An Era Ends at Valencia; Rossi and Team Talk About Legacy

motogp_rossi Yesterday, the 2010 MotoGP season came to a close at Valencia. Jorge Lorenzo won one last race, and his teammate, Valentino Rossi, said goodbye to his Fiat Yamaha team. After the race, Rossi, Masao Furusawa, and Lin Jarvis sat down to give their thoughts on the end of the Fiat Yamaha / Valentino Rossi era.

Rossi finished his final race with Fiat Yamaha on the podium, his 84th with Yamaha.

Rossi: “This is a very emotional day but I’m very happy as well because I don’t have any regrets and there have been no bad moments or thoughts throughout these seven seasons together with Yamaha. From the beginning it was something great and we worked very well together. Like in life, in sport the results are crucial but just as important is the enjoyment and we had this at Yamaha.

“If in 2004 somebody had told me that I would win four world championships with Yamaha and 46 Grand Prix I would have signed in blood!… I just have to say a big thank you to everybody who helped me in these seven seasons, and wish everyone good luck.”

Masao Furusawa, Yamaha Engineering Operations Executive Officer:

“I would like to thank Valentino very much, I started in MotoGP in 2003 and it was a terrible year, it was almost like I was in hell! I really wanted to make the YZR-M1 a better bike but the more investigated it, the more I realized I needed something else, more than the bike. So we found Valentino Rossi.

“This year not only Valentino but also three other riders were fast so it’s clear that our YZR-M1 is a pretty good bike. This is mainly because of Valentino’s contributions over the years so I really appreciate that and I want to wish him all the best in the future.”

Lin Jarvis, Managing Director, Yamaha Motor Racing:

“In 2003 when we had our worst year ever in GP racing and finally we said that whatever we were going to do, without Valentino Rossi on the seat it wasn’t going to work! That was the point where we decided that we needed him. There were some exciting and secretive negotiations with Valentino and it was a very important decision but, with the backing of Masao Furusawa and the President of Yamaha Motor Company, we made it happen. It was ‘do or die’.

“We are very, very grateful because Valentino’s arrival really turned things around for Yamaha and we came back to victorious ways. We are incredibly thankful and grateful to him for that.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Rossi Wants To Close MotoGP Season With Two Race Wins

motogp_Rossi For Valentino Rossi, the 2010 MotoGP season is a sentimental one. It will be the last time he rides his beloved M1, and the last time he rides from the Fiat Yamaha garage. Rossi’s 2010 season has been plagued with injuries, but now that the rider is getting back into form, Rossi has his bike aimed squarely at the top of the podium, where he plans to end his run with Yamaha.

He’ll get his first chance of victory this weekend at Estoril, where he has quite an impressive record. Rossi is the most successful rider in MotoGP history at Estoril, where he has claimed 5 premier class victories. Rossi’s only non podium finish at Estoril, he’s been there 10 times, came last year when he finished fourth.

“Estoril was not a good track for me last year, we had some problems and I couldn’t make it onto the podium so we will be trying to change that this year. After Phillip Island we hope the weather will be a bit warmer but Estoril can change very quickly so it could be a factor again.”

Rossi is coming off of his third consecutive podium, including one race win at Malaysia.

“The flyaways were very good for us, three podiums including one win – we were happy with how much we had improved the bike and also the level of my shoulder. Now we return to Europe and I feel very strongly that I want to enjoy these final two races and try to win again.”

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

eBay Is Interesting – Valentino Rossi’s Isle of Man YZF-R1

eBayUK Rossi's TT Yamaha R1 This is proof that skulking around on eBay late at night for no other reason than you are waiting to upload photos from your latest event and you have modern-era ADD can actually prove fruitful. The 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1, with the new ‘crossplane crank’, which nine-time World Champion and Fiat Yamaha MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi used to take a parade lap around the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course in 2009 alongside Giacomo Agostini for Yamaha is available for purchase on Internet auction site eBay in the UK. It is offered for £25,000.00 (US$39,487.09 as of publication date) from suppliers Highbarn Motorcycles of Chadderton, Oldham. If you must, go ahead and click here.

It is said to have only 181 miles on the odometer and have 182 BHP from the stock 998cc engine with only an immobilizer eBayUK Rossi's TT Yamaha R1 listed as an installed accessory. The machine does have a one-off paint job, but it also possesses the patina of use, bug guts and all. It is obvious why one would want this not-so-shiny motorcycle since it is truly likely to be “the only bike Rossi will ever ride around the TT course,” as it reads in the listing. It could be a great museum piece complete with Vale’s autograph and an authentication from Yamaha Motors UK. There is not much more real and authentic than that.

eBayUK Rossi's TT Yamaha R1 Rossi is not on top this year, but next year he will take on a new challenge in riding for Marlboro Ducati on the Desmosedici. He already has seven MotoGP and one each 250 and 125 Grand Prix World Championships to his name and is often referred to as the Greatest. The significance of this motorcycle in his long and storied professional racing career is minimal. However, that he rode on this R1 and he did so right next to Ago is certain to make it an important part of the history of our sport.

The ad is a classified listing, not an auction, so the price is what they are asking. I do hope you took a look while it was still available.  This sort of eBay find is what makes the site a fun place to browse through and waste some time, if you have it to spare. Me, I just write about it…window shopping isn’t a crime as long as it involves motorcycles, right?

Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

Rossi Sets Pace in Malaysia

Written by Dan Evon, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

motogp_rossi_sepang Valentino Rossi got a taste of the podium last time out in Motegi, and it seems like the Italian racer is hungry for more. Rossi set the pace today during the first MotoGP free practice session in Malaysia, beating out Andrea Dovizioso and Jorge Lorenzo by more than a tenth of a second.Rossi set a 2’02.724 time around the Sepang track, .11 seconds ahead of Dovizioso. Doviziso had led the session, but couldn’t match Rossi’s quick time around the track. Dovizioso is the sole Repsol Honda rider on the track this weekend, as his teammate Dani Pedrosa watches from the pits with a healing collarbone injury.

With Pedrosa out, Lorenzo could clinch the championship with a finish of ninth or higher. Lorenzo has yet to place below fourth, and is confident that he will walk away with the title this weekend.

Casey Stoner crashed early in the session, but recovered to capture fourth. Stoner has won the last two races, and will be looking to Malaysia to make it three in a row.

Stoner was followed by Alvaro Bautista, Collin Edwards, Marco Melandri, Alex Espargaro, Ben Spies, and Randy de Puniet.

Rossi / Lorenzo Friction Making MotoGP Even More Fun

Written by Tim Kessel, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com

lorenzo_rossi

Friction, Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo have it. Whether it is the friction these two teammates display in the paddock, or the friction they create rubbing bodywork in the turns, there is no love lost between the two Yamaha-sponsored speedsters. Thankfully we race fans have a front row seat.

This weekend in Japan, the two were almost recklessly aggressive in their mutual pursuit of the final spot on the podium. Lorenzo is poised for this year’s MotoGP championship, Rossi is the defending circuit champ.  Obviously, the competitive juices flow briskly in each. The final 3 laps of the Japanese MotoGP were classics. The top two podium spots were a forgone conclusion, leaving all if the intrigue to the fight between Rossi and Lorenzo.

In true Kobe Bryant / Shaquille O’Neil style, these two uber-competitive alpha males will part way next season when Rossi will pilot a Ducati. In the mean time, we get to watch the pre-separation fireworks.

In Japan, it was Rossi who fought his way to the podium. However, the two disagreed on how he got there. Rossi called it, “a great battle, proper racing.” On the flip side, Lorenzo claimed, “at some points I do not think he (Rossi) was completely fair, we were both on the limit but some of his moves were maybe a bit too much and he touched me and pushed me wide when I don’t think it was right.”

Over the next few races, Lorenzo will almost certainly claim the title. However, the inter-team rivalry will surely spice up the MotoGP storyline.

Take a look at the highlights of the podium battle in the video below: