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Q&A: Davide Brivio - Fortuna Yamaha Team Director
20 February 2003
2001 was Davide Brivio's inaugural season in MotoGP, when he accepted the position of Team Director with the then Marlboro Yamaha Team.
Brivio was born and raised close to the Monza racing circuit in Italy and soon developed a love for motorsports, being a keen motocross racer as a young man.
When he decided that he wasn't going to make it as a racer, Brivio became the circuit commentator at his local motocross track and wrote reports for a motorcycle magazine.
Then, in 1990, he became the press officer for Fabrizio Pirovano in the World Superbike series, before running his own WSBK team in 1992 for the Belgarda Yamaha Racing Division. Brivio then manaed the factory Yamaha World Superbike Team from 1995 until 2000.
Riders under Brivio's supervision have included Colin Edwards, Scott Russell and Noriyuki Haga. Indeed, it was Haga who brought Brivio to GPs for the first time in 2001.
The Italian is married with two children, and whenever he gets any time away from work he spends it mountain biking or skiing near his home.
How will you use Yamaha's achievements from last season for this season with the Fortuna Yamaha Team?
Last year was very useful, it was the beginning of a new era of four-stroke racing in MotoGP. Yamaha has so much experience in racing but we did not have experience with a four-stroke in MotoGP, so we had to experiment last year.
At the beginning we had some difficulties but I think Yamaha had a great reaction and we were able to win races before the end of the season. We achieved second place in both the Riders' and Manufacturers' World Championship. This was a sign of how quickly and efficiently Yamaha reacted. It was an important year to collect information and to change our approach to racing.
This category seems to be a never-ending development for all the manufacturers. We will see a lot of development and many new ideas this year, especially since we are at the beginning of the new era. Last year we had to test and explore so many things, and we will use all of the information gained for this year. During the latest winter testing we have introduced fuel injection and we are trying to modify our chassis area. We are working hard with our riders to select the good specifications for the coming season.
How different will it be working with new title sponsor Fortuna?
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.
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