Yamaha Racing managing director Lin Jarvis has revealed it was Valentino Rossi who made the initial approach regarding a return to the factory's MotoGP team for 2013.
After struggling at Ducati since the start of last year, Rossi will re-join Jorge Lorenzo at the official Yamaha team for the next two seasons.
Rossi helped transform Yamaha's MotoGP fortunes when he joined as the reigning triple world champion from Honda at the start of 2004.
However his final seasons saw the relationship sour slightly as young team-mate Lorenzo grew in strength.
“The reason to have Valentino back with us is the seven years of excellent history we have together,” said Jarvis at Brno on Thursday.
“We won four titles together, we made great history in the sport and also a lot of positive image for Yamaha. The decision to take Valentino back is to come back to the good times.
“It was not in my opinion a bad 'divorce' [at the end of 2010] and we had remained on good terms.
“I would say there had been some discussion in the background for some time [about a return to Yamaha for 2013] and the real negotiations probably began in July.
“Then, as Valentino clarified, he made his decision in the week after Laguna Seca. So the final negotiation was quite short, because we know each other well.
“Valentino made the approach to express his interest to return to Yamaha. So the first point of contact came from Valentino's side to Yamaha.
“We informed Jorge at Mugello [mid-July] that there looked like there was a possibility to contract Valentino.
“I think Jorge would honestly have preferred to keep Ben [Spies] as his team-mate, and that was the way we were going as well in our early mid-season planning.
“But finally Jorge respected Yamaha's decision to bring back Valentino and it is up to us to manage the situation.