Rossi finishes 3rd in first year of 800cc era
Rossi finishes 3rd in season ranking
Under the new regulation, engine capacity was lowered from 990cc to 800cc (or below) from the 2007 season. This year also saw the launch of the Fiat Yamaha Team, retaining riders Valentino Rossi and Collin Edwards. After Casey Stoner (Ducati) clinched the title in the 15th round in Japan, the focus shifted to the battle for second in the ranking between Rossi and Dani Pedrosa (Honda). Rossi was ranked 2nd going into the final round, but machine trouble in the final race meant that he finished 3rd in the ranking just a single point short of Pedrosa. Edwards finished the season ranked 9th. Sylvain Guintoli and Makoto Tamada of Tech 3 Yamaha Team raced on the YZR-M1, finishing the year 16th and 18th respectively.
Rossi and Edwards kicked off the season with solid performances. Stoner won the opening race but Rossi finished behind him in 2nd. In round two in Spain, Rossi won the race while Edwards finishing 3rd. It was a good season start for the new Fiat Yamaha Team. But this did not continue in the following Turkish GP. Despite starting in pole position, Rossi dropped back some places after going off course in lap one. He also suffered from tire issues and was only able to finish in 10th. This gave Stoner the lead in the championship ranking. In the fourth round in China, Rossi finished 2nd, while his rival Stoner won the race. The point margin between the two increased further. The French GP this year was a dramatic contest. With rain during the race, and a "flag to flag" situation occurred, where all riders changed their bikes to ones set up for wet conditions. In this race, Rossi finished 6th.
Rossi took his second win of the season in Italy, followed by 2nd and 4th-place finishes in the next two rounds. He then took his third win in the Netherlands for more points, but he was still unable to narrow down the point deficit with Stoner at the halfway point in the season. In round 10 in Germany, Rossi crashed out of the race while Stoner finishing 5th. The point margin grew to 32.
Rossi was unable to gain momentum as the second half of his season began with a 4th in the USA, 7th in the Czech Republic, and a no-pointer in San Marino. He found his stride again in the 14th round in Portugal, where he took his fourth victory of the season. With four races remaining, the title battle between Stoner and Rossi was the focus leading up to the Japanese GP. The weather once again affected the race in Motegi with another "flag to flag," and Rossi could do no better than 13th. Stoner on the other hand finished 6th, securing his championship title. Rossi finished 3rd in Australia and 5th in Malaysia, and he stood 2nd in the ranking before the final race in Valencia. There, he started the race with pain in his right hand, but machine trouble forced him out of the race. Rossi finished the season ranked 3rd, just a single point short of 2nd.
Edwards collected points in 16 races this season, including a 2nd-place finish in Britain and a 3rd in Spain. He gained a total of 124 points and finished the season ranked 9th. The Frenchman Guintoli showed his strength in his home GP. Although he crashed out of the race eventually, he had courageously emerged to lead the race but in early going when rain suddenly began falling and others struggled to keep pace. He scored his personal best result of 4th in the Japanese GP, but a series of no-pointers meant he was only able to finish the season ranked 16th.
Cate. Rider Machine MotoGP Valentino Rossi YZR-M1(0WS4) MotoGP Colin Edwards YZR-M1(0WS4) MotoGP Sylvain Guintoli YZR-M1(0WS4) MotoGP Makoto Tamada YZR-M1(0WS4)
Pos. Cate. Rider Constructor Point 1 MotoGP C. Stoner Ducati 367 2 MotoGP A. Dovizioso Honda 242 3 MotoGP V. Rossi Yamaha 241 4 MotoGP J. Hopkins Suzuki 189 5 MotoGP M. Melandri Honda 187 6 MotoGP C. Vermeulen Suzuki 179 9 MotoGP C. Edwards Yamaha 124 16 MotoGP S. Guintoli Yamaha 50 18 MotoGP M. Tamada Yamaha 38
Pos. Constructor Point 1 Ducati 394 2 Honda 313 3 Yamaha 283 4 Suzuki 241