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GP Week : Issue 96
Cracks start to show at Yamaha JUST one day after the honeyed words of Yamaha's official announcement that Rossi was leaving, the cracks became obvious between the rider and the team he will leave behind. Banned from testing the latest Öhlins forks as well as the 2011 machine, Rossi fulminated: "there are still eight races left this year". At the same time Davide Brivio, who engineered the original move by Rossi from Honda to Yamaha and currently manages that side of the garage, revealed he expected to quit the factory team in Rossi's wake. He plans to move into rider management. Ducati is being kept waiting to hear if Rossi will be released from contract by Yamaha to test his new machine the day after the final round at Valencia. And Yamaha is waiting to hear the decision of Rossi's crew chief Jerry Burgess. A valued member of the development team, he will also be need to kept away from 2011 developments, should he decide to go follow Rossi to Ducati. At present, Burgess is reserving judgement, although a lukewarm invitation by Ducati chief Del Torchio, who said "it is Valentino's decision", might influence him to stay put. Rossi said the tests had revealed one possible reason for his inexplicable front- end feel problems in the race, and that power-up parts were promising. But he was unhappy that he had been denied a chance to try the new forks: "We have eight races to go and not two or three, and I want to make like always 110 percent of my effort for the second part of the season and my last races on the M1. And I expect also the same effort from Yamaha. "They said to me that they use this fork for 2011 not for this year. It's easy to see because the new fork looks different. So we will see if this is the truth or a lie," he said. Although team-mate Lorenzo is set, barring disasters, for a runaway title win, 134 points (better than five full race wins ahead of Valentino), Rossi can still claim a championship one-two for the team. Dovizioso, Stoner and current runner-up Pedrosa are within reach, with Dani just 57 points clear. But while the rider questioned Yamaha's commitment to him, former World Champion Wayne Gardner has done the same to Valentino. The Australian wrote on his website that "Rossi has stopped pushing", after his strangely lacklustre run to fifth in the Czech Republic GP. Rossi denied test chance, Brivio plans to quit short testing 15 Moto GP news >>