27 October 2013
Japanese MotoGP: Lorenzo claims Yamaha's 200th win
"To be the rider to get the 200 wins is a great honour. To win at Honda's home race is even more special!" - Jorge Lorenzo
Jorge Lorenzo's victory in Sunday's Japanese MotoGP was also the 200th for Yamaha in the premier-class of grand prix motorcycle racing.
Yamaha's premier-class story goes back to 1973, when British rider Chas Mortimer took the first ever 500cc victory in the class that would become known as 'MotoGP' from 2002.
Yamaha is the second manufacturer to achieve the milestone, after Honda.
The most successful MotoGP title winner of all-time, Giacomo Agostini, played a key part in writing Yamaha's story of race success, taking six 500cc wins in the 1970s to add to the score. Later on it was the Americans who wrote their piece of Yamaha history with three in particular, Kenny Roberts, Eddie Lawson and Wayne Rainey racking up the victories.
Roberts was the first, the pioneer of knee-dragging wild riding, taking three back-to-back 500cc championships from 1978 to 1980. Lawson followed, adding 26 wins to the total and claiming three titles for Yamaha in 1984, 1986 and 1988.
The last of the three, Rainey, then took up the challenge, scoring an impressive 24 race victories on his way to taking the world title in 1990, 1991 and 1992. A tragic accident in 1992 brought an end to Rainey's racing career, and the focus returned to Europe with riders Luca Cadalora and then Max Biaggi taking up the charge. Biaggi ironically was challenging against the then rival Rossi for the eight victories he scored.
It was in 2004 that superstar Rossi arrived in the Yamaha garage, forming a love affair with the YZR-M1 that has endured to this day. Rossi has won four titles and 47 races in Yamaha colours.
2008 saw the arrival of another remarkable talent in the form of Lorenzo, who has so far taken 30 race wins and two world championships.
Lin Jarvis, Yamaha Motor Racing managing director, said: “It's absolutely fantastic to be able to celebrate our 200th grand prix victory here in Japan at our home race with such an incredible performance from Jorge Lorenzo. He totally dominated, not just the weekend, but also the race today under extreme pressure from his rivals. I'd like to say thanks to all of the riders and teams and all of the sponsors and partners and everyone involved in bringing us these memorable victories over the years. May we go on to 201 in Valencia!”
Lorenzo, who will head to the Valencia finale 13 points behind Honda rookie Marc Marquez, added:
“It's a very special day, to be the rider to get the 200 wins is a great honour. To win at Honda's home race is even more special! It was a very difficult race today, they were very close but I never gave up and tried to be even faster, brake harder and open the gap more. Finally I was able to make a little gap. We are very proud of this victory, for the result, for the circumstances and for the championship, it couldn't be better.”
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