Wayne Rainey: Yamaha’s 2009 YZR-M1 is best GP bike ever

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Yamaha legend Wayne Rainey reckons Valentino Rossi’s current YZR-M1 800cc machine is arguably the greatest MotoGP bike ever built.

This year’s factory Yamaha has firmly established itself as the dominant force in MotoGP racing after the early 800cc dominance of Casey Stoner’s Ducati Desmosedici.

Italian Rossi and talented Spanish team-mate Jorge Lorenzo have won nine races between them in 2009, adding to the 14 800cc victories achieved in 2007 and ’08.

Ducati has won 19 800cc races while Honda has only collected six wins since the start of the 2007 world championship.

Rainey, who won three world titles for Yamaha, reckons the latest YZR-M1 should be considered one of the best if not the best MotoGP bike in history.

The Californian told MCN: “I think that bike (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.

“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.”

Matthew Birt

By Matthew Birt