Yamaha and Valentino Rossi were one of the star attractions at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed. The Japanese motorcycle company and its star racing rider were, after all, celebrating the former’s 60th anniversary, which explains why Rossi showed up at Goodwood in a yellow track suit and a Yamaha YZF-M1 sporting the same yellow livery.

It was a jarring sight for those familiar with Rossi’s unmistakable blue track suit and blue bike, but rest assured, the nine-time MotoGP champion isn’t trading away his familiar blue garb for another Yamaha-sponsored team. The yellow livery was simply used to commemorate Yamaha’s 60th anniversary, which would make even more sense if you remember that the company used the same colors on its 50th anniversary bike back in 2005.

There were no mechanical changes made to the 60th anniversary bike so don’t expect to see any flames coming out of its exhaust. The bike differentiates itself from Rossi’s own MotoGP M1 solely on its colors, although if I do say so myself, that yellow looks just as good on the M1 as Movistar’s blue team colors.

It’s also not a coincidence that the two bikes - the 2005 title-winning bike and the 2015 bike that’s currently leading the championship standings - also have another similarity between them: both were ridden by Rossi and in the case of the latter, is still being ridden in the current MotoGP season.

Should Rossi hold on to his championship lead, the two anniversary bikes will have another thing in common: they’ll both be world championship-winning bikes.

Continue reading to read more about Valentino Rossi’s chances to win his 10th world title this season.

Why it matters

Other than the commemorative yellow livery, the Yamaha YZF-M1 60th Anniversary bike doesn’t really stand out, at least not for me.

But I will say that it’ll make for a pretty good story if Rossi continues on his torrid pace this season to win his 10th world championship. I can already imagine the symmetry people will have of this season and the 2005 season even though the circumstances and the riders were drastically different from the two eras.

Back in 2005, Rossi was an absolute stud, dominating the entire season on his way to winning 11 out of the 17 races in the calendar. He was so ahead of the pack during the season to the point where his 367 points for the entire year was 147 points more than Honda’s Marco Melandri, the guy who finished second in the points standings.

This year, Rossi hasn’t been as dominant as he was back in 2005, winning “only” three of the first eight races in the calendar. He’s also had to battle tooth and nail with his own teammate, Jorge Lorenzo, for the championships. If this form continues, there’s no question that Rossi will have had a much tougher time winning this season’s championship compared to when he annihilated the competition in 2005.

Still, it would make for a nice story about Rossi and Yamaha winning the world championship during the latter’s 50th and 60th anniversaries. Kind of makes you wonder if the two anniversary bikes that were shown at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed were signs of things to come.

Source: Yamaha MotoGP

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