BT Sport MotoGP presenter Suzi Perry picks out her five favourite races for Crash.net, listed in chronological order...

 

Criville, Doohan, Biaggi. 500cc podium, Jerez 1998 (pic: Gold&Goose).
 

1998 - Spanish Grand Prix, Jerez
"This is a purely a selfish memory. It was my first GP for Sky - I had been covering WSBK previously - and my first interview was with Mick Doohan.

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"It was a very different world back then and I had to set it up myself, so I wandered into his garage with my cameraman, introduced myself to Mick and we did the interview. Easy! You couldn't do that now!

"I patrolled the paddock and pit lane getting all the material for the show, in between watching the 125s, 250s and 500s. The smell of two-stroke thick in the air and there was a young gangly Italian who only spoke a few words of English.

"It was a great weekend and I knew that I had the best job in the world."

 

Rossi celebrates, Welkom 2004 (pic: Gold&Goose).
 

2004 - South African Grand Prix, Welkom
"It was the season that Valentino Rossi switched teams from Honda to Yamaha. Finally all the hype was over and it was time for him to do the talking on the bike. Against all odds he won the season opener at Welkom.

"I remember him with his head in his hands, we thought maybe he was shedding a tear, but in fact he was laughing in disbelief! It was a pivotal moment, proving that it is the rider that really makes the difference."

 

Nicky Hayden is world champion! (pic: Gold&Goose).
 

2006 - Valencia Grand Prix
"It had been a phenomenal season, Hollywood-esque, you really couldn't have scripted it. The power battles between Honda's Nicky Hayden and Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, the technical difficulties, the on-track action. It was unquestionably one of the most exciting in recent times.

"Rossi was going for his sixth consecutive title and came to the final round in Valencia ahead in the standings. I was setting up the race from the grid and the tension was palpable: Vale vs Nicky, Honda vs Yamaha, Italy vs America.

"What unfolded was extraordinary. Troy Bayliss came in and won the race, but Rossi fell and Hayden took his title. He realised a dream and the iconic images of his celebrations still make me go cold. Now more than ever. God bless Nicky."

 

Rossi vs Stoner, 2008 US Grand Prix (pic: Gold&Goose).
 

2008 - US Grand Prix, Laguna Seca
"This race had everything, including one of the greatest battles between Casey Stoner and Valentino Rossi. They both pushed so hard throughout it was spectacular to watch, the passes were breath-taking and some of the best I've seen in the sport.

"It was packed full of tension, mistakes and epic bravery that has come to define the riders in GP. It's a truly unforgettable race and one that still gets talked about nearly ten years later by fans and riders.

"It was MotoGP at its absolute best and I still miss seeing Casey on the track."

 

Rossi passes Lorenzo for victory at final turn, Catalunya 2009 (pic: Gold&Goose).
 

2009 - Grand Prix of Catalunya, Barcelona
"One of the most epic finishes, where Lorenzo pushed Rossi right to the absolute limit. I still scream at the screen when I watch it back. Again, this was just superb racing - it had everything! I had missed a few races that year due to illness but this race made me feel so happy to be back."

 

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No surprise there then, she obviously is a huge fan of Rossi, shows in all her tv work. Good races though

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Jerez 2005 and Estoril 2006 were up there as well.

The thing that made Laguna 08 and Barcelona 09 so special was that Rossi wasn't the fastest guy anymore. Right up to Stoner's emergence in 07, Rossi was the undisputed fastest rider, even with Nicky's title the year before - deservedly won through grit and consistency - Rossi was still the man to beat.

But through 07, 08 and 09, Stoner, Lorenzo and occasionally Pedrobot had joined him on pace, and Stoner was often faster. There should only have been one winner at Laguna that day, if Stoner had got through he'd have been gone. And Rossi knew it.

That what made is such a special race. Rossi didn't win it on pace, he won it on genius.

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Thanks ZeFrenchAngle, the Italian one was very entertaining. The English one is from the BBC, Charlie Cox (Aussie doing commentary) and Steve Parrish along side him.

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Have to agree, especially Barcelona 09.

My boss at the time as an ardent F1 fan and rarely watched MotoGP or any bike racing. I can't remember the exact scheduling but due to other events MotoGP and F1 ran back to back on BBC, so my boss came in on the Monday absolutely gushing about what he had seen. From memory it was a pretty great race all round, but that last corner pass from Rossi or Lorenzo was spectacular.

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ZeFrenchAngle:
cruachan: Have to agree, especially Barcelona 09.

My boss at the time as an ardent F1 fan and rarely watched MotoGP or any bike racing. I can't remember the exact scheduling but due to other events MotoGP and F1 ran back to back on BBC, so my boss came in on the Monday absolutely gushing about what he had seen. From memory it was a pretty great race all round, but that last corner pass from Rossi or Lorenzo was spectacular.[\blockquote]

Barcelona 2009 - GP of Catalunya : Enjoy the link - my favourite commentary - it is in Italian but you do NOT have to understand Italian to get excited by this commentator - Ohh Mama Mia Mama Mia :
youtube.com/watch?v=We1-JlFYhaY
Agreed - got to be the Italian commentary!

and a great one in English :
youtube.com/watch?v=zVXeB0TtCyw

[\blockquote]

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Suzi KNOWS the classics !

The 2004 South African GP was a momentum shift in MotoGP in that it proved irrefutably what Jerry Burgess had always asserted : the rider makes 80% of the difference ! Honda, with Doohan, and Rossi later, had been winning championships after championships, Suzuki one or two in between, Yamaha absolutely nowhere. Rossi wins his third title with Honda, switches to Yamaha and immediately wins the first race and the title later that year, and the next year. And over a decade later, the rule still stands : Maverick made the difference at Suzuki last year, Marquez makes the difference at Honda, Aleix makes the difference at Aprillia, etc....

2008 Laguna Seca : Casey vs Valentino - two of the greatest riders of all times giving us one of the great races of MotoGP.

2009 Barcelona : Valentino vs Jorge - two of the greatest riders of all times giving us THE BEST RACE of the 21st century. That race had stars from other sports talking about it !

Great picks Suzi !

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cruachan: Have to agree, especially Barcelona 09.

My boss at the time as an ardent F1 fan and rarely watched MotoGP or any bike racing. I can't remember the exact scheduling but due to other events MotoGP and F1 ran back to back on BBC, so my boss came in on the Monday absolutely gushing about what he had seen. From memory it was a pretty great race all round, but that last corner pass from Rossi or Lorenzo was spectacular.[\blockquote]

Barcelona 2009 - GP of Catalunya : Enjoy the link - my favourite commentary - it is in Italian but you do NOT have to understand Italian to get excited by this commentator - Ohh Mama Mia Mama Mia :
youtube.com/watch?v=We1-JlFYhaY

and a great one in English :
youtube.com/watch?v=zVXeB0TtCyw

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People forget that 2009 had another great Rossi/Lorenzo battle in Germany. It was as great as Catalunya, but it was still a hard fought battle. The 08 LAguna race was amazing, but the story behind it makes it even better . Rossi was up against the wall, wanting to get the title back, Stoner had won 3 in a row and was 1/2 second faster than Rossi all weekend. What Rossi did in the race was unreal! He found the missing tenths and he put on a masterclass (as NHarris would say). Unfortunately we were unable to see a dramatic finish. Rossi then won 4 more in a row and clinched the 2008 championship. It was epic. And the drama behind it couldn't have been better

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Phillip Island 2001. Top 10 of all time.

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