Yamaha introduces Masao Furusawa

Sepang, Malaysia - Sunday, January 25, 2004 -- Introducing Masao Furusawa General Manager, YMC Technology Development Division. The recently appointed head of Yamaha's new MotoGP Sports Department is gearing-up the famous Japanese Yamaha factory...

Sepang, Malaysia - Sunday, January 25, 2004 -- Introducing Masao Furusawa General Manager, YMC Technology Development Division. The recently appointed head of Yamaha's new MotoGP Sports Department is gearing-up the famous Japanese Yamaha factory for a full-throttle assault on the 2004 MotoGP World Championship. The 52-year-old Masao Furusawa, who has worked with Yamaha since the early 1970s, heads up the factory's massive effort to wrest the World Championship from its biggest rival.

Reigning MotoGP World Champion Valentino Rossi rides for Yamaha this season and Furusawa likens his head of development role to that of a chef - a chef preparing winning high-speed machinery for the Champion known as The Doctor. "We have prepared some ingredients, now we are mixing them together and soon we will be able to taste the result," he said at Yamaha's first tests of the year here in Malaysia.

Furusawa and Rossi are united in the goal of winning the World Championship in the Italian's debut season with Yamaha and the Japanese boss has the highest regard for his new rider. "I like his character and I appreciate his grasp of the technical matters that need attention. His crew is also a great help.

"I started mid-season and have looked carefully at what we need to upgrade. One area is horsepower and we have increased maximum speed too, but this is not everything in MotoGP. We investigated the chassis and introduced a new one at Valencia last year."

But it's this season when the results of Furusawa's direction will show. "We have prepared different specification engines and chassis and many smaller items. We currently have four types of engines and four types of chassis to try. We have five more tests before the first race and we will test them all and then combine the results to make a good bike."

Furusawa has forged even closer links between Yamaha's renowned Research and Development department and his MotoGP set-up and he fully appreciates the pressure time puts on the factory's brave bid for World Championship glory - the first race at Welkom in South Africa is on April 18. "So the deadline for making the best bike is two and a half months," he said plainly.

-fyt-

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Series MotoGP
Drivers Valentino Rossi