MotoGP four-stroke Grand Prix racing - latest news
Rossi celebrates after winning aboard the Yamaha M1 at Welkom, April 2004
Pic from Yamaha Racing
This page was created to cover the 2005 MotoGP season. As in previous seaons, it is in reverse chronological order, so has the latest news at the top.
However, an excellent weblog makes this page somewhat redundant - take a look at The RossiFiles.
The previous season is coverd (in much greater depth) on the 2004 page.
MotoGP in 2008 British fans finally have something to shout about
After years seemingly in the GP racing wilderness, Britain's James Toseland, surely the world's fastest pianist, enters MotoGP on a Tech 3 Yamaha alongside Colin Edwards.
» 2008 racing calendar - dates for MotoGP plus World & British Superbikes.
» Details of the BBC's TV coverage may be useful for UK viewers without access to satellite. Qualifying and post-race analysis from most rounds can now be seen on BBCi on Freeview.
End of season reflection - 2007
This will be brief, otherwise it will suffer the same fate as last year's review below.
- Casey Stoner deserved to win. He was the best. So was his bike, the new 800cc Desmosedici.
- In contrast to Casey, Loris struggled all season with the new machine.
- Honda got it wrong. Neither Nicky nor Dani had a sniff.
- Yamaha got it wrong too, so much waving of hands and shouting in their garage.
- Suzuki are getting there. Kawasaki aren't far off either.
End of season reflection - 2006
(October 06) Coming soon....
Update: cancelled due to lack of time. Sorry folks, I'm sure you won't mind.
End of season reflection - 2005
What a year for Rossi and Yamaha! 12 wins, matching Mick Doohan's best tally (though with more races per year), and no obvious rival. Sete Gibernau, the man who had given Rossi a hard time in 2004, completely lost track. Whether this was all in the Spaniard's head or something else we probably won't know; either way, after a promising start he stumbled through the year making mistakes. Luck was not on his side.
The sun did, however, persist in shining on Mr Rossi. Even when struck by relatively poor qualifying results, notably the final race of the year at Valencia, Rossi had enough speed and racecraft to catch and pass just about anyone. The only riders who looked like they might match him in 2006 were the (relatively) young guns - Marco Melandri and Nicky Hayden.
Both these guys were on Hondas, and both had their best season in MotoGP. Marco is a seasoned member of the paddock, while Nicky is ex-superbike. But both rode with the determination and skill that is required to succeed at this level. My guess is that Marco, appearing to be supremely confident aboard his RC211v and taking back-to-back victories at the end of the season, is going to be fast from the start next year. Hayden could well still find he struggles at certain circuits, but his strength of character and drive won't let him do anything silly.
Loris Capirossi rode the Ducati like a man possessed. If anyone deserved more I can't imagine why. After a poor setup with the GP4 the previous year, Ducati had ironed out some of the problems, and little Loris put 100% into each race. For 2006 he will be joined at Ducati by Sete Gibernau. Perhaps this will be where Sete can get comfortable and put his worries behind him. Certainly the lack of a works-spec machine from Honda irked him, and he will have scores to settle.
A special word for Englishman James Ellison. He rode the WCM bike all year, giving as much as Loris did on his red machine, and has finally been recognised as a real talent. Team boss Peter Clifford stated on BBC TV that he thought James was the best rider he had ever managed. Praise indeed! At the time of writing James does not have a contract for 2006, but if he gets a good machine I'm sure he will shine.
Randy Mamola suggested in a recent column that the time has come for the younger riders to get the chances they deserve. Max Biaggi is struggling to get a ride (both Honda and Yamaha have said "No way!" to the Roman's sponsors) and experienced riders like Carlos Checa put in mostly lacklustre performances. Tamada failed to ignite as once promised, although Shinya Nakano put in some solid rides on the Kawasaki. I am inclined to agree. Toni Elias has impressed, and there will be new riders in the paddock. Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa, who spent 2005 slugging it out for the 250cc crown (won by the latter), will bring their skills and energy to the top class. Expect some fireworks.
Rossi rules again at Le Mans
15/05/05: Once again Rossi seems to have all the luck while his rivals lose out. Biaggi spent the weekend complaining about his factory Repsol Honda, and his technicians fitted a race tyre for qualifying, which added to his woes.
Yamaha M1 rider Colin Edwards shot off the line and led for much of the race, but despite his efforts, his teammate stalked him and eventually passed the Texan. However, in the meantime Gibernau had stormed through after an error and was right with the two Yamaha riders. Rossi and Gibernau left Edwards to follow, with the rest of the field far behind.
Although Gibernau had set a string of fastest laps during the chase, Rossi appeared to still have enough in reserve to hold him off, and set the fastest lap of the race during a nail-biting last lap. Rossi already has a commanding lead in the championship. Yamaha chiefs looked on as their two riders mounted the podium. How can Honda respond?
Rain in China
01/05/05: Valentino Rossi rode hard but safely to win a rain-soaked China Grand Prix at the Shanghai circuit. Gibernau saw any chance of a good points score diminish as he slipped back in the waterlogged conditions. Meanwhile Frenchman Olivier Jacque, deputising on the Kawasaki for an injured Hoffmann, gave great chase and rode superbly to finish second.
Winner of the "most disappointed man of the meeting" award must go to 2000 champion Kenny Roberts. He led in the early part of the race and looked comfortable for the win, or at least a podium position. However, a mechanical problem sent him to the pits.
10/04/05: After claiming the 2004 championship in his first year on the Yamaha M1, Rossi was looking to build on this for 2005. He certainly started the season well, winning at Jerez. However, the race wasn't without incident. Rossi's main rival Sete Gibernau had led for much of the race, but Rossi made a pass in a tight corner, causing the Spanish rider to run wide.
Despite a protest by Gibernau's team, the move was declared fair and Rossi won the first psychological battle of the season.
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