Valentino Rossi’s current Yamaha YZR-M1 has been praised four-time 500cc world champ Eddie Lawson and three-time 500cc world champ Wayne Rainey. This year, Yamaha have won nine of the 13 MotoGP races so far, and nobody would be too surprised if they also win most or even all of the remaining four races in this season.
‘I think the YZR-M1 is probably still not the fastest, but it looks a lot better than last year as far as the motor goes. And chassis-wise to me, it’s head and shoulders above everybody. It just looks so stable when you watch it. Just watching it on TV it looks like the thing sure works good, so it’s a good season for them,’ said Lawson, speaking to MCN. Lawon won three 500cc world titles with Yamaha in 1984, 1986 and 1988 and then went on to win another 500cc world championship with Honda, in 1989.
Fellow American Wayne Rainey agrees with Lawson. ‘I think the Yamaha is probably the best Grand Prix bike ever built. That thing’s a weapon. If those guys don’t make any mistakes, I don’t think anybody can beat it. It’s amazing what it does and to see the performance out of it this year, it’s incredible. From where they’ve come from, they’ve shown they’re there to win. They’re not there to compete. They looked at the whole thing and just made it a little better. Those little things they worked on sure made a performance advantage,’ said Rainey, speaking to MCN. ‘To see that thing pass the Ducati down the straight at Barcelona, that’s amazing. You don’t see that from the Yamaha a lot – passing the bike that’s considered the fastest bike and it went on by it,’ he adds.
Coming from two of the greatest riders who ever raced, that sure is high praise for the YZR-M1. Now we just hope The Doctor picks up his seventh premier class world championship on this machine!