MOTOGP 2003 FULL SEASON / 16 FULL RACES ON DVD
2003 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season
The 2003 Grand Prix motorcycle racing season was the 55th F.I.M. Road racing World Championship season.
Defending champion Valentino Rossi won his 3rd MotoGP championship in 2003, winning 9 races, highlighted by his win at Phillip Island
where he was given a 10 second penalty for passing under a yellow flag
and he overcame the penalty by winning the race with more than 10
seconds in hand. Rossi had become dissatisfied with his relationship
with the Honda Racing Corporation
and as the season progressed and HRC tried to get Rossi to sign a new
contract, Rossi demurred until finally announcing at the end of the year
that he would be leaving Honda. He soon signed with Yamaha and took Jeremy Burgess with him to be his crew chief.
The season was marred by Daijiro Kato being killed at the first round at Suzuka.
He lost control of his motorcycle on the approach to the Casio Triangle
and hit a barrier at high speed. His heart was restarted by track
paramedics, but he did not wake from a coma and died 2 weeks later.
Controversy arose because the race was not red-flagged to allow Kato to
be removed from the track with maximum care. Suzuka has since been removed from the MotoGP calendar. Teammate Sete Gibernau would inherit Kato's factory-spec RC211V.
MotoGP rookies for 2003 included Nicky Hayden (Rookie of the Year), Troy Bayliss, Marco Melandri and Colin Edwards. A new constructor also arrived: Ducati. After much success in Superbike racing, Ducati returned to the premier-class of GP with their GP3.
It made an immediate impression with its raw speed, and they finished
the constructor's championship in second place, ahead of Yamaha and behind Honda.