Yamaha not ‘obsessed’ by Rossi winning a 10th title

Maverick Vinales' crew chief Ramon Forcada says the Yamaha MotoGP team are not obsessed by teammate Valentino Rossi winning a 10th world championship.

In his stunning career, the 37-year-old Rossi has won the 125cc and 250cc categories and seven premier class titles to be just short of claiming a 10th crown having come close being the runner-up in the last three seasons.  

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Forcada believes that even though Rossi has a huge worldwide following Yamaha does not have a favourite and treats both their riders equally.

"The Japanese are very phlegmatic," Forcada told the Motorsport website. "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 interested 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 added that with the Yamaha MotoGP team being based just outside Milan at Lesmo it would be very special if the Italian was able to clinch a 10th world title.

"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."

The first MotoGP face of 2017 is the Qatar GP at the Losail International Circuit on March 26.