2002 marked a pivotal yr for Grand Prix motorbike racing. For a long time, race groups turned to two-stroke race machines for his or her compact development and favorable power-to-weight ratio. Emissions requirements all however killed street-legal two-strokes by the mid-’80s, however Grand Prix racing clung to custom till the 2001 season.
In 2002, organizing physique Dorna Sports tailored to the altering client panorama by transitioning the premier class away from 500cc two-strokes and towards 990cc four-stroke machines. Dorna marked the four-stroke period by rebranding the highest class as MotoGP and allowed producers to provide the 990cc engines with three- to six-cylinder configurations.
Many Factory groups similar to Repsol Honda, Marlboro Yamaha, Suzuki, and Aprilia transformed to four-strokes in 2002, whereas most satellite tv for pc squads remained on two-stroke equipment. Among the Factory outfits, four-cylinder layouts (inline-four and V4) remained well-liked. Honda opted for a distinct course. Instead, growing a water-cooled, DOHC, 20-valve, V-5 mill to energy its legendary RC211V.
Valentino Rossi seized the ultimate 500cc Grand Prix title aboard Honda’s two-stroke NSR500 in 2001, and 2002 marked the Doctor’s first yr with the Repsol Honda workforce. The RC211V’s introduction compelled the 23-year-old budding celebrity to regulate his fashion to the brand new four-stroke platform, however the race steed additionally improved Rossi’s shot at back-to-back championships.
In sixteen races, quantity 46 received 12 and completed runner-up within the remaining 4. Rossi simply retained his crown with a 140-point benefit over his nearest competitor, Marlboro Yamaha’s Max Biagi. Repsol Honda rider Tohru Okawa claimed one victory that season as effectively, securing Honda and the RC211V 13 victories and a constructor’s title in 2002.
The V-5-powered racer solely improved its imperious file in 2003. Aside from Rossi’s 9 victories, Telefónica Movistar Honda’s Sete Gibernau and Camel Pramac Pons’ Max Biagi additionally contributed with 4 wins and two victories, respectively. The RC211V’s 15 wins dominated the sphere in 2003, with solely Ducati nabbing a lone victory with Loris Capirossi.
However, the whole lot modified when Rossi transferred to Yamaha in 2004. Big Red repeated as Constructor’s Champions that season, however the Doctor captured his fourth consecutive MotoGP title with the YZR-M1. The RC211V loved its swan music in 2006, although, when Nicky Hayden and Honda reclaimed the MotoGP rider and constructor’s titles.
New premier class rules compelled Team Red to engineer an 800cc V-4 for the RC212V and the producer maintains that V-4 configuration with its present RC213V race machine. However, with a 58.5-percent win ratio (48 wins out of 82 begins), three rider world championships (2002, 2003, and 2006), and 4 constructor’s crowns (2002, 2003, 2004, and 2006), the V-5-bound RC211V will all the time stay a fan favourite.