Tide colors and hoist the Heisman...

And Houston will never have a decent NFL team.

Sorry. :)

Wonderful interviews and says so much about Yamaha and how they respect their riders. It must be so difficult for them to have to balance the need to win and nurture the flavour of the moment like JLo, against the need to respect their longtime employee like Rossi. At the end of the day, he will always be a Yamaha rider, much like Lawson, Hannah, Roberts and so many others.

They also seem to respect and support his desire to do what no other rider has done (open class championships on 3 different makes), yet they make it clear the door is always open for him to return.

That's class.

Vale has just got [another] award .... and it's more than mind games, pure conspiracy. Cut & paste from

The Academy, which is made up of 46 of the greatest sportspeople of all time, voted Rossi’s remarkable return to action just 41 days after an exposed fracture of his right tibia as the most deserving of the award.

What? How many people in the Academy?? :D

haha nice comment briga. Just keeps popping up that number.

Interesting comments from the texas tornado(cat 2 at the mo.) saying he followed Rossi for a bit and that Rossi was not pushing in Sepang he was keeping everything super smooth. It's interesting not just because it means there is more to come(although as a fan I never doubted.). But because he was only a few tenths outside Caseys best ever time at the track and Caseys style on the duke was wild to put it mildly.. Always been an interesting bike the duke and judging by Caseys performances it's been losing ground steadily since 2007 and Nicky being more closer to Casey last year has hinted changes were taking place. Would be interesting to see how much of the change is rider style and how much setup, will probably never know, but it does raise interesting questions.

Strange that he got that award instead of RDP, who came back from a very similar injury in half the time. I guess Rossi had better form when he returned but RDP is by far the tougher dude. Or Aoyama coming back from a spinal injury?

Pity only people who follow Gps know more than one racer..

Furusawa is such a quiet badass. Sad to see people like him leaving the sport. Rossi consistently singling him out for credit speaks volumes about how integral he was to the Yamaha's greatness.

His smirk as Rossi gave it to Jorge at Motegi was priceless too.

There is also another interview floating around from Furasawa he's a thoroughly nice man and extremely talented in his own right. He's also destroyed quite a few myths banded about by Rossis detractors, has made enjoyable reading.

Hugelean I should have included you in the thankyou as I was unaware of other interview (and frenchie might not otherwise have come up with the link).

frenchie thankyou a heap for the crash link. I've only read to p2 so far and know I want to say thanks (for the insight I'm getting).

Great interview. Their reminiscing gave me a new perspective on Rossi's decision to leave Yamaha. I had initially agreed with most commentators who connected Rossi's departure to Lorenzo, and I felt that Rossi's stated reason for leaving (Furusawa's retirement) was a way to deflect attention from the real reason: his teammate. However, after watching this interview, I was struck by Rossi's ability to recognize the right time to depart and act upon it. So, maybe his decision to leave for Ducati is less about JL and more about Yamaha and Furusawa. He left Honda after that corporation developed too much hubris (especially regarding its engineering) and joined Yamaha right when they focused a great deal of energy and money on their new M1. He ditched Michelin for Bridgestone just as it became clear that the Japanese rubber company was ascending over the French. So, maybe Rossi sees the writing on the wall at Yamaha, and has selected the perfect time to depart. We'll have to wait until Qatar to find out, I suppose.

In an interview, Kenny Roberts said he was most impressed with VR's ability to make the correct moves. On reflection, I think he said what impressed him the most is that VR's moves have always turned out to be the right ones.