The 2006 MotoGP season was one of the closest battles and most thrilling in recent memory in which Honda's Nicky Hayden didn't claim the championship from Valentino Rossi until the final race of the year. The victory was Hayden's first World Championship. Seven different riders claimed Grand Prix victories including first time winners Dani Pedrosa, Toni Elías and Troy Bayliss. Yamaha's Valentino Rossi fought back from a 51 point deficit to lead the championship going into the final rounds. Hayden's fortunes took a dip when he was taken out by his team-mate Pedrosa at the penultimate round in Portugal, but he bounced back to win the crown when Rossi crashed in the final race at Valencia. The championship, interestingly, was won through consistency, as Hayden only won two races. Rossi had five wins, but the Yamaha suffered a number of mechanical issues which led to retirements. Also, the surprise win of Elias in Portugal, with a margin of just 0.002 second over Rossi, proved to be a major decider in the championship. Rossi had given up five points in that round, the same amount by which he was behind Hayden in the final standings. Had there been a tie, Rossi would have been crowned World Champion due to more race victories than Hayden.
In the 250 class, Aprilia's Jorge Lorenzo won his first championship taking 8 victories. Another Aprilia rider took the 125 crown with Álvaro Bautista also taking 8 wins.
Read more about this topic: 2006 Grand Prix Motorcycle Racing Season
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