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The return of the 4-strokes to the World Championship podium

The return of the 4-strokes to the World Championship podium

The return of the 4-strokes to the World Championship podium

Valentino Rossi made history on Sunday in the SKYY Vodka Grand Prix of Japan in Suzuka. With his win, the Italian ensured that the Honda RC211V was the first 4-stroke machine to claim victory in the new MotoGP category. The new prototypes also answered all the questions over their potential reliability in racing conditions by occupying the top four positions. Behind Rossi´s Honda came the Suzuki of Ryo, the Yamaha of Checa and the Honda of Itoh. However, although very different in both mechanical and aesthetic terms to the bikes which made their debut in Suzuka, 4-stroke powered machines have been present in the World Championship previously. Indeed the machines are linked with some of the most famous names in the sport´s history.

Rossi´s triumph in Japan on the RC211V was the first Grand Prix win by a 4-stroke machine since Giacomo Agostini claimed victory in the 1976 German Grand Prix at Nurburgring. That was also the last time that a 4-stroke rider made it on to the podium.

With the pole position that he secured at Suzuka, Rossi also changed the statistics regarding this aspect of World Championship racing. The last time a 4-stroke started from pole in any solo class was at the French Grand Prix in 1976 when Agostini started from the front of the grid in the 350cc race aboard an MV.

Tags:
MotoGP, 2002, SKYY VODKA Grand Prix of Japan

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