Rossi winning a 10th title "not an obsession" for Yamaha

Valentino Rossi winning a 10th world championship is not an “obsession” for the Yamaha MotoGP team, says Maverick Vinales’ crew chief Ramon Forcada.

Rossi winning a 10th title "not an obsession" for Yamaha
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Maverick Viñales, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing
Valentino Rossi, Yamaha Factory Racing

Having won seven premier class titles in addition to one apiece in the 125cc and 250cc categories, Rossi is just one crown away from his 10th.

The Italian has finished runner-up in the last three seasons, narrowly losing out to Jorge Lorenzo in a controversial 2015 campaign, and now has a new teammate to contend with in 2017 in Vinales.

Forcada, who inherited Vinales after nine seasons spent working alongside Lorenzo, however believes that despite Rossi’s star power, Yamaha has no preference as to which of its riders is champion.

“The Japanese are very phlegmatic,” Forcada told Motorsport.com. “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 [Tech 3 riders] Folger, Zarco, Valentino or Maverick.

“They want a Yamaha rider to win and Rossi’s 10th title is not an obsession for them.”

Forcada did concede however that the Yamaha squad itself – which is based in Lesmo, just outside of Milan – Rossi taking another championship would be a source of major pride.

“Within the team, which is run by Italians, it’s a different story,” he said.

“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.

"But as for the technical staff [in Japan], they have no preference.

“The enemy is Honda and the objective is to win the championship – as well as the riders’, the constructors’, which we hardly talk about.”

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