Which factory has four riders capable of taking pole or victory on any given weekend in this year’s 500 GP roadracing championship series? In recent history, Honda might be the only possible answer, but this year the answer is Yamaha.
With Max Biaggi, Garry McCoy, Noriyuki Haga, and Carlos Checa all riding Yamaha factory machines, a race without at least one Yamaha on the podium this year will be rare, indeed. The Yamaha machine is as capable as these talented riders.
While Honda and Suzuki will largely depend on their stars, Valentino Rossi and defending champion Kenny Roberts, Jr., no factory has the depth of talent that Yamaha has this year. Yes, either Rossi or Roberts could take the championship, but you can count on them being surrounded by Yamaha machines at the front of nearly every race.
The final “pure” two-stroke 500 GP title is a coveted one, and Yamaha has pulled out all the stops to take it. This season will be an interesting one, for sure.