June 12, 2005 Less than two years ago the Yamaha M1 factory prototype racing machine was not considered competitive – indeed, it was considered by most to be a dog. It struggled throughout the 2003 Moto Grand Prix racing year, and in the hands of two of the finest professional motorcycle racers in the world, Spaniard Carlos Checa and Brazilian Alex Barros, it finished an entire season with just one third place as its sole podium from 32 starts. In 2004, Yamaha was fortunate to be able to obtain a rare and frightfully expensive throttle controller for one of its machines (also known as Valentino Rossi), making the machine far more competitive – from 16 starts in 2004, the Rossi-fitted machine won nine times and placed second twice and won the world championship. It’s win, with Rossi aboard this afternoon, is its fifth win from six starts this season and Rossi is now 58 points clear of his nearest rival. A look back at the results makes interesting reading – though the bike is reportedly far better than it was, no-one else is making it go fast enough to be competitive.