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Rossi turns the screw
There was no doubt before the race that Casey Stoner was the fastest rider round the 2.238 mile track and was a certain thing for the race win, but no one counted on the determination of Rossi to get under the World Champion's skin, both figuratively and literally. One of the best and most heart-stopping races ever.
The fight of three
Casey Stoner withstood the toughest pressure that Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa had to throw at him at the Circuit de Catalunya in the most pivotal and closest race of the 2007 season.
Honda Honda everywhere
Turkey gave us possibly the best race of the 990 era as 4 Hondas battled at the front of the race leaving the field for dead. It was Melandri who won the race with Hayden taking third a few seconds back, but it was the man in second who served notice that in only his third ever MotoGP race Casey Stoner was ready to fight to the last corner to win.
Last corner, last fight
It was the race that many say ended Gibernau’s chances of winning ever again. A titanic duel with Rossi that ended with a trip in the gravel a damaged shoulder and words from the Italian that stated that Gibernau would never again win a MotoGP race, and he was right.
After a troubled gestation period over the two previous years Welkom was the site for the birth of the first Rossi M1, a completely redesigned machine that would go on to win the championship for two consecutive years. And with it Rossi was able to make a miracle happen as he beat the Hondas of Biaggi and Gibernau in his first ride as a Yamaha racer.
The pinnacle of a great year
Honda Ducati and Yamaha all fought for the podium in this epic encounter around the tree lined circuit. Troy Bayliss came so close to a debut win after leading for the first half of the race, but the extra experience of Rossi and Gibernau came through in the end as they fought the final laps amongst themselves before Rossi stole the win on the last circuit.
The 4 strokes begin their reign
Rain came down for the debut of the diesels but that didn’t mean it was a disappointment as they lit up the Suzuka circuit with Akira Ryo nearly winning as a wildcard for Suzuki, he would have done if it wasn’t for the Honda RC211V and a certain Valentino Rossi.
Close, closer, closest
Not only was it the closest top 9 of all time but it was also the race that sealed the first 500cc crown for Valentino Rossi. A true nail biting duel between Rossi, Biaggi, Capirossi, Barros, McCoy and Haga that produced one of the closest winning margins of all time.
Capirossi stays the course
It was the battle that all the fans had wanted. The three Italians: Rossi, Capirossi and Biaggi, all fighting at the home of Italian motorsport in Mugello. None would give an inch throughout the race and in the end something had to give. Eventually, it was only Capirossi who reached the chequered flag.
Criville spoils the party
Alex Criville was on for a hat trick of victories in Italy and he wasn’t about to let Max Biaggi riding at home put a stop to that. The two fought back and forth for the duration whilst Tady Okada tried to chase them down and make an impact. Special mention has to go to Tetsuya Harada who recovered from dead last on lap one to finish just off the podium on the V-twin Aprilia.
Biaggi serves notice
A debut pole and a debut win for Max Biaggi as the 4 time 250 world champion stepped up to the premier class. He was untouchable from start to finish as Doohan struggled to match the Yamahas of Abe and Wildcard Haga who dazzled the crowds on their way to the podium.
Doohan rolls on to title number 4
In his most dominant year Mick Doohan took the title at Donington Park despite the best efforts of his closest challenger Tadayuki Okada. All Doohan had to do was score a handful of points but he took the race to Okada and eventually took the title with a fine hard fought race win.
Closest ever for Criville
The last corner on the last lap was the scene of the closest finish in GP history. Doohan vs Criville, the Australian reeling from a narrow defeat in Austria one round earlier and Criville now empowered by the knowledge that Doohan was beatable made for a true classic at the picturesque Brno circuit.
A storm at Suzuka
Itoh had this one sewn up by mid-race distance but the unpredictable conditions caught out the Japanese rider in spectacular style. That left Doohan to defend from Beattie until the last lap when the World Champion pulled off one of the most amazing saves ever but lost out to Beattie, who rode the conditions perfectly on his Lucky Strike Suzuki to take the win.
Mr Doughnut anyone
The debut of Abe is a race that sticks in the mind of all MotoGP fans. Schwantz and Doohan did not know what hit them as the Japanese ace showed just how wild you can ride a Honda NSR500 when you have your hair streaming out behind you. He may not have seen the chequered flag but this race announced the birth of a new 500cc star.
Schwantz at the Cathedral
Halfway through the 1993 Dutch TT anyone would have put money on Barros to take the win. Riding like a man possessed he was able to out manoeuvre both Schwantz and Doohan at will, but he wouldn’t reach the end, leaving the final-corner duel to his American team mate and the Australian returning to the scene of his horrific crash one year earlier.
Rainey vs Doohan
Without doubt this was Wayne Rainey at the height of his speed. Doohan had emerged as the strongest challenger to the Yamaha World Champion but try as he might he could not best the American at the first race at the new Catalunya circuit as the two raced nose to tail for the duration to be separated by only 0.057 seconds at the end.
Stoner triumphs at night-time
2007 MotoGP World Champion Casey Stoner began his title defence in style with victory in the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar -the first ever MotoGP night race- ahead of Spaniards Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa.
Red suits Stoner
Casey Stoner was the worthy victor of the Commercialbank Grand Prix Of Qatar, taking his first ever win in the premier class as he made his race debut for Ducati.
The best of four
Honda riders Marco Melandri, Nicky Hayden and Dani Pedrosa all had a shot at victory in the 2006 German GP, but Valentino Rossi eventually snatched the win in a breathtaking finish.
The Italian Maestros
With Sete Gibernau out of the race after just the sixth lap, Valentino Rossi was left to face his compatriots Max Biaggi, Loris Capirossi and Marco Melandri for one of the most thrilling races held at Mugello in recent years.
After a hard-fought battle with Sete Gibernau, Valentino Rossi became the first rider to win the MotoGP World Championship on a Yamaha since Wayne Rainey in 1992 with his eighth victory of the year at Phillip Island.
A sizzling German duel
Sete Gibernau outfoxed double World Champion Valentino Rossi on the final corner of the German Grand Prix to win his fourth race of the season and boost his title bid.
The end of an era
Sachsenring provided the perfect setting for the 2-stroke 500cc to shine one final time as Olivier Jacque and Alex Barros tussled for the lead throughout the race, until the Brazilian took Jacque out in the late stages of the race, ultimately allowing Valentino Rossi to grab another win with the mighty RC211V.
A new beginning
After a promising yet crash-marred debut season in the 500cc class, Valentino Rossi kicked off his 2001 campaign with a brilliant win at Suzuka, paving the way for his first conquest of the premier class title.
Max takes Yamaha to the top
A couple of weeks after Kenny Roberts Jr secured the 500cc title, a close-fought battle in the 500 class saw Max Biaggi came out on top over Loris Capirossi while a fledgling Valentino Rossi completed an all-Italian podium.
Win for Abe, Title for Crivillé
The 99 Rio GP started out looking like a Kenny Roberts runaway, but the American eventually had tyre trouble and the pack caught and passed him as the race progressed. A last-lap thriller saw Abe and Biaggi fighting for victory while Crivillé took the title with 6th position.
Doohan second but first
Doohan ended up the victor after crossing the line behind Biaggi who was subsequently disqualified for ignoring first a stop-and-go penalty and then a black flag, for passing while yellow flags had been displayed on the second lap.
Doohan takes Catalunya
Doohan took his first win at the Catalunya circuit after a race long battle with the two home-town heroes Checa and Criville.
Doohan comes under friendly fire
The ever-dominant Mick Doohan faced a serious threat at the Imola Grand Prix with his own team-mate Alex Crivillé pushing hard until the very end of the race to demote the Australian from 1st.
The origins of the Doohan-Crivillé feud
After a first season in the shadow of Mick Doohan in the HRC team, Alex Crivillé quickly became a force to be reckoned with as he gradually came to challenge the Australian champion.
Swan song for a hero
The 1994 British GP was the scene of the fourth and final win at Donington for both Kevin Schwantz and Suzuki. This was the last of Schwantz’s twenty-five Grand Prix victories.
The battle of the greats
Wayne Rainey considered his win at Suzuka as his best, being on a slower bike and winning by tactics and aggression, ahead of Kevin Schwantz, Daryl Beattie and Shinichi Itoh.
The Wollongong Whiz bows out in style
Having announced prior to the race that he would retire at the end of the season, Wayne Gardner scored an emotional final Grand Prix win to give Honda their first ever premier-class victory at the Donington Park circuit.
The Doctor strikes in France
Valentino Rossi took his second win of the 2008 season in a tough race with tricky weather conditions, while Lorenzo and Edwards completed an all-Yamaha 1-2-3.
Another Rossi masterstroke at the Cathedral
Valentino Rossi took victory ahead of Casey Stoner in Holland after a stunning comeback from 11th while reigning Champ Hayden took his first podium of 2007.
Elías comes out on top
Toni Elías took his first MotoGP win at Estoril after a thrilling battle with Valentino Rossi and Kenny Roberts Jr.
Homeboy Hayden tastes MotoGP glory
After an eleven-year absence, MotoGP was back in the United States at Laguna Seca for the 2005 USGP, which saw local hero Nicky Hayden take his very first victory in the premier class.
Gibernau shooting for title glory
A win for Sete Gibernau in Czech Republic boosted his title chances as he dominated the event to eventually take the flag with a comfortable lead over Valentino Rossi and Max Biaggi.
Gibernau challenges Rossi
The 2003 French GP was one of the first Rossi-Gibernau head-to-head battles, and this time the Spaniard proved better by beating his rival on the very last bend of the race.
Rossi takes the Cathedral
Valentino Rossi made history by being the first winner of the 4-stroke era at the Assen circuit ahead of Brazilian Alex Barros, still riding the old NSR500cc.
Maiden win for Gibernau
Spaniard Sete Gibernau took his first win in the premier class at the Ricardo Tormo Circuit in Valencia on a 500cc Suzuki, ahead of Alex Barros and Kenny Roberts Jr.
Rossi's first 500c win
Despite a poor start, Valentino Rossi charged through the pack on a wet track to get his first win in the 500cc class ahead of Kenny Roberts Jr. and Jeremy McWilliams.
Crivillé on his way to the title
A win ahead of Sete Gibernau and Tady Okada on his home track in Catalunya allowed Alex Crivillé to consolidate his title lead.
Crivillé wins, Doohan shines
Alex Crivillé took victory at the Paul Ricard in 98 while his team-mate Mick Doohan showed off his riding skills, beating Carlos Checa on the final lap.
Crivillé gets his revenge
Just one year after being beaten on his home ground by Doohan, Crivillé was back on the first step of the rostrum after beating the Australian and Tady Okada.
Panic: Doohan amongst the Spaniards
A dramatic race in Jerez saw Crivillé lead from Doohan in the late stages of the race, but on a track invaded by the crowd one lap before the chequered flag, Crivillé faltered and crashed on the last corner, which allowed Doohan to win.
Doohan takes his second title
A seventh win in the 95 season allowed Aussie Mick Doohan to take his second consecutive title, beating Darryl Beattie and Luca Cadalora in the process.
The beginning of the Doohan era
In Malaysia, for the second round of the 94 season, Doohan won ahead John Kocinski and Shinichi Itoh at the picturesque Shah Alam track.
Cadalora takes his first 500cc win
Luca Cadalora took his first 500c win at Donington Park after favourites such as Kevin Schwantz, Mick Doohan and Alex Barros crashed on the first lap. Wayne Rainey and local star Niall Mackenzie completed the podium.
Crivillé shines in the premier class
The legendary Assen circuit in Holland saw Alex Crivillé make history and become the first Spanish rider to take a win in the 500cc class, by beating John Kocinski and Alex Barros.