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Last Updated: Friday, 18 November 2005, 11:08 GMT
2005 review
Valentino Rossi after winning the Italian GP at Mugello
Standing on the podium in Mugello when Valentino Rossi won was awesome
Suzi Perry

The 2005 MotoGP season was once again dominated by one man, the enigmatic, charming and devastatingly fast Valentino Rossi.

The Italian led from the start, winning five of the first six races to leave perennial challengers Sete Gibernau and Max Biaggi choking on his exhaust fumes.

Rossi clinched his fifth consecutive world title in Malaysia, finishing second to Loris Capirossi to give himself a decisive points lead.

While Biaggi and Gibernau look spent forces, Capirossi and Marco Melandri showed enough in the final four races to suggest they could be title contenders in 2006.

We caught up with the BBC MotoGP team of Suzi Perry, Steve Parrish and Charlie Cox to find out what their abiding memories of 2005 would be.

QU: YOUR HIGHLIGHT OF THE YEAR?

Suzi: Standing on the podium in Mugello when Valentino Rossi won was awesome, especially as it was an Italian 1-2-3.

Visiting China for the first time was fascinating, and seeing the Ducatis finally perform was a good sign for next year.

Steve: My highlight was when I was given the controls of a JCB and allowed to start the demolition of the pits at Donington - smashing everything!

Charlie: Commentating on the last lap at Jerez - an enthralling duel between Rossi and Gibernau.

QU: BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT?

Suzi: Probably the lack of competition generally for Rossi, and Gibernau and Biaggi not being in the mix.

Steve: Same as Suzi - Rossi was just too good and the rest struggled to make it a competition.

Charlie: Seeing Shane Byrne's team fall apart before the end of the year, and losing a great character from the championship. And on a personal level, missing Philip Island because I fell ill.

QU: MOVE OF THE SEASON?

Suzi: Obviously "that" manoeuvre by Rossi in Jerez, a brave move after a series of terrific overtakes by both Gibernau and Rossi.

Rossi's move on Biaggi in front of Max's fans was also very cheeky!

Steve: Again the same as Suzi - Rossi's braking, acceleration and eye for the gap is unrivalled.

Charlie: Yup - Rossi on Gibernau - in many ways it set the tone for the season, and snuffed out Gibernau's hopes of mounting a serious challenge.

QU: BEST AND WORST TRACKS?

Suzi: Philip Island, Mugello and Assen are the best. I like the faster, natural tracks, they seem to provoke better racing.

My least favourite is Valencia, as it's too tight and slow - but saying that the fans love it - more than 125,000 this year!

Steve: Turkey, as it is the first new track to have real character and interesting corners. My worst is Japan.

Charlie: Philip Island - beautiful location. I've raced there many times and my parents live nearby.

My worst would have to be Le Mans.

QU: FAVOURITE BIKE?

Suzi: Technically, the RC211V is probably still king, but the real answer is any bike with Valentino across the tank!

Steve: Honda, I still think is superior, despite not bringing home the championship.

The worst is KTM Roberts, basically for not finishing the season or many races.

Charlie: Ducati was my favourite, just because it's got so much squirt!

QU: BEST ATMOSPHERE?

Suzi: No question, Mugello, some of them are like animals!

They camp in packs and the areas around the track are colour-coded towards the various different Italian riders.

Jerez is also loony! The Spanish just love their firecrackers.

But the most respected crowd should be the Brits for sticking out that appalling weather that dogged the British GP!

Steve: For me it has to be Italy - the Mugello crowd are nuts. They sit out there and rev their engines for three days!

Charlie: Yup - Mugello - any bike fan should try and watch a race there at least once.

QU: WHO CAN CHALLENGE ROSSI IN 2006?

Suzi: The new blood in the paddock will be interesting, but Melandri and Hayden caught my eye to the latter of the year.

And there is no reason why Gibernau can't pull himself together and come back.

Capirossi looked great before that crash in Oz, so let's wait and see.

Steve: Melandri can beat Rossi in time, but let's not put too much pressure on him at the moment.

I rate Rossi as one of - if not the - most talented men to have competed on a bike, and that's what the others have to contend with.

Charlie: My money is on Melandri; he's quick, aggressive and crucially seems to believe he can beat Rossi - if that really is the case then he's half-way there.


  • Suzi, Steve and Charlie will be back next year with the 2006 MotoGP season.


  • WATCH AND LISTEN
    News conference: Valentino Rossi


    Highlights: Rossi clinches MotoGP crown



    MOTOGP 2005


    STANDINGS AND DATES

    TEAMS AND RIDERS PROFILED
     

    THIS YEAR'S RACES
     

    SECRETS FROM SUZUKI
    What makes a bike tick?

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