XXX: Valentino Rossi’s 2006 Yamaha YZR-M1

08/20/2012 @ 8:15 am, by Jensen Beeler13 COMMENTS

For many MotoGP fans, Valentino Rossi’s move back to Yamaha is a welcomed escape from the career-ruining Ducati Desmosedici. The perception, of course, is that the 1,000cc Yamaha is not terribly different from the 800cc-era machine, and therefore Rossi’s return to the tuning-fork brand should mean an instant return to his success and his alien status alike.

When we have these thoughts, we forget that in 2009 Rossi struggled to keep teammate Jorge Lorenzo at bay on the same machine, and that in 2010, right before his leg injury, Rossi was behind Lorenzo in the Championship points (despite a wall being erected in the Yamaha garage). Add in two long years at Ducati Corse, the death of Marco Simoncelli, and a new-generation of GP racers who are just now discovering their full potential, and there is ample reason to believe why Rossi’s return to Yamaha in 2013 will not look like his first venture with the Japanese company, nine years ago.

I suspect the move to Yamaha will be a culture shock for the legion of Rossi’s fans, who during Rossi’s switch to Ducati thought The Doctor’s skills on two-wheels, both on and off the track, could shape the Italian machine into a more tolerable form. The reality of course is that motorcycles are not developed overnight, and for Rossi to be competitive in 2004, changes in Yamaha had to occur far earlier than the signing of the pen to Rossi’s contract.

Big thanks to Jim Race from MotoPOD for tipping us off to these photos!

  • jm


  • Brandon

    Mother of God…

  • TimM

    Positively bonerific!!! Those Ohlins probably cost as much as a BMW M3. I am assuming this is Jensen’s coffee table? Needs some cup holders though. I certainly hope the Rossi magic is still alive and that he and Burgess get up to speed quickly so we won’t have to endure any more snooze fests like the race at Indy. Man, that was like a bicycle time trial where everyone takes off with a time gap interval. Without Spies and Stoner and Dovi on the bronco buster Duc, MotoGP is going to be in trouble.

  • PD

    Mmm, pretty…

  • anti

    Is that a Camel sponsor color way? Exact same font…

    Nice bike.

  • CB

    Don’t forget that Rossi will be riding in 2013 on Yamaha factory GP bike #1B….aka Spies’ sloppy seconds.

  • JW

    LOL it can be know as the “Spies Spec”

  • phs

    Spies, Hayden, Edwards, Dovi and Crutchlow should all go to WSBK. Just imagine how much fun that would be! Moto GP is getting more boring by the race.

  • MikeD

    OH MY so much billet and carbon…Those welds on that exhaust are just “delicious”…living room coffee table center piece stuff.
    Is that a HOSE CLAMP on the oil filter resting against the cases so it won’t twist itself loose ? BRILLIANT. lol.
    So much billet stuff…(^_^)
    They even left some clutch dust on the cases…LEGIT…lol. Does anyone knows what they use for the clutch fibers ? Carbon or ?

    On an unrelated/related note: Well, after some MASSIVE OOGLING…Suzuki’s next “GP Bike” is coming crossplaned too, it has the same header arrangement/configuration as this machine.
    Is this going to be the next big thing to come to the I-4’s ?
    How about an I-4 90* crank ? One outer and one inner crank throw arranged at 90* ?
    Like having (2)two Super Tenere engines side by side.

  • Oh, my days. First, this should have been the basis for the design of the 08 R1. And second, how different is the 2012 M1 in basic design and layout?

  • smiler

    Bike porn in it true form.
    Happen to agree with the article as well. Still think he should have stayed at Ducati. I really do not think he will win another chanpionship. 3rd perhaps.

  • Ironic that you would post pics of the Yamaha Rossi lost the championship on. That had all sorts of issues that caused more DNFs than any season up to that point on a 4 stroke. That ’06 bike was when we really started to shed the chincks in Rossi’s armor. Far before the Mugello injury and the Ducati there was this bike that “caused” him to relinquish his championship title. He had spent far too long playing games with the likes of Gibernau and Biaggi who were the “old guard” of his youth. It caught up to hi
    on this bike, and for two years running he wouldn’t be champion.

    Hayden rode around problems that year too. Stoner the same the year after. Yet they still beat “the goat”. Rossi’s Achllies Heel has always been his willingness to get petty and childish in the MotoGP paddock with stupid mind games instead of just being the better rider every time he got out on the track (which he was at the time any way). He realizes he lost the “mental edge” now, and has to go out and prove to himself he’s as good as every one thinks. Sad really…

  • irksome

    Paint it red and let him borrow it for the rest of the season.