Davide Brivio was one of many primary gamers within the recruitment of Valentino Rossi by Yamaha, a switch that struck MotoGP as a thunderclap in 2003. On the time, the star rider at quantity 46 was the chief of the Honda program, with which he joined the premier class in 2000, earlier than settling on the prime of the championship. As he was in his fourth season among the many elite, he was on his method to his third title when he let himself be tempted by the change.
Brivio, in the meantime, joined MotoGP in 2002, employed by Yamaha as crew supervisor, after an extended profession in Superbike. A yr after his arrival, he embarked with Lin Jarvis, the constructor’s huge boss in Grand Prix, in some of the placing offensives he has seen in MotoGP. The timing was on their aspect. As a result of if Rossi was certainly the flagship driver of Honda with an plain success, his domination coupled with the absence of competitors from different producers had given rise to the concept these outcomes could have depended extra on the bike because the rider.
Yamaha hadn’t gained a title since 1992, the final one being gained with Wayne Rainey. The figures had been merciless for Iwata: between 1993 and 2003, the model had signed 24 victories, in opposition to 117 for Honda. A ratio of 1 to 5 which pressured to react.
Looking for the most important recreation within the championship, Brivio and Jarvis struck a chord with Rossi, encouraging him to tackle a tricky problem. Advised right this moment by the person who was one in all its architects, the story appears a lot easier than it was in actuality, as a result of it was essential to persuade not solely the pilot but in addition folks inside Yamaha itself, in due to the dreaded setback within the occasion of failure.
“At first, Yamaha didn’t wish to recruit Rossi, as a result of some affirmed that in the event that they succeeded everybody would have thought that it was he who would have gained, that the benefit would go to him, whereas if he didn’t win. no emphasis can be on the motorbike “, explains Davide Brivio to Motorsport.com. “The one who modified this mind-set was Masao Furusawa, who [juin] 2003 turned the venture chief. It was he who satisfied the president of Yamaha that he needed to signal with Valentino. Collectively, we satisfied the administration that as a way to win it was important to have a prime driver. Honda gained, sure, however they did it with the perfect: Doohan, [puis] Rossi. “
Secret conferences within the paddock
It took Yamaha rather less than a yr to place in place all the small print that may result in the arrival of # 46 in 2004. The stakes had been so monumental that the conferences between the Tavullia rider and his future The crew needed to happen within the utmost secrecy, regardless of Honda having repeatedly provided Rossi a renewal of his contract.
“Throughout the 2003 championship, we met Vale nearly each race weekend to speak about a whole lot of issues: the roster of the crew, the mechanics he needed to have, how you can method apply. , and many others. The issue was realizing the place to satisfy, as a result of within the paddock we’re in full view of everybody, and within the inns all of the groups are combined “, continues Brivio, who remembers two explicit moments so unusual that they are going to be remembered perpetually.
“One of many strangest episodes was within the Clinica Cellular in Brno”, he recounts. “We met there at previous 10pm, when all of the physiotherapists and the medical doctors had already left. We unzipped the tent, we entered, we sat round a desk and we began the assembly. heard a motorcycle approaching, and Lin and I hid underneath the desk! “
Valentino Rossi on the 2004 Spanish Grand Prix
After this part of preliminary discussions, negotiations started with Gibo Badioli, who was then Valentino Rossi’s agent. He went too far, nonetheless, earlier than reversing. “At first, Badioli’s monetary calls for had been disproportionate. Then we managed to come back to an settlement. After which I consider that with what they managed to promote, Yamaha greater than recouped that funding.”
Davide Brivio can also be anchored in his reminiscence that night time when, as soon as the deal was sealed, Valentino Rossi found for the primary time what can be his new bike a couple of months later. “After we shook fingers, the second got here when Vale requested to see the bike. It occurred in Donington Park. We waited till the early hours of the morning, as we needed nobody within the room. the paddock. And he arrived underneath a hood in order to not be acknowledged “, remembers the previous Yamaha crew supervisor.
The remainder is historical past. Regardless of a primary take a look at postponed to early 2004, Honda not having given his settlement in order that he might drive the Yamaha from the primary offseason assessments on the finish of 2003, Valentino Rossi started a real love affair with the M1. He gained in his first race together with her and took a complete of 56 victories, in addition to 4 titles. Regardless of two years of estrangement when he tried to deal with one other big problem by becoming a member of Ducati, Rossi was related to Yamaha for 16 seasons and collectively they wrote some of the vital chapters of the motorbike Grand Prix.