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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 321 December 2016 > MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE?

Trying to manage two warring team-mates is an unenviable task ­ so how do you go about handling Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo? We ask Yamaha's MotoGP boss Lin Jarvis...
Why can't it always be like this?

On the face of it, most of us would willingly jump into the ­ no doubt exquisitely hand crafted Italian ­ shoes of Lin Jarvis, Yamaha's MotoGP boss, without a moment's hesitation. Fancy Italian base HQ, glamorous circuit locations, hospitality food for breakfast, lunch and tea, never having to iron a team shirt, schmoozing with the rich and famous, and managing the two biggest and brightest stars the race series has ever seen ­ Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi ­ seems like it should be the job of everyone's dreams.

Lin Jarvis, right, learns what Rootsy can do round Silverstone...

But when you actually stop and think about what the job involves, the constant pressures that you face and the massive responsibility of delivering Yamaha a world title every year, you may start to think twice. Yes, it's all well and good standing on the podium being spaffed in the face by Rossi's magnum of Cava (although champers in the eye doesn't half sting), but when he or Lorenzo falls off, or an engine goes pop, or Rossi has a proper dust up with the likes of Marc Marquez (as he did during Sepanggate) and you're left trying explain to your bosses why things have gone wrong or deflecting the world's attention from your errant rider then, on second thoughts, we'd quite happily trade places back with Jarvis.

Jarvis's employment by Yamaha goes back decades, but he took the MotoGP top job on when the once mighty firm was on its knees.

Yamaha's last blue ribbon title was in 1992 when Wayne Rainey took 500cc honours. True, fortunes swayed between manufacturers during the two-stroke era, but Mick Doohan's dominance of the 1990s on the Honda NSR500 was a bitter pill to swallow for anyone connected to Yamaha. The end of that decade was when Jarvis entered the story, as he explained to me during Yamaha's awesome Race Experience event at Silverstone.

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