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Team KTM and Team Roberts acrimonious MotoGP split

August 21, 2005 Sadly, black litigious clouds have formed over the MotoGP paddock, specifically directly over the pits of KTM and Team KR, whose interpretations of what their relationship has been until now differ enormously. KTM announced a dissolution of the relationship on August 12, stating it was no longer intending to provide engines for the team’s grand prix effort and was cancelling all its activities with the team. Though it had been no secret that KTM was on the verge of pulling out for some time, Team Roberts has subsequently issued a statement refuting a number of KTM’s claims and claiming that it had been informed of the decision simultaneously with the public announcement. Read both parties' conflicting statements inside. Photo: O.Bergamaschi  Read More

MotoGP: Yamaha and Rossi sign for 2006

August 2, 2005 Yamaha Motor and Valentino Rossi signed a contract extension yesterday, ensuring that Valentino will stay with Yamaha for the 2006 MotoGP World Championship. Rossi won the 2004 MotoGP World Championship with Yamaha and is currently competing in his second season with the Japanese manufacturer's factory team. The Italian leads the 2005 MotoGP World Championship by 120 points, following his 8th victory of the season at last weekend's German Grand Prix. Significantly, it was Rossi’s 76th Grand prix victory and moved the 26-year old into equal third place in the all-time victory list alongside the late Mike Hailwood. Rossi rode his victory lap with a flag that read, “Rossi 76, Hailwood 76, I'm sorry Mike,” in deference to Hailwood. Only the greats Angel Nieto (90) and Giacomo Agostini (122) remain for “The Doctor” to conquer should he be able to remain focused for that long given the constant enticements to move to four wheeled motorsport. That said, Rossi’s 76th win last weekend had all the hallmarks of Rossi magic.  Read More

British MotoGP: Rossi in a class of his own

July 24, 2005 Gauloises Yamaha rider Valentino Rossi extended his advantage at the top of the MotoGP World Championship to 104 points, with his seventh victory from nine races this season in the British Grand Prix today. The Italian splashed his way through several centimetres of standing water and lashings of torrential rain to clinch his fourth MotoGP win at Donington Park after a treacherous race that saw no fewer than eleven riders crash.  Read More

US MotoGP: Hayden leads American 1-2

July 10, 2005 Americans Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards struck a major blow for the sport of motorcycle road racing when they finished 1-2 and demoted the world’s best rider into third spot at the Red Bull United States Grand Prix here today. In showcasing the world’s best motorcycle racing event to the American public, Hayden and Edwards did their home country proud and will surely have enhanced the prospects for greater acceptance and coverage of MotoGP in the world’s biggest and most important motorcycle marketplace. For Hayden, with a career just beginning and a rockstar’s good looks and persona, his first MotoGP win is expected by many to move him into the elite and make him a regular contender for the win. For Rossi, it was business as usual because although he finish in third place, he extended his points lead to 79 points, giving him a three race lead (at 25 points for a win) with nine races remaining in the title chase.  Read More

MotoGP: Dutch TT to Rossi and Yamaha

June 26, 2005 Valentino Rossi claimed another win, another record and staked another claim to being the greatest ever when he won the 75th anniversary Gauloises Dutch TT at the famous Assen circuit on Saturday afternoon. In doing so, he became the first Yamaha rider ever to win five consecutive premier-class races and fought off a new challenger to his crown in the form of an ever-improving Marco Melandri. Rossi has always had the ability to find something extra when it counts, but he seems to be regularly performing remarkable feats this year, coming up with several stunners on the weekend to increase his points lead in the 2005 title to 63 points – a buffer of more than two race wins.  Read More

MotoGP: The Yamaha M1 wins its fifth race from six starts

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.  Read More

MotoGP engine capacity to be reduced to 800cc in 2007

June 6, 2005 The biggest news of recent years in motorcycle racing broke over the weekend at the Italian GP when it was announced that the engine capacity for MotoGP would be reduced from 990cc to 800cc from 2007. The aim of the rule change is to slow the machines down, though in effect, it is unlikely to slow the bikes down much, and it will certainly make them more difficult to ride, though not nearly to the degree of the 500cc two-strokes which could only be mastered by a handful of riders in the world. If anything, the rule changes are likely to make it more rather than less difficult for the smaller manufacturers to compete with the engineering prowess and financial power of Honda. Honda promoted the rule change, and had a large say in having it passed, as it provides seven of the 21 bikes on the grid each race.  Read More

Italian MotoGP - Italian tour de force

June 5, 2005 World Champion and Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi produced one of the best performances of his career today as he outwitted a trio of Italian compatriots to take a stunning home victory at Mugello. Starting from pole position, Rossi was in turn passed by a handful of riders, despatching each in turn until he was left to battle for the victory with his old arch-rival Max Biaggi, eventually finding enough to greet the chequered flag four tenths of a second ahead of his main adversary. Biaggi was Rossi’s main protagonist and antagonist for the early part of his career in the premier class, but had faded from the spotlight in recent years and Rossi’s new arch rival Sete Gibernau crashed out early in the race after fading from the front of the pack to fourth and looking like he was going to finish much further down the points.  Read More

MotoGP Rd 4: Gibernau close but Rossi again

May 15, 2005 World Champion Valentino Rossi extended his lead at the top of the MotoGP World Championship with a victory from pole position at the French Grand Prix this afternoon. The Italian World Champion recorded the fastest ever motorcycle lap of Le Mans in qualifying yesterday and followed it up with a new lap record on the very last lap of the today's 28-lap race in order to hold out fast-finishing rival Sete Gibernau. Rossi’s win makes it three wins and a second from four starts so far this season, and particularly heartening for Yamaha was the competitiveness of Rossi’s team-mate Colin Edwards who started from second place on the grid, led the race until the final laps when he was mown down by the Rossi/Gibernau juggernaut but easily finished ahead of the field to make up the podium.  Read More

MotoGP Rd 3 - Rossi wins rain-swept Chinese GP

May 1, 2005 Gauloises Yamaha Team rider Valentino Rossi made history once again today, becoming the first rider to take a MotoGP victory at Shanghai, with a stunning performance in torrentially wet conditions at the inaugural Grand Prix of China. Despite starting from sixth place on the grid Rossi took control of the race on the fifth lap, taking over from early leader Kenny Roberts (Suzuki) and opening up a clear gap over the chasing pack. It was an advantage the reigning World Champion would never let slip, holding his concentration for the next 17 laps despite the attentions of surprise challenger Olivier Jacque (Kawasaki), riding in place of the injured Alex Hofmann. Jacque passed Sete Gibernau (Honda) for second place with seven laps to go and closed in on Rossi at the front, but was unable to seriously threaten the Italian's second victory from the opening three rounds of the championship.  Read More

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