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Top ten historic moments of 2004: no. 6

Top ten historic moments of 2004: no. 6

Top ten historic moments of 2004: no. 6

Japanese tyre manufacturers Bridgestone began their MotoGP adventure in 2000, with Nobuatsu Aoki carrying out an extensive testing programme on a Honda NSR500, overseen by Erv Kanemoto. The following season, Bridgestone contested a full season, with Aoki and Jeremy McWilliams using their tyres on the Proton KR3 and Jurgen Vd Goorbergh with Kanemoto on the NSR.

The highlight of the season came at Phillip Island when McWilliams set pole position, with Aoki and Vd Goorbergh joining him on the front row. In 2003, after several private tests, Bridgestone began the season with a four-stroke project, providing tyres to Honda RC211V rider Makoto Tamada as well as joining forces with Suzuki.

Tamada made great strides that season, challenging for the podium in the final few rounds, but it wasn't until 2004 that Bridgestone tyres emerged as a serious rival to Michelin. In the seventh round of the season, Kenny Roberts Jr pulled off a shock by setting pole position on the Suzuki at Rio and Bridgestone's joy was followed up the next day when Tamada pulled off an incredible race victory.

With dramatic crashes for joint championship leaders Valentino Rossi and Sete Gibernau, Tamada took the challenge to his Camel Honda team-mate Max Biaggi (using Michelin tyres) at the front and launched an unstoppable charge over the final three laps to leave the former 250cc World Champion trailing in his wake, securing an historic first MotoGP victory, not only for himself but also for Bridgestone tyres.

MotoGP, 2005

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