Since then the Italian has raced 990cc, 800cc and 1000cc four-stroke machinery for Honda, Yamaha, Ducati and Yamaha again, using Michelin and then Bridgestone tyres.
So what has changed regarding his riding style?
“I started when it was still black and white. It was difficult to touch the knee down!” joked Rossi, the world championship leader heading into this weekend’s round in Argentina following victory in Qatar and a third last Sunday in Texas.
“Apart from joke, mainly the positon on the bike. I think in the last years MotoGP has changed a lot. Also the electronic systems and Bridgestone tyres made a huge difference. With Michelin in the past it was a different way to ride and you cannot stay in the same position on the bike compared to now.
“I try to learn also from the other guys like Marquez, or Lorenzo that ride also my bike. It is interesting. But every rider improves and modifies his way to ride. Also Andrea [Dovizioso, Ducati] changed a lot from the last years. It is like this. It is always in evolution and I think this way is very interesting. It is never the same.”
Rossi is contracted to Yamaha until at least the end for 2016 meaning he will be present for the switch to Michelin tyres and a control ECU next season