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November 4th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #1
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Ok, Iíve decided to do something special for the end of this season. As you guys can see, the forum is conducting a "CHIP IN" drive. The forum needs an upgrade, so in true community fashion, we are the ones being asked to chip in. Here is what I plan to do, I will add a year of write up provided that the chip in meter go up by no less than five bucks. (No I was not asked to do this, and if Ben thinks its not in good taste, he can delete this thread or whatever). Here is what I'll do in exchange, this season will see Valentino Rossi end his run aboard a Yamaha. Being that Iím one of the biggest Valentino fans, naturally I figure Iíd write a little recap of his years with the Japanese brand. Hahaha, this reminds me of the thread that I think Curve started what seemed a farewell bid using a pictorial, which I thought was funny and a bit retarded, because it seemed like the tone was along the lines of retirement or death or something. Haha So Iíll take a bit of a different approach (of course its will be cooler since I'm doing it, eh). Iíll do a several part series as this takes a bit of time to recap Rossiís years on a Yamaha only. Iíll start with 2004, and when I have more time, go on to a year-by-year recap ending with 2010. There is a lot to write for each season, but Iím going to try and only write about the highlights of each year. I would like to see you guys add whatever youíd like to each write up, even noteworthy race by race tid bits you may remember, this way at the end it will be a wealth of info, but all I ask is that you stay within the year in which is being covered so that we don't go on to the next year until the chip in meter goes up by at least 5. And I donít mind being slammed for stuff either, it would be in keeping with our great forum. Haha So the first part, I will cover 2004, his first year with Yamaha. The meter is currently at 130.

Once upon a timeÖIn 2004, Valentino Rossi moved from the most successful manufacture of the era, Honda, to its sister rival, Yamaha. That year, Yamaha reduced its number of M1s from 5 to 4, in hopes to consolidate its effort around Valentino (Carlos Checa was his teammate). Valentino persuaded his mainly Australian team, headed by Jeremy Burgess, to join him at the new Japanese brand.

Yamaha had 2 bikes for the factory squad and 2 for the satellite team. Each bike run in either Gauloises or Fortuna livery, a brand owned by the same company. That year had representation of various manufactures (4 Japanese and 2 Italian brands), engine configurations, chassis, and three tire brands; which now has unfortunately evaporated into a spec tire series with only three Japanese brands, one barely hanging on, and of course, the Italian former radio makers turned spectacular motorcycle manufacture. The scene was set, at the season opener would be at the Welkom circuit in South Africa.

Valentino Rossiís first race on board a Yamaha was for a win, and in so doing broke the factoryís longest losing streak. And if that were not enough, that win also represented a breaking of a record, which was beating the great Giacomo Agostiniís run of 22 consecutive podium finishes. Fast forward the season, and its no surprise why Valentino counts the spectacular Australian circuit, Phillip Island, as one of his favorites, because it was here, at the penultimate round, that he sealed his first Yamaha title with a victory no less. He later backed up that title with another win at season finale, Valencia, earning a total of 304 points, 47 points over the runner up, his rival, Sete Gibernau.

It was this year, when the famed ďCurse of QatarĒ would be uttered by Valentino, in which it seems he put a spell on his Spanish rival by saying he would never win a race again. It was a vindictive moment to be sure, as he felt it was Gibernau that complained to race direction about an illegal cleaning of his starting spot, thus penalizing Vale to the rear of the grid. Valentino subsequently crashed trying to catch up to the Spaniard. But the following race, Rossi, after winning, proceeded to get a broom from a marshal and swept the ground as his victory celebration. Many production celebrations have followed aboard the Yamaha.

It goes without saying, that Rossiís accomplishments have been legion. But to finish this first part in the series covering his Yamaha years, consider that his first year with the brand saw him continue to enter the record books. Having sealed up his fourth crown in a row, the first with Yamaha, meant he joined a short but illustrious list of riders who had accomplished one plus three titles in consecutive years; Ago, Hailwood, and Doohan. Winning on different brands was the more amazing point of note, joining such names as Geoff Duke, Giacomo, and Eddie Lawson; Lawson & Rossi being the only two to have done this during consecutive seasons. And this was just his first year on a Yamaha.

Valentino won at the following rounds in 2004: RSA, ITA, CAT, NED, GBR, POR, MAL, AUS, & VAL. 9 wins, two DNFs (BRA & QAT). An interesting note is that only twice did Rossi podium while not scoring the win, which were 2nd places at CZE & JPN. The rest of his placements were either 4th or DNFs.

In 2005Ö (meter at 130)
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November 5th, 2010, 02:09 AM   #2
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I Ride: Yamaha and Ducati
When, speaking of 2004, you define Ducati as "former radio makers", you are connecting too far back in history. That original Ducati radio factory was bombed out of existence in 1944, and has no real relation with present-day Ducati. After the war, in 1946, Ducati started over, just like Honda, manufacturing a small engine mounted on a cycle frame. The electronics business was still there as a branch but was secondary. In 1953 the company formally split and the electronic manufacturing continued as a separate entity (Ducati Elettronica, now Ducati Energia). So when we speak of Ducati today, we mean Ducati Meccanica (now Ducati Motor Holding), founded in 1953, that has always manufactured only motorcycles. The other Ducati that makes electronics continues to this day -- it did not transform into motorcycle manufacturers. They developed separately

All the rest is good and accurate
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November 5th, 2010, 02:39 AM   #3
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Rossi talks about the M1 from 2004 to 2009:

OK, tried to embed a Vimeo video, but failed. You'll have to go to the website to view it. 15 minutes long and very interesting.
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November 5th, 2010, 03:34 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
Rossi talks about the M1 from 2004 to 2009:

OK, tried to embed a Vimeo video, but failed. You'll have to go to the website to view it. 15 minutes long and very interesting.

Thanks for the great site - excellent
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November 5th, 2010, 07:52 AM   #5
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I've made a modest contribution so it's time for the next year I'm a serial lurker but probably spend too many hours on the site so this is my thanks!

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November 5th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #6
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Nice one Jum !
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November 5th, 2010, 08:21 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Luker View Post
I've made a modest contribution so it's time for the next year I'm a serial lurker but probably spend too many hours on the site so this is my thanks!

well its great that you finally came out from hiding (lurking) and showed your face You proved a point by showing us that a lurker was prepared to donate to help with the running of this place. The point being that in our race fan community this place is quite important. Where else can we share facts, opinions and bullshit Whether you post or lurk it is a community centre for race fans and must continue.
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November 5th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #8
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Thanks for the link Krop..really cool to hear him talk about the bikes. You can really tell he has had so much to do with how the bike has developed.

Jum...good idea man its good to get the word've convinced me I should do my part as well haha
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November 5th, 2010, 12:42 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Kropotkin View Post
Rossi talks about the M1 from 2004 to 2009:

OK, tried to embed a Vimeo video, but failed. You'll have to go to the website to view it. 15 minutes long and very interesting.
Thanks for the link
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November 5th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #10
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I see two people saying they made a contribution but the meter is still at 130. Is there a reason the tally has not been updated? Ok, Luker and Ngads, I'm gonna take you guys at your word and post the next installment. Ben, what up with the Chip in meter? Thanks for the input guys. Here we go.

In 2005…

One very important name that must be mentioned, for which the new M1 project starting in 2004 would not have been possible, is Masao Furusawa. After all, it was him who headed the project and presented Rossi with the irregular firing order crankshaft design motor that would become the powerplant for the 2004 works Yamaha. This engine proved not to be the most powerful or the fastest machine, but together with the improvements made to the all around performance, it was said to work well as an average over diverse conditions.

Enter 2005. It is of historical significance to note that in 2004, many followers of the sport, spectator and paddock insider alike, did not give much of a chance to Valentino Rossi’s search for a 4th premiere title. The question most pondered was would he realistically score a win during the season. This speculation was abruptly put to an end during the season opener at South Africa. Therefore, the mood starting the 2005 season was significantly different and more optimistic. Yamaha looked to replace Carlos Checa, who had stood on the podium only once and 3 DNFs, with a rider that perhaps would provide some consistency. They looked to multiple superbike world title champion American Colin Edwards. Yamaha’s attempt to stack the team, by signing a new teammate to Valentino proved to be a good move. Edwards had languished in uncompetitive rides and it followed that Yamaha saw potential for the dynamic of the factory team. Edwards rewarded Yamaha by scoring points in every round in 2005, without a DNF, and sparking a sincere friendship with Valentino. Since then, Edwards has garnered a reputation as “a good teammate” to Valentino; and has been credited, at least in part by his development support, to Vales success. In their first year, the duo were able to shower eachother with champagne while standing on the podium together three times. The first of these was at the French GP, then again at the historic rich Assen GP, but perhaps their most memorable podium was at the American GP, where Rossi’s previous Honda teammate, Nicky Hayden, and Valentino’s new teammate, Colin Edwards, stood together on the rostrum.

10920oc, Tor, Kid.jpg]

The excitement of MotoGP’s return to American soil, after a 13-year absence, spawned the sport movie documentary, The Doctor, the Tornado & The Kentucky Kid. Director/Writer Mark Neale showcased the 2005 USGP with the fantastic backdrop that is the magnificent character filled circuit of Laguna Seca, over the picturesque Monterey Peninsula, along the beautiful California coast. But this was not the only sport documentary movie featuring Valentino Rossi as a prominent figure, as most moto grand prix fans have come to use the movie Faster, and its sequel, Faster & Faster, as a kind of reference tool which has showcased the man’s effect upon the sport.

During the 2005 season, Ducati switched from Michelin tires to Bridestones. One might ask, how is this related to Rossi? At the time, this strategic move was said to have been made in part because other manufactures could not beat Valentino on the same brand of tire, so switching and developing a competitive tire might prove fruitful. This strategy proved to be a difficult task for straight up competition, as the proximity of the French company’s Michelin plant could manufacture a conditions-specific tire over night for Rossi to use in European rounds. These tires became known as “Saturday Night Specials.” This reality is a testament to Rossi’s consequence upon a sport that he dominated with extraordinary success.

10921:Jerez 2005.jpg]

The 2005 season opener was at the Jerez circuit in Spain. Valentino stood on the top step of the podium by winning the race in one of the most memorable last lap battles. The aftermath of this win has been the subject of much debate across the spectrum of the sport. The battle was with his archrival Sete Gibernau. On the last lap, on the last corner, perhaps thinking about the curse Vale had conjured upon Sete, he lunged on the inside, making hard contact with the Spaniard and sending him into the gravel while Rossi sped off to score the win. Somewhat lost was the fact that, with this win, it meant Rossi had won the first race to start the season 5 consecutive times. And this being an account of Rossi’s tenure with Yamaha, it meant that he had scored a victory during the season opener once again aboard the brand.

The second race of the season was at Portugal, where Rossi scored a 2nd place podium. The significance is that after this round Valentino went on to score a string of 5 consecutive wins, the first time this had been accomplished under the new MotoGP category. Along the way of those five wins was his first wet weather win aboard a Yamaha at the inaugural Chinese GP, a new addition to the MotoGP calendar that year. The five wins also culminated at “The Cathedral of Speed” in Assen. The significance being that by winning the Assen TT, Vale became the last rider to win the famed classic circuit before it underwent major modification. The classic Assen circuit has the distinction of being the only GP to have hosted a race in the series since its inception back in 1949. While being modified in very small increments several times, once being held in the actual streets, the classic configuration was the last of its kind baring the TT at the Isle of Man. In winning the Netherlands GP, Valentino also became the first Yamaha rider to win the final classic configuration twice.

Rossi’s string of five wins was interrupted at the USGP by a dominant performance from hometown hero Nicky Hayden. After which Valentino won three more races in a row. His second win of the Hat Trick was in Germany. It was here, at the Sachsenring circuit, that Rossi achieved a benchmark of 50 career top category wins. The 50 wins coming by virtue of his 90th premier class starts; meant he had achieved the same number of victories, across categories, as the legend Mike Hailwood, at the time numbering a staggering 76 victories. Later on during the season, at Qatar, Rossi score a 10th win of the season becoming the first Yamaha rider to accomplish the benchmark for the Japanese factory, it was not his last win of the season. Having clinched the title in Sepang, with four rounds remaining in the season, Ross went on to score two more victories making the tally 11 wins, for 367 points, 147 points clear of the runner-up Marco Melandri.

Valentino won at the following rounds in 2005: SPA, CHN, FRA, ITA, CAT, NED, GBR, GER, CZE, QAT, AUS, 11 wins, one DNF (JPN). An interesting note is the DNF was the only time Rossi was not on the podium.

10919:Champ VR 05.jpg]

Chip in meter 130 (still)
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ROSSI: The Yamaha years-champ-vr-05.jpg   ROSSI: The Yamaha years-doc-tor-kid.jpg   ROSSI: The Yamaha years-jerez-2005.jpg  
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