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Yamaha stay with Michelin
...and Rossi speaks.
Fiat Yamaha team director Davide Brivio made an unusual appearance at the pre-event press conference ahead of this weekend's Portuguese Grand Prix, where he was able to confirm several significant aspects of Yamaha's 2008 line-up.The Italian stated that reigning 250cc world champion Jorge Lorenzo will be a full factory rider, with Valentino Rossi as his team-mate, and thus directly replace Colin Edwards.
"The factory team next year will be Valentino Rossi and Lorenzo, simply a two rider team like any other," said Brivio, responding to speculation that the pair may ride in separate teams. "Jorge Lorenzo will replace Colin Edwards in our team."
It is already known that Edwards will move to the satellite Tech 3 Yamaha team alongside James Toseland, while Fiat has signed to be the factory Yamaha team's title sponsor for the 2007 and 2008 seasons. Nevertheless, Fortuna is rumoured to be keen to keep Lorenzo in its colours...
In terms of tyre supplier, Brivio ended any speculation that Yamaha could sever its Michelin ties - after a troubled season - by announcing that the factory M1s will stay on the French rubber next year. However, Brivio said that he was unable to speak for the Tech 3 team, which he claimed will make its own decision. Tech 3 currently uses Dunlops.
Finally, Brivio announced that Rossi will continue to use the new Yamaha engine, featuring pneumatic valves. The engine failed after just five laps on its race debut at Misano, but the problem was not associated with the new technology and is "our future".
Valentino Rossi admits the 2007 MotoGP title is all but gone, and is switching his focus to holding the runner-up spot.
After a disastrous engine failure at Misano, Rossi has slipped 85 points behind Ducati's Casey Stoner - who can wrap up the title four rounds early if he scores 15 points more than Rossi at Estoril next Sunday.
"To be honest the championship is almost out of reach for us, especially when Stoner is so strong, so we will put all our energies into holding onto our second place and winning as many races as possible, as well as thinking about continuing the development of our package for next year," stated Rossi, who has won three races of the 13 so far held and is 20 points clear of Honda's Dani Pedrosa. "Now the aim is to have a good end to the season - we have five races left and we will be trying to win all five, even if the championship is out of our reach. I've had some good races at Estoril in the past although last year I missed out on the win by a tiny amount!" Indeed, a dramatic 2006 Portuguese Grand Prix
saw Rossi propelled back into the title lead after team-mates Pedrosa and Nicky Hayden sensationally collided - but the Italian lost five further points when he was beaten to the line by Toni Elias, by just 0.002secs. This weekend, he's out to avenge both that loss and his recent Misano misery.
"Misano was a great, great disappointment," said Rossi. "To not have the chance to fight and to finish after just a few laps was a terrible thing, but now we just have to put it behind us. We got back to work straight away on Monday for the test and we did some really good work with Michelin - it seems that they found some good new tyres and overall it was quite an encouraging test, much more than the last one. Hopefully we will be ready in Estoril with a package with which we can fight."
Fiat Yamaha team director Davide Brivio insists that the title fight isn't over, but also made clear that unless Michelin can provide competitive tyres then Rossi and team-mate Colin Edwards won't stand a chance.
"It's not over yet but we know that a gap of 85 points to such a strong rival package will be very, very difficult to recover," admitted Brivio. "All we can do is take it race buy race and try to put Valentino and Colin [Edwards] in a position to fight for race victories and podiums as soon as possible.
"First of all we have to hope that the tyres are competitive and from there on we can try. The test at Misano was positive so hopefully that improved performance carries over to Estoril. We know we have a rider who is capable of winning races and he deserves to be winning much more than he is now so we can only try our best to give him the equipment he needs to do that," added the under-pressure Italian
No more mod listing, shits is STILL too long
03 600RR > 04 1000RR > 06 R6V > 05 600RR > 06 R1 > 09 1000RR > 10 RSV4R :gun: