This year saw Valentino Rossi rightfully regain his spot at the top of world motorcycling. The colourful Italian won his sixth MotoGP title, and his eighth overall world title, after a superb season of racing where he demonstrated once again that he is still the best around. He was well worth it as he proved to be the class act of a high quality season on his Yamaha, winning nine times as he got the better of the defending champion Casey Stoner.
Two years without the title and a particularly barren 2007 when he had been unable to get near the dominant Stoner had left Rossi frustrated. He displayed his ruthlessness by making the controversial decision to move from Michelin to Bridgestone tyres during the winter and this proved inspired despite the political problems it caused for Yamaha with Michelin. It gave him the chance to be competitive and from there he let his quality do the rest.
His consistency was superb and the relentless pressure he put on Stoner ultimately made his rival crack as he crashed out of the lead in both the Czech Republic and San Marino. On both occasions Rossi was right behind Stoner when he left the track and you had to believe the sheer presence of the legendary No 46 bike in his mirrors helped cause the Australian to push to hard and slide off. From there on there was only going to be one winner and Rossi fittingly took the title by winning in Japan in October.
With MotoGP ruling that only one tyre company (Bridgestone) will be involved in the sport from next year, the emphasis will be on rider skill, which should play into Rossi's hands for a successful championship defence. Stoner overcame a wrist injury to finish second in the title race for Ducati, and will be confident of challenging strongly for next year's honours with the American Nicky Hayden as his new teammate. The Honda rider Dani Pedrosa hinted at a challenge until a big crash in Germany forced him to miss a race with injury, and from there his momentum was lost.
Rossi's young Spanish teammate Jorge Lorenzo demonstrated his potential with an impressive debut year, which saw him win in Portugal. The 2007 World Superbikes champion James Toseland had a solid opening season in MotoGP, the Briton proving a match for his more experienced American teammate Colin Edwards. In the World Superbikes championship, the Australian rider Troy Bayliss had a appropriate end to his career as he clinched his third title after a dominant season. He fittingly won the final two races of the season in France on his Ducati to ensure he retired in winning style. His closest rivals were compatriot Troy Corser and Japan's Noriyuki Haga.