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Yamaha Celebrates 150 GP Wins

Tuesday, July 3, 2007
Valentino Rossi s recent win at Assen made it 150 for Yamaha in the premier class  with The Doctor just the best of a legendary list of riders to take wins for the Japanese manufacturer.
Valentino Rossi's recent win at Assen made it 150 for Yamaha in the premier class, with The Doctor just the best of a legendary list of riders to take wins for the Japanese manufacturer.
In taking the checkers at Assen last round, Valentino Rossi not only took a step forward in his championship quest, he notched a momentous victory for his Yamaha employers. The win marked the 150th win for the Japanese manufacturer in the premier Grand Prix class.

Of course, Valentino Rossi will in all likelihood go down as the greatest rider in the history of the sport with this record one of many that will grace his bio. Rossi's name, however, is just the latest in a string of dominating Yamaha aces that laid the groundwork for this event. Earning the honor of the first-ever victory in the 500cc class, which would transform into present day MotoGP, was British rider Chas Mortimer in 1973. Over three decades later, Yamaha has become only the second manufacturer in GP history to achieve this level of success.

The man whom Rossi is chasing on the all-time GP wins list, Giacomo Agostini, managed to score six 500cc wins for Yamaha during the early 70s. Campaigning aboard the Yamaha during the tail end of his legendary career, Agostini claimed one of his eight career 500cc crowns with the YRZ500, when he tallied four wins in the 1975 season.

Of the past champions and winners gracing the list of 150, three Americans rise to the top: Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey.

Roberts was the first of the American champions to dominate on the Yamaha. An AMA flat-track champ hailing from California's Central Valley, Roberts revolutionized GP with his innovative knee-dragging technique and impressive results. Although he wasn't the first or most prolific winner for Yamaha, King Kenny is tied to the brand with 22 career victories. Roberts dominated on the 2-stroke YRZ500 during the late 70s and early 80s - winning three consecutive 500cc championships from 1978-1980.

After Roberts the next great American on the Yamaha was Eddie Lawson. A teammate with Roberts in 1983, Steady Eddie earned three of his four 500cc GP titles aboard the YRZ, claiming the crown in 1984, 1986 and 1988. Lawson contributed 26 victories to Yamaha's 150-win tally during his productive, decade-long career.
Although Rossi has already scored more career victories for Yamaha  Kenny Roberts made the marque a GP powerhouse when he scored three consecutive 500cc championships from 1978-1980.
Although Rossi has already scored more career victories for Yamaha, Kenny Roberts made the marque a GP powerhouse when he scored three consecutive 500cc championships from 1978-1980.

Lawson was in turn followed by Wayne Rainey, who like Roberts and Lawson also hailed from California. Rainey got into GP racing for Yamaha with Roberts, who formed a team, first in 250 and then the premier 500cc class. Rainey responded with results mirroring the success of his boss, claiming three consecutive titles in 1990, 1991 and 1992. Scoring 24 premier wins for Yamaha.

Rainey's unfortunate fall in 1993 left a pair of Italians to lead the charge on the YRZ500. First it was Luca Cadalora who notched six career wins during the mid 90s. Then it was Max Biaggi, who managed eight victories as he tried in vain to battle Rossi for a title during the end of the 500cc era. The fire-breathing 2-strokes were replace by the 4-stroke YZR-M1 in 2003 and the rest as they say, is history.

Which leads us to the arrival of the incomparable Valentino Rossi to the Yamaha garage in 2004. The Doctor began his career aboard a Honda but has continued to build his legacy with the Yamaha YZR-M1. Only 28 years of age, Rossi snagged his 28th MotoGP win aboard the M1 on June 24th with his victory at Assen. Rossi is the winningest Yamaha pilot of all time, and there is no reason to believe he can't extend his total up to the half-century mark or further, as it has only taken 3.5 seasons to reach 28!

Check out the following list, courtesy of Yamaha Motor Corporation, to see the names affixed to each of the marque's GP wins. Also make sure to peruse the photo gallery as well, to get a glimpse of the Yamaha machinery that has made Grand Prix history.

Yamaha GP Victories:

1972
1. SPA - Montjuich - Chas Mortimer (GB) - YZ634A

1973
2. FRA - Paul Richard - Jarno Saarinen (FIN) - YZR500 (OW19)
3. AUT - Salzburg - Jarno Saarinen (FIN) - YZR500 (OW19)

1974
4. WGER - Nurburgring - Edmund Czihak (WGER) - TZ380
5. AUT - Salzburg - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YZR500 (OW20A)
6. IOM TT - Phil Carpenter (GB) - TZ380
7. NL - Assen - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YZR500 (OW23)
8. SWE - Anderstorp - Teuvo Lansivuori (FIN) - YZR500 (OW23)

Yamaha YZR500 - OW20 GP machine.
With names like Rossi, Roberts, Rainey, and Lawson scoring over 20 wins, it's easy to forget that the winningest GP racer of all-time, Giacomo Agostini, claimed victory for Yamaha on the YZR500 - OW20 (above).
1975
9. FRA - Paul Richard - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YRZ500 (OW23)
10. AUT - Salzburg - Hideo Kanaya (JAP) - YRZ500 (OW23)
11. WGER - Hockemheim - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YRZ500 (OW26)
12. NAT - Imola - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YRZ500 (OW26)
13. FIN - Imatra - Giacomo Agostini (ITA) - YRZ500 (OW26)

1976
14. IOM TT - Tom Herron (IRL) - TZ380

1977
15. FIN - Imatra - Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - YZR500 (OW35)
16. CZE - Brno - Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - YZR500 (OW35)

1978
17. AUT - Salzburg - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW35K)
18. FRA - Nogaro - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW35K)
19. NAT - Mugello - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW35K)
20. NL - Assen - Johnny Cecotto (VEN) - YZR500 (OW35K)
21. GB - Silverstone - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW35K)

1979
22. AUT - Salzburh - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW45)
23. NAT - Imola - K. Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW45)
24. SPA - Jarama - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW45)
King Kenny was unstoppable from 1978-1980 when he took his YZR500 to the 500cc crown.
King Kenny was unstoppable from 1978-1980 when he took his YZR500 to the 500cc crown.

25. YUG - Rijeka - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW45)
26. GB - Silverstone - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW45)

1980
27. NAT - Misano - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW48)
28. SPA - Jamara - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW48)
29. FRA - Paul Richard - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW48)
30. NL - Assen - Jack Middelburg (NL) - Bakker TZ500

1981
31. WGER - Hockenheim - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW53)
32. NAT - Monza - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW54)
33. SWE - Anderstorp - Barry Sheene - YZR500 (OW54)

1982
34. ARG - Buenos Aires - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW60)
35. SPA - Jarama - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW61)

1983
36. WGER - Hockemheim - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)
37. AUT - Salzburg - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)
38. NL - Assen - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)
39. BEL - Spa - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)
40. GB - Silverstone - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)
41. RSM - Imola - Kenny Roberts (USA) - YZR500 (OW70)

1984
42. SA - Kyalami - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW76)
43. SPA - Jarama - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW76)
44. AUT - Salzburg - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW76)
45. SWE - Anderstorp - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW76)
Steady Eddie Lawson was a terror on the YZR500 - OW81  claiming 10 of his 26 career wins for Yamaha aboard the machine  which he rode during 1985 and 1986.
Steady Eddie Lawson was a terror on the YZR500 - OW81, claiming 10 of his 26 career wins for Yamaha aboard the machine, which he rode during 1985 and 1986.

1985
46. SA - Kyalami - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
47. WGER - Hockenheim - Christian Sarron (FRA) - YZR500 (OW81)
48. YUG - Rijeka - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
49. RSM - Imola - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)

1986
50. NAT - Monza - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
51. WGER - Nurburgring - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
52. AUT - Salzburg - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
53. YUG - Rijeka - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
54. BEL - Spa - Randy Mamola (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
55. FRA - Paul Richard - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
56. SWE - Anderstorp - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)
57. RSM - Imola - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW81)

1987
58. JAP - Suzuka - Randy Mamola (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
59. WGER - Hockenheim - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
60. NL - Assen - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
61. FRA - Le Mans - Randy Mamola (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
62. GB - Donington - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
63. RSM - Imola - Randy Mamola (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
64. POR - Jarama - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
65. ARG - Buenos Aires - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW86)
1987 Yamaha YZR500 - OW86 GP machine.
During the 1987 season, Randy Mamola and Eddie Lawson rode the OW86 to 8 victories, bringing the total to 65 with Lawson's win in Buenos Aires.

1988
66. USA - Laguna Seca - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
67. SPA - Jerez - Kevin Magee (AUS) - YZR500 (OW98)
68. POR - Jarama - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
69. NAT - Imola - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
70. AUT - Salzburg - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
71. FRA - Paul Richard - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
72. GB - Donington - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
73. SWE - Aderstorp - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR500 (OW98)
74. BRA - Goiania - Eddie Lawson (USA) - YZR50 (OW98)

1989
1990 Yamaha YZR500 - OWC1 GP machine.
The YZR500 - OWC1 was the weapon of choice for Wayne rainey during the 1990 season. Rainey won 7 races that season, including one in front of the hometown fans at Laguna Seca.
75. USA - Laguna Sega - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWA8)
76. WGER - Hockenheim - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWA8)
77. NL - Assen - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWA8)

1990
78. JAP - Suzuka - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
79. USA - Laguna Seca - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
80. NAT - Imola - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
81. YUG - Rijeka - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
82. BEL - Spa - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
83. SWE - Anderstorp - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)
84. CZE - Brno - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWC1)

1991
85. AUS - Eastern Creek - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
86. USA - Laguna Seca - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
87. EUR - Jarama - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
88. FRA - Paul Richard - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
Armed with the YZR500  OWC2  Wayne Rainey took his first 500cc title and the Californian followed it up with a second crown in 1991 aboard the  OWD3 - above .
Armed with the YZR500 - OWC2, Wayne Rainey took his first 500cc title and the Californian followed it up with a second crown in 1991 aboard the OWD3 (above).
89. RSM - Imola - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
90. CZE - Brno - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)
91. MAL - Shah Alam - John Kocinski (USA) - YZR500 (OWD3)

1992
92. EUR - Catalunya - Wayne Rainey (USA)- YZR500 (OWE0)
93. FRA - Magny Cours - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWE0)
94. BRA - Interlagos - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWE0)
95. SA - Kyalami - John Kocinski (USA) - YZR500 (OWE0)

1993
96. MAL - Shah Alam - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWF2)
97. JAP - Suzuzka - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWF2)
98. EUR - Calalunya - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWF2)
99. GB - Donington - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF2)
100. CZER - Brno - Wayne Rainey (USA) - YZR500 (OWF2)
101. ITA - Misano - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF2)

1994
102. USA - Laguna Seca - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF9)
103. EUR - Catalunya - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF9)
From 1994-1995 Luca Cadalora scored four wins with the YZR500  OWF9 .
From 1994-1995 Luca Cadalora scored four wins with the YZR500 (OWF9).

1995
104. CZER - Brno - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF9)
105. BRA - Rio - Luca Cadalora (ITA) - YZR500 (OWF9)

1996
106. JAP - Suzuka - Norik Abe (JAP) - YZR500 (OWJ1)
107. AUS - Eastern Creek - Loris Capirossi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWJ1)

1998
108. GB - Donington - Simon Crafar (NZ) - YZR500 (OWK1)

1999
109. SPA - Valencia - Regis Laconi (FRA) - YZR500 (OWK1)
110. SA - Welkom - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWK1)
111. BRA - Rio - Norik Abe (JAP) - YZR500 (OWK1)

2000
Max Biaggi never managed to best Rossi for a title with the Yamaha  but The Emperor scored eight career wins with the YZR500 as the 2-stroke era ground to a halt.
Max Biaggi never managed to best Rossi for a title with the Yamaha, but The Emperor scored eight career wins with the YZR500 as the 2-stroke era ground to a halt.
112. SA - Welkom - Garry McCoy (AUS) - YZR500 (OWK6)
113. JAP - Suzuka - Norik Abe (JAP) - YZR500 (OWK6)
114. CZER - Brno - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWK6)
115. POR - Estoril - Garry McCoy (AUS) - YZR500 (OWK6)
116. SPA - Valencia - Garry McCoy (AUS) - YZR500 (OWK6)
117. AUS - Philip Island - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWK6)

2001
118. FRA - Le Mans - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWL6)
119. NL - Assen - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWL6)
120. GER - Sachsenring - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWL6)

2002
121. CZER - Brno - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWL9)
122. MAL - Sepang - Max Biaggi (ITA) - YZR500 (OWL9)

2004
The MotoGP class has been the personal playground of Valentino Rossi  who took his winning ways with him when he left Honda in 2004 to campaign aboard the YZR-M1
The MotoGP class has been the personal playground of Valentino Rossi, who took his winning ways with him when he left Honda in 2004 to campaign aboard the YZR-M1
123. SA - Welkom - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
124. ITA - Mugello - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
125. CAT - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
126. NL - Assen - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
127. GB - Donington - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
128. POR - Estoril - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
129. MAL - Sepang - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
130. AUS - Philip Island - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)
131. SPA - Valencia - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP3)

2005
132. SPA - Jerez - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
133. CHN - Shanghai - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
The MotoGP class has been the personal playground on Valentino Rossi  who took his winning ways with him when he left Honda in 2004 to campaign aboard the YZR-M1.
Rossi accumulated 25 wins before the rules required a reduction in displacement of the MotoGP machines from 990cc to 800cc for the 2007 season..
134. FRA - Le Mans - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
135. ITA - Mugello - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
136. SPA - Catalunya - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
137. NL - Assen - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
138. GB - Donington - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
139. GER - Sachsenring - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
140. CZER - Brno - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
141. QAT - Doha - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)
142. AUS - Philip Island - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWP4)

2006
Rossi s 800cc Fiat Yamaha YZR-M1.
The most potent of the Inline-Fours, at least on the results sheet, the Yamaha M1 is the one of the front-runners for the 2007 MotoGP championship with Rossi already earning three wins on the way to the 150 mark.
143. QAT - Doha - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWR4)
144. ITA - Mugello - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWR4)
145. SPA- Catalunya - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWR4)
146. GER - Sachsenring - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWR4)
147. MAL - Sepang - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1 (OWR4)

2007
148. SPA - Jerez - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1
149. ITA - Mugello - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1
150. NED - Assen - Valentino Rossi (ITA) - YZR-M1


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