Yamaha Motor Racing Managing Director Lin Jarvis was among the key people responsible for signing Valentino Rossi from Honda at the end of 2003, and has helped oversee Yamaha's extraordinary MotoGP success since.
That includes winning all three MotoGP titles (Riders', Constructors' and Teams') for the past three years, thanks to Rossi and 2010 champion Jorge Lorenzo.
During an exclusive interview at Sepang, Jarvis spoke about the upcoming 2011 season - the first of the post-Rossi Yamaha era - and also briefly commented on the factory's 1000cc plans.
Yamaha has promoted Ben Spies from Tech 3 to take Rossi's place alongside Lorenzo...
The Hondas have been fastest during these two Sepang tests, but the Yamaha riders look consistently quick on race tyres. Are people underestimating the Yamahas?
I think the facts, as you see them, don't lie. The Hondas are very quick. Consistently. In the three days at this test and in the first test here they have been quickest. So I would say the opposite: Don't underestimate the Hondas.
I think we will be competitive. It depends on each track. At the twisty tracks we hope we will have an advantage, but tracks where acceleration is the key - this is the area we really have to work on.
This is where our riders are saying the Honda riders are stronger, in acceleration through the lower gears.
How much more performance do you need to find from the engine?
There are two things with the engine: The actual power you have and the delivery. Delivery can be influenced by many things. The amount of traction you have, the electronic settings etc.
The bottom line is we need more acceleration so that we will not have a disadvantage down the straights and then make use of our strong points in other areas of the track.
Ben and Jorge both have the same request. We're aware of the situation and we are working on it, but as you know we've only got six engines for the full season. Now we are testing, but very soon we have to select our initial two engines to begin the season with. Maybe we can get some upgrades for the later engines.