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The class of 2005 - Checa, capirossi, Barros, Bayliss, Hoffman, Nakano, Byrne, Hopkins, Roberts, Elias, Xaus, Tamada, Ellison, Battaini, Rolfo, Melandri, Gibernau, Rossi, Edwards, Biaggi, Hayden
Sete Gibernau has the speed, the bike, the blood to take the title. For two seasons he has looked to be as fast as Rossi at times, yet has finished behind when it counts.
Gibernau's exciting riding style has not yet seen him ride the official HRC bike. Our money suggests he will take that role in 2006.
Valentino - shaping up to become the best motorcycle rider in history.
Jeremy Burgess has fettled the bikes that have won 10 of the last 18 world titles and he obviously has a close understanding with his riders. It'd be hard to bet against an eleventh.
The 2005 YZR M1 begins the season in much better shape than at this time last year. The bike is clearly still down on horsepower compared to the Honda though.
Nicky Hayden and the team working on the set-up of the bike. It wasn't that long ago that a personal computer was never seen in a MotoGP pit. Not so any more.
Max Biaggi and the team during pre-season testing
Loris Capirossi and Carlos Checa in pre-season testing prior to Checa's injury
It has the glorious look and sound of an Italian Grand Prix bike - let's hope the fortunes of 2003 can return to Ducati with the 2005 bike.
Checa in testing before his shoulder injury destroyed the pre-season.
Capirossi once again has a machine capable of winning. Many believe he has the talent to challenge Rossi - as the year unfolds, it will be interesting to see if the bright red machines can mix it at the top again
John Hopkins was one of the surprises of the off-season - Hopkins has speed and the Suzuki at last appears competitive
Kenny Roberts Junior, John Hopkins and the Suzuki GSV-R990 prototype racer. Hopkins could be a goer this year. Roberts has played a major role in the development of the machine in the pre-season.
Hopkins in the pre-season testing has worked hard
Kenny Roberts Junior in Malaysia testing prior to the season
Colin Edwards and the Yamaha team - sensors on the machinery now measure dozens of parameters and the data analysis contributes significantly to machine development
Loris Capirossi - some of the most extreme career highs and lows possible but still a MotoGP Championship contender
Alex Barros has been on the Grand Prix circuit for two decades for his six MotoGP wins
The Kawasaki has been racing for three seasons with just one podium finish to show - Kawasaki's hiring
Hoffman and Nakano - Nakano will pay good odds for the places he is certain to score at different times during the year
Success appears to be just around the corner for the Lime Green Kawasakis.
The Harris WCM machine in 2004 was slow and uncompetitive. this year it is hoped a V6 will improve the team's grid positions.
Team Roberts Proton circa 2004. Fingers are crossed that one of motorcycling's most loved characters will yet craft a winner under his own banner.
Curtis Roberts (son of) on the 2004 Proton V5. With more power from the KTM, expect to see the Roberts proton machine begin to circulate at ever faster rates.
Ruben Xaus is another hard-charging product of the thriving Spanish motorcycle scene. Last year he gave Ducati a podium on the 2003 bike. This year on a Yamaha, he may do even better. Inconsistent, erratic, a regular crasher, but very fast when he's switc
Colin Edwards has been a journeyman motorcycle racer for more than a decade on the international scene.
Troy Bayliss has found himself on a bike that doesn't suit his style. Fortunately, his talent and determination will overcome the problems
An artist's impression of the Blata V6 - the bike may make its public debut at Jerez. Can't wait for that sound.
Marco Melandri has the talent and the machinery and enough experience to win races in 2005.
The MotoGP season starts again next weekend with Valentino Rossi and his Yamaha YZR M1 a raging hot favourite to take the title again. Rossi appears likely to face increased competition this year though, with at least ten riders looking capable of taking a race win during the season and with his most likely rival, Honda-mounted Sete Gibernau, already in fine form. Read our extensive 2005 season preview with in-dpeth coverage of the pre-season testing, bookies odds, links and background.
Read the full article: MotoGP Season Preview
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