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: