The 28th and final version of Yamaha’s 500cc Grand Prix bike was the 2002 0WL9. Here is the machine Garry McCoy raced.
The final few years of the YZR500’s development saw incremental improvements to most aspects of the bikes. The 0WK1 of 1999 even saw Max Biaggi’s bikes fitted with wings for the first half of the season!
The 0WK6 of 2000 had numerous changes with new cylinders, heads, exhausts and engine management. McCoy had three wins and two more podiums to finish fifth in the championship, while Biaggi won two (finishing third) and Abe one – giving Yamaha its first Constructors title in seven years.
2001’s 0WL6 again saw new cylinders, heads and exhausts, which together with mapped ignition resulted in increased acceleration and top speed. Two lengths of swing arms were employed, depending on the rider. Biaggi scored three wins to finish second for the season.
With most of the company’s efforts going into the new 990cc four-stroke MotoGP machines that were introduced in 2002 the 0WL9 featured mainly chassis changes compared to the previous year’s 0WL6. The motor was moved forward as well as being raised. A lighter weight swing arm was used.
The best championship results for the 0WL9 were 10th for Oliver Jacque and 11th for his Gauloises Tech 3 team mate Shinya Nakano. Garry McCoy finished in 20th after missing four races.
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