At Jerez in 2005, the season was settled in the last corner of the last lap, when Rossi knocked Gibernau physically into the gravel trap, and mentally into a losing state of mind. At Jerez in 2006, the season was shaken up, stirred round and messed up in the first corner of the first lap by, of all things, technology.
In 2006, for the first time, all of the bikes on the grid are using some form of launch control. The down side of this is that everyone arrives at the first corner at the same time. I reckon the Spanish fans felt that Rossi deserved to suffer the consequences of this mass arrival, as Elias tagged Rossi's back wheel, knocking Rossi off his bike.
Rossi looked like he'd got a great start, moving through to about 5th place going into the first corner, but Elias braked just a fraction too late, touched Rossi's back wheel, and down went Rossi. It was a double blow for Yamaha, as Edwards was forced of the track by Rossi's bike, and rejoined the race in 18th place. Rossi, after gesticulating to try and get the race stopped, then showed that his luck had not entirely run out (the bike was still running), and that he understands what it takes to become a champion, as he got back on the bike, despite having lost most of his right footpeg, the tip of his front brake lever, and having twisted his right clip on, and ended the first lap 43 seconds behind the leader Capirossi.
And Capirossi had gotten off to a fantastic start, taking the lead from the outset, followed closely by Gibernau, Melandri, Hayden and Pedrosa. Checa and Stoner both got blinding starts, shooting into top 8 positions from a long way down the grid. Gibernau couldn't quite hold on to his 2nd place, as Melandri inched past him before the end of the first lap, but there were a group of some 8 or 9 riders all very close together in the first few laps, consisting of the two Ducatis, Melandri, Hayden, Pedrosa, Nakano, Checa, and Stoner.
Yes I have a…