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GP Week : Issue 112
Moto GP news >> BMW FOR MOTOGP? THE two principal figures who abandoned Yamaha – rider Valentino Rossi and engineering chief Masao Furusawa – each left the company because he thought the other was leaving. Rossi revealed last year that the imminent retirement of Furusawa, architect of the cross-plane-crank engine and captain of the ship that steered Rossi to four title successes, had been a major influence in his decision to quit Yamaha for Ducati. Now Furusawa has retired, and revealed in turn last week that Yamaha had asked him to stay on, but that the departure of Rossi had made him decline the offer. “I might have stayed on for another two years,” he told press-men. But when Rossi quit, so did he. Others, however, point to Furusawa’s endorsement of Jorge Lorenzo as the major reason for Rossi’s departure: until then he had always said he would end his career with Yamaha. Rossi left because of Furuasawa ... ... and Furusawa left because of Rossi MYSTERY surrounds the strongly rumoured entry of BMW to MotoGP when the 1000cc regulations kick in next year. The rumours were sparked by a high-level visit to the first round in Qatar by BMW motorcycle chief Hendrik von Kuenheim for private talks with Dorna boss Carmelo Ezpeleta. But German sources now say that if the company is interested in a full factory effort in GP racing – its first since the 1950s – it will not be until 2013 at the earliest. It is thought that if the BMW does finally decide to succumb to Dorna’s long-standing courtship, it will be with a purpose-built V4 engine, rather than a development of the S1000RR engine that has already been chosen for the new MotoGP class by at least one private team. BMW raced as a factory team from 1955 to 1959. Walter Zeller was second overall in 1956; while Dickie Dale claimed the marque’s only GP win in 1958. The shaft-driven twin was outclassed by the multi-cylinder opposition, and BMW followed a no- racing policy from 1960 until 2009, with the entry of a S1000RR four-cylinder team in World Superbikes. But 2012 may be too soon... BMW last ran a factory GP team in 1959 ... 15