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Ezpeleta knew because Rossi was already dealing with Yamaha at the time, and it made sense for both parts that they'd reach an agreement.
Rossi has actually accepted to reduce his salary drastically in order to ride for Yamaha. Still, he's the 2nd best paid rider on the grid, behind Lorenzo.
I personally would have liked to see Dovi on the Factory Yamaha, but Rossi is the best and most secure option to put on that bike. Marquez has potential to be even greater, but he has yet to prove himself in MotoGP and he wasn't available.
Like it or not, Rossi deserves that bike more than anyone else.