MotoGP is the queen category of the Motorcycling World Speed Championship, the one arousing the greatest levels of passion, thrill and interest among fans and a competition which since sixties has yielded as renowned pilots as Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Barry Sheene, Jenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Eddie Lawson, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Michael Doohan, Alex Crivillé, Nicky Hayden, Casey Stoner and others during the 500 cc cylinder capacity times with two or four stroke engines, until reaching the year 2000, in which new regulations enabled the brands to take part with 500 cc two stroke engines or 990 cc four stroke powerplants, and after a short period of five years between 2007 and 2012 when the maximum displacement was reduced to 800 cc, the current MotoGP 1000 cc was established in 2012.
One of the most representative moments during MotoGP races: Valentino Rossi while cornering at maximum feasible speed, bending his exceedingly powerful 1000 cc and 245 hp Yamaha YZR-M1 to counteract the centrifugal force.
Instant in which Valentino Rossi has just come off a turn and is head down behind the bubble opening the throttle to the utmost as soon as possible without flying out of the track and striving after avoiding any jolt of the motorcycle in its back area.
Valentino Rossi driving through the course of a bend with his indescribable mastery. It can be seen in the image how the back wheel of the MotoGP bike features more than twice width than the forward one, since it is the driving wheel which has to convey the huge power of the motorcycle on the tarmac, and if it were narrower, the rubber would melt, because it would have less tyre track, because this must be suitable to the quantity of torque and power that the driving wheel is able to transmit.
And the arrival of the 2004-2005 season was to be pivotal in the beginning of Valentino Rossi´s most glorious period in MotoGP, when he signed up for Yamaha and intensively devoted to do a number of tests with a Yamaha YZR-M1 in early 2004, keeping an ongoing dialogue with mechanics and technicians, since he pined after a tailor made for his piloting style motorcycle featuring an exceedingly powerful engine simultaneously being very reliable, excelling at working smoothness and that he could utterly control both in the full speed straightforward stretches and the bends, so he fought tooth and nail throughout some months until finding the powerplant he needed.
Valentino Rossi´s piloting style has always been characteristic for his smoothness and utter control of the bike even under the most extreme contexts. In addition, Il Dottore is an accomplished strategist able to analyze in tenths of seconds the specific stages of every competition and make the best possible use of them, by virtue of his great experience gleaned throughout years battling at the highest level and his natural flair and intuition for MotoGP races, being first and foremost a Sundays pilot, whose performance reaches its greatest heights during the MotoGP Grand Prix races themselves. in which he has written golden pages of Motorcycling History, making the fans live MAGICAL MOMENTS.
Following it, there were unforgettable instants which have remained indelible in the collective memory of the enthusiasts of motorcycling, when an apparently thrilled Valentino Rossi hugged his Yamaha amidst of crying and kissed it, without forgetting a very significant fact: it was the first time that a pilot won two consecutive races with motorbikes of different brands.
Valentino Rossi on his Yamaha YZR-M1 has just overtaken Dani Pedrosa on his Honda RC213V. These are instants in which the excitement and passion lived by the motorcycling enthusiasts are difficult to define with words, because the huge speed of the actions and the noise produced by the tremendously powerful 1000 cc and more than 240 hp boasted by these beutiful machines set up an unutterable binomial.
And worthy of particular mention is the fairly advanced mechanics featured by the 1000 cc MotoGP bikes, which are regarding this side the state of the art within the scope of worldwide motorcycling, with metallic components manufactured with the best available materials and an incredible accuracy of mechanizing, along with exhaust pipes designs that can offer radical differences according to the layout of the engine and the ideas of its creators, always with the goal of optimizing the powerplant performance.
Valentino Rossi´s Yamaha YZR-M1 sports a weight of 158 kg, an Aluminum Delta Box frame, a 1000 cc 245 hp liquid cooled inline four-cylinder with crossplane crankshaft engine and a configuration in which each exhaust port is adjacent to the others at the front of the powerplant, Brembo front brake discs manufactured in carbon and Öhlins shock absorbers.
Valentino Rossi in fierce fight with Marc Márquez. Another of the great allures of the MotoGP races is the chance to watch live fantastic pilots boasting rather different styles. It can be seen in image the remarkable contrast of driving ways between Valentino Rossi (oozing stunning smoothness and elegance at great speed, the full control over the motorcycle even in the most closed curves and a great consistency lap after lap usually without making mistakes, together with a formidable management of the race tempos) and Marc Márquez (a very aggressive pilot, steadfastly looking for his limit, exceedingly fast, with a boundless standard of physical self-commitment, specially within bends which he has managed to take with a 65º angle of inclination, often touching the ground with his knee and arms and taking more risks than anybody else).
MotoGP pilots are the cream of the crop of world motorcycling, men devoting their existence to bikes and constantly jeopardizing their lives searching for the maximum possible speed.
After all, aside from the abundant World MotoGP championships won by Valentino Rossi with this already mythical bike, the Yamaha YZR-M1 has been and keeps on being one of the most interesting models ever from a technological and mechanical standpoint, since the feats achieved by the Yamaha Team with this machine when it comes to gibe birth to the adequate balance between increasing engine power, handling easiness and rideability have been startling, until reaching the present Yamaha YZR-M1 in 2015, which oozes a huge controllable torque character, complemented by the highly efficient Engine Management System (EMS).
The Yamaha YZR-M1 acceleration ability in a fraction of a second is spectacular and draws maximum stamina from the pilot, above all when getting out of the turns and in the straight stretches where speeds between 330 and 350 km/h are frequently reached, albeit speeds of up to 365 km/h have been attained in some tests.
In this regard, the first-string Akrapovic exhaust pipes have been one of the key factors to be able to get the best possible performance of the 1000 cc and around 250-255 hp engine, with the added benefit of a cutting-edge technology of materials embodied by the Brembo 320 mm carbon front discs with two four-pistons calipers, and the single stainless steel rear disc with twin-piston caliper.
The accomplishments attained till now by The Doctor throughout his thirteeen years of career in MotoGP are really impressive, holding the record of victories (83) and podiums (159) in the most important category of motorcycling, likewise being the pilot which has achieved more poles (200) and points (5,118) in the History of Motorcycling World Championship.
Besides, his 9 Motorcycling World Championships, seven in MotoGP, one in 125 cc and a further more in 250 cc, are a highest level sporting feat, above all if we bear in mind the circumstances in which they were obtained and his exceedingly brilliant performances in mythical races in which he was the main character.
A professional path as a MotoGP pilot that hasn´t finished yet, since Valentino Rossi goes on fully fit at 36 and currently occupies the first position of the MotoGP 2015 ranking.
© Text and Photos: José Manuel Serrano Esparza