As well as starting the year from a new technical point of view, we are also beginning the year with a new title sponsor, Fortuna. Fortuna is Spain's number one cigarette brand and we have three Spanish races so I'm sure we will be busy! We hope this is the start of a partnership that will be remembered for a long time.
Do you enjoy your role as Team Director?
I started in MotoGP last year and joined a great team. We were very demanding on the team last year because of the speed of the M1's development. The mechanics had to work very hard and very quickly. It gave me a chance to appreciate what was involved in my position. I am looking forward to helping with the team organisation this year. We have a great set-up and I am very happy to be here.
Are you pleased with Carlos' and Marco's performance in winter testing?
So far they have had two different targets; Carlos is taking care of new developments, fuel injection and new body parts, giving feedback to our Yamaha engineers. This is a very important year for him. He is our number one rider and our target is to win the Championship with him.
The preparation this winter will perhaps be harder for him than for Marco, as the technical choices he makes are very important. With Marco, being new in this category, we are asking him just to get as much experience of the bike as possible.
We think his approach to this category could not be better because he is learning something every time he goes on the bike, and really starting to understand the different parts of the bike and how they affect its performance. He is very enthusiastic and quick to learn, and we are looking forward to watching his progression through the season.
We know that a rider in a new class needs time, and we are ready to give him the time he needs. We will be excited to see the progress he makes when he is ready to do so.
What is your main aim for the Fortuna Yamaha Team for 2003?
What we have at the moment is a great set-up – Carlos ready to fight for the Championship, and Marco a new rider with obvious talent who is developing. The team itself has not changed too much since last year, so we feel confident. We can support both riders with our collective team experience.