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MotoGP predictions - 2005.

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by sjb509, Apr 2, 2005.

  1. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Last year we had a thread for the MotoGP series. With all of the pre-season testing concluded, here are a few of my predictions.

    1. Rossi will win the championship yet again this year, probably at least equalling his nine wins last year. The guy is a roadracing god, and dominates MotoGP even more than Schumacher dominates F1.
    2. With the steady riding of Edwards, Yamaha also wins the Constructors Title as well.
    3. Edwards will win a single race this year (only if Rossi DNF's). Then every US magazine will run huge articles how Colin is ready to be MotoGP champion in 2006. I'm already LOL. Unless Gibernau and Rossi retire at the end of the year, he hasn't got a chance.
    4. Ducati will suffer from another mediocre year, fast a some tracks, completely uncompetitve at others.
    5. Hopkins will get at least two poles this year, and continually show up KRJR. Hopper will need to get on a different team is he wants to win, however. Maybe a Hayden/Hopkins Repsol Honda team in 2006?
    6. Biaggi, now on his long-wanted works Honda, has to face the painful realization that his best years are behind him. At the end of the year, third in points behind Rossi and Gibernau (on an identical bike), Biaggi retires.
     
  2. classic308

    classic308 F1 Veteran

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    with you but think that Ducati will be competitive but in the end Rossi laughs at all of them....
     
  3. Badapple

    Badapple Formula Junior

    Nov 20, 2003
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    Yep, the doc will win again.
    I really wish he'd take a ducati ride
     
  4. T.O. Dino

    T.O. Dino Formula Junior

    Oct 30, 2004
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    A win on a Ducati in Italy in a tight race with Biaggi. Now that would be something to see!
     
  5. classic308

    classic308 F1 Veteran

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    it would make soccer games look tame....
     
  6. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    I look for Hopkins to take the title. Kenny is a great rider, but he doesn't have the drive of John. I think Biaggi is 2nd, with Rossi 3rd. More later.

    Art
     
  7. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I thought Hopkins and Kinney got hurt?
     
  8. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Art are you predicting Hopkins to win the championship this year? 2005? He is probably the best American in the series, but being fast in qualifying or at certain tracks is one thing. Putting together a consistent season and regularly beating Honda and YamaRossi is something else entirely. I would be extremely surprised to see him in the top six or seven positions in points at the end of the year.

    Hopkins has a good chance of someday winning a championship, but as long a Rossi is riding a competitve bike and he isn't, it would be next to impossible. If Rossi had switched to Suzuki instead of Yamaha, no way would he have won it all last year. The bike seems too unreliable.

    My predictions for final points:
    1. Rossi
    2. Gibernau (aka Randy Mamola Jr, aka Mr. Second Place II)
    3. Edwards
    4. Biaggi
    5. Tamada
    6. Hayden
    7. Capirossi
    8. Hopkins
    9. Checa
    10. Melandri
     
  9. mrdigital

    mrdigital Formula Junior

    Nov 1, 2003
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    No love for hayden.....
    1. Rossi He is a machine...(I only wish i could spend a day in his shoes.)
    2. Hayden
    3. Sete
    4. Edwards
    5. Tamada
    6. I hope a ducati rider.......I'm pissed they let go of bayliss
     
  10. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    Steve:

    I think that John has at least equal talent to Rossi. I base that upon the things that I know about last year's effort by John. I was absolutely astounded that he'd be able to put that piece of crap Suzuki into the top 10 which he did on more than one occassion. I've got memos from the team manager to the factor listing the various defects the bike had. As an ex-competitor, I know that I'd refuse to ride something with those sorts of defects. There was talk last year of John and Kenny refusing to ride the bike, but they ultimately were good soldiers and did what they were told, despite the obvious risk.

    This year, Suzuki has FINALLY replaced the idiots who were in charge of the development of the vehicle, and guess what, it shows. The concept was great, a fly-by-wire bike, with traction control, engine braking control, ABS, and of which was "intelligent" i.e., it would learn from the rider's preferences, etc. They were also down about 25 - 30HP to the "B" Hondas (Partial factory support), and about 40HP down on the "A" Hondas (full factory support).

    Well, the electronics are working properly, the HP is still down, but the difference is probably about 10 HP on the A bikes, and with the technological advantage, the bike is probably the equal to the Hondas, and maybe a little better than the Yamahas. The crucial issue is the tires, will they get competitive tires? If so, John, if he doesn't hurt himself too badly, wins the title. I've known John since he was 16 and riding in the Aprilla Cup races, he wants this more than just about anything in life.

    All of the above discounts Irv Kanemoto. If Irv does one of his hat tricks, which he has been known to do before, then Biaggi takes the title. However, Biaggi will need a superior bike to do that, in that the difference between the Honda and the Yamaha needs to be greater than it was last year. I don't see that, but I'll never count Irv out. He is truly a genius, and his work ethic is unsurpassed by anyone that I know.

    Art
     
  11. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    The Suzuki does look to be improved this year, so we will see how they do this weekend. I don't doubt Hopkins' skill or determination, but I do question his equipment. When KRJR parked his bike a couple of years ago mid-race, you knew it had to be bad. It has to be frustrating for riders to know that the best they could hope for if they ride perfectly is fourth or fifth place.

    Wasn't the best finish the Suzuki has had in MotoGP a third place by a Japanese wild-card in the very first MotoGP race, in the rain at Suzuka in 2002?
     
  12. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    I don't recall if that was the best that they'd done. I do know that when the 4 stroke formula was announced, Suzuki thought that because of their experience with the GSXR, they'd be the one. They put the engineer, formerly in charge of World Superbike, in control, and what a disaster.

    Ultimately, Honda and Ducati got talent from F1 to make their stuff, and it showed in the speed. Suzuki continued on with their program and it looks like at the begning of this they got it right. I do know that certain promises were made in contract negotiations with their riders this year. KRJ is in the last year of his agreement, and because of the money he's getting, the contract isn't likely to be renewed, unless he takes a huge cut, or wins the world championship this year. Hopkins deal is for one year, with options for another year or two, and I suspect the renewal will be exercised if the bike works, not if it doesn't.

    John showed incredible talent last year with that bike. You have no idea how bad it was. The brakes didn't always come on when the lever was pulled, the throttle didn't always come on when asked to do so, nor shut off when requested.

    Art

    Art
     
  13. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    It is interesting that Suzuki can make such incredible superbikes, but have struggled so much in MotoGP. The GSXR will probably win the AMA, WSBK, and BSB championships this year. As you know, Suzuki's stated plan in 2002 was to use the two strokes while the new bike was developed in private, then about 6 months before the season they decided to go forward with the current bike, a year early. Difficulty that year was understandable.

    2003 saw a huge increase in speeds from Honda and newcomer Ducati. Top speeds at some tracks were up over 10 mph, while the rest made improvements but not at that pace. With Honda already having the best bike, they moved farther ahead.

    Internal politics as much as Rossi lost the title for Honda last year, IMHO. They seem have got that straightened out, now with "A" bikes for Gibernau, Biaggi, and Hayden. That won't make any other teams' job any easier.

    Like Suzuki, Aprilia struggled with drive-by-wire and never got it right by most accounts. I was unaware that Suzuki had anti-lock brakes. It would be spooky to say the least to be approaching a turn over 200 mph with a computer controlling the brakes (and your life).
     
  14. white_fly

    white_fly Karting

    Mar 10, 2005
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    Well, Art, I guess I'll continue my thoughts in this thread from the bike week thread. After testing, there have been some surprises, not the least of which was Hopkins leading the time sheets a couple of times.

    Rossi is my favorite for the title by a long shot. He has been running the fastest or close to the fastest times on race tires in every test and he has the bike set up right. Last year he didn't seem to think he could logically win the campionship at the beginning of the season. He seemed like he had to trick himself into thinking he could. This year, he seems far more confident and I will quote him here, "I think we are ready to race now. I'm confident about the first race....after last year I have an account to settle with the circuit! I was very fast in the dry, with pole position, but then the rain ruined it on race day...This year everyone will be trying to arrive in front of us from the first race. I think that Gibernau will be my closest competitor again but there are a lot of fast riders and it will be a big battle" Here is a quote from the great Eddie Lawson in reagards to Rossi, "From what I have seen he is in another league to the other riders, he is very impressive."

    I'm going to pick Gibernau for second place just like Rossi himself did for fairly obvious reasons.

    Hopkins gets knocked yet another step down on my list by Edwards. Here is an interesting quote from him, "I'm determined to do well at the first race, I won't be happy with anything less than the top step of the podium, I feel good about the forthcoming season and I hope that I will be fighting for the championship from this very first GP." The man wants to win and I think he has the ability to hang with Rossi, even if it has to be behind him.

    Hopkins gets fourth place. He will be fast. He will win more than one race. In the end, though, inconsistency will be his downfall.

    I'm not going to mak predictions for the rest of the list but I expect Biaggi to have an "off" season, a bit like last year. Hayden will do better this season with less retirements. He and Irv are going to be close like brothers. WCM will show more speed than last year, but still not enough to be on the pace. Kawasaki, on the other hand will do quite well compared to last year and be in the top group a few times through the season.

    Another thing about Rossi vs. Biaggi, Michael Scott who has been writing about MotoGP for over a decade said that he thinks Rossi didn't show what he could do during the tests. OTOH, Biaggi struggled and he was truly trying to get things working.

    Only time will tell.
     
  15. stephens

    stephens F1 Rookie
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    That would explain a few of his racing incidents! Realistically though, I still believe you are over rating him as a threat, same as you did last year.
    After Rossi changed from Honda to Yamaha, he proved to everyone that he is the man, no question. I used to be a doubter, but no more.
    How many times have we seen Rossi make a mistake now, dropping back to mid field, then seeming to effortlessly pick his way back through the field and take the win? It appeared that in his last season with Honda, he was only racing at about 85% most of the time, unless he needed to try, to fix a mistake! I don't see the domination in every International category that he competed, that was a trade mark of Rossi in Hopkins either. Granted he may be a very talented rider, but there are plenty of those around.
     
  16. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    Stephen:

    The talent was always there. The bike however, wasn't. Fact is, he out qualified Roberts just about every thing that Roberts raced. Maybe one time when Roberts outqualified him. You'll note that Roberts was out for quite a while last year with "injuries".

    If the bike is as competitive as everyone is saying this is going to be an interesting year. However, don't discount Irv. He could be the spoiler, and Biaggi could win it all, if Irv does his magic.

    Art
     
  17. stephens

    stephens F1 Rookie
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    I'm not arguing that he isn't talented, all at that level are. The real surprise to my mind was Gibernau. Who'd have thought that the "paid" ride who I, amongst many, wrote off as a waste off space, would be a championship contender on the right equipment. Maybe the answer is for him to jump ship and find a Honda ride!
     
  18. white_fly

    white_fly Karting

    Mar 10, 2005
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    From crash.net:

    Hopkins 'expects' home wins, Hayden first target.

    By Peter McLaren and Andy Stobart

    There comes a time in every rider's career where they must cross the line from potential star to proven performer - and Team Suzuki's John Hopkins knows, and expects, 2005 to be the year in which he takes that step.

    Former Formula One driver Martin Brundle, now a successful commentator on the sport for British television, claims that an F1 driver is either giving pressure to his opponents or receiving pressure from them - there is no comfort zone in between - and it could be argued that the same applies to MotoGP.

    Hopkins, on the eve of his fourth season in the premier-class, is the first to admit that his GP career to date - which began on an outdated 500cc Red Bull Yamaha in 2003, before being supplied with marginally better machinery by Team Suzuki since then - hasn't matched his own high expectations; with a best finish of sixth (2004) and highest championship standing of just 15th (2003).

    However, 'Hopper' has taken the pressure during those often gloomy, injury stained, years and with his 2005 Bridgestone shod GSV-R looking like a potent weapon, the fully fit 21-year-old is ready to collect: Hopkins expects nothing less than podiums and race wins this season - while beating team-mate Kenny Roberts Jr and factory Honda rider Nicky Hayden are among his primary targets.

    "I've known in my head all along that I have the talent to do it. It looks like I have the machinery and tyres to do it this year so it's only natural that I go out and basically prove to the world what I can do," the straight-talking Californian told Crash.net.

    "We're looking at our best year yet and we're definitely looking at earning our first podium, especially at the season-opener at Jerez. I've had a good race there in the past and I tend to like the track. I'm going to be disappointed if I'm not on the podium. I will accept a top five, but I will be extremely disappointed outside of the top five," confirmed Hopkins, who has vowed that his next alcoholic drink will be podium champagne.

    The Anglo-American then declared that his 2005 ambitions extend further than just finishing in the top three, and the #21 fully intends to join the list of six active (four-stroke) MotoGP race winners by taking victory at both his home events this year.

    "There will be certain tracks where I expect to win; Donington I expect to win, Laguna Seca I expect to win," he stated confidently. "I've always enjoyed Donington, I like Donington as a track and it's a track I expect to win at. As far as Laguna Seca; I expect to win there. As far as any other track; I want to be on that podium. That's my mindset at the moment."

    Ever since joining Suzuki, Hopkins has been teamed with the factory's 2000 world champion Kenny Roberts Jr - a rider who has often come under criticism for an alleged lack of effort since his title winning season. So, how does Hopper rate Roberts - who took pole position at Rio last season - and does he anticipate being the faster of the two this year?

    "Well yeah, definitely, there's no question about it," replied Hopkins, sounding almost surprised at the question. "Kenny has been unmotivated for a bit over the last couple of years - for not really the best reasons - but when Kenny's riding well, he's riding well; he's extremely good when he wants to be and I want him to be as motivated as possible, because it drives me to find it within myself to beat him.

    "It's tough when he's riding hard, then it's definitely extremely difficult to beat him. It's all part of it, right now we're basically working together to get the bike to a level where we can get it to the top, then we can compete with each other," he continued.

    "But yeah, Kenny is on the same machinery as me and he's the first person I definitely want to beat besides Nicky Hayden."

    Hayden? Any particular reason for wanting to beat Nicky?

    "For certain reasons... it's not anything personal - he's a nice guy - but being the other young American, besides myself, he's definitely by far the first person I want to beat. I mean there's no question about that," replied Hopkins.

    And the ideal place to beat Repsol Honda rider Hayden - under pressure to win his first race this year after spending two seasons on one of only two full factory RCVs in the paddock - would surely be in front of their home fans at the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca, an event which will mark the return of Motorcycle Grand Prix racing to America for the first time since 1994.

    "I can't wait to get there," enthused John. "Laguna Seca is such a great circuit for me, and it's in California. I love it, the atmosphere is really great there and it's going to be great to expose what this sport is like to America - not what it was like - what it will be like.

    "The fans are going to experience it first hand and hopefully we can get the interest of American sponsors so it's not just Spanish and Italian riders getting free rides because they have multi-million dollar sponsors behind them."

    Finally, what are his 2005 world championship aspirations? "Well, within my prediction of not wanting to get off the podium, I would expect to be within the top five definitely," John concluded.

    And what does his new team manager expect? Paul Denning, whose appointment Hopkins credits as instrumental to much of their pre-season improvements, will be making his MotoGP race debut at Jerez - but has no doubts about the potential of the Hopkins/Suzuki/Bridgestone combination.

    "Suzuki is serious; they've won the championship before, fully intend to do it again and two or three slightly difficult years don't mean that a manufacturer has lost its way with regard to what it takes," began Denning, when asked about the company's level of commitment to MotoGP.

    "My target is to improve dramatically over 2004," he added. "It was a very, very difficult year last year and we have to show Suzuki riders near the front of the field and challenging for the front group. That's what everybody is after at Suzuki; it's a realistic position (but) I think the riders, particularly Hopkins, are looking for more than that - immediately."

    "I was out watching Hopkins going through the stadium section at Jerez last week and his corner entry speed was like a Formula One car! He is just so committed to going quick," he added later in the interview. "Bridgestone have built a tyre pretty much around his riding style - the high corner speed and high edge grip requirement - and he's starting to use those tyres to the full now."

    "Hopkins has got a very focused and very professional approach to his racing for a 21-year-old. He is only going to need to start knocking on the door and it's going become very clear that he's a big talent," Denning warned.

    Day one of the season-opening Spanish Grand Prix, at Jerez, takes place this Friday.


    This is very interesting and I think it backs up my predictions. Hopkins will win races, but he will place off the podium at the end of the year.
     
  19. T.O. Dino

    T.O. Dino Formula Junior

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  20. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    Stu:

    I think that I know talent when I see it. My credentials are 10 years in AMA pro racing, with a championship or two in the process. I've known John since he was 16, done a little work for him. I've seen both he and Rossi ride. This opinion isn't just mine. Good friend of mine, guy who has his own magazine, who discovered John, named John Ulrich, thinks so too. Along with a couple of other riders who have a little talent, whose names I'm not going to mention.

    Believe me or not, I think that I know talent, and John has it.

    Art
     
  21. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Art I would be interested in your opinion concerning your top five or ten riders in the world as far as talent only. Assuming equal machinery and motivation, who would win on skill alone.

    JMHO, but here's my top five:
    1. Rossi
    2. Biaggi
    3. Gibernau
    4. Tamada
    5. Hopkins
    Capirossi, Edwards, Xaus, Melandri, KRJR, & Hayden are the next group, but too close to call.

    Hopkins could ride another dozen years or more, in two or three years at least three of the guys above him will be long gone. Of the riders out there now, I could see riders like Hayden, Melandri and Xaus in the top five in 2007-08.
     
  22. 2000YELLOW360

    2000YELLOW360 F1 World Champ
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    Steve:

    I'd put Hopkins on top, with Rossi second, or tied. Behind him, we've got a combination of "old" guys, and the 21 year old group (yeah, some of them are 22, 23, or so). In that young group, I'd put Melandri and Hayden next up, with the older grouping of Biaggi, Tamada Edwards, behind.

    KRJR (I raced against his Dad) is very, very talented, but guess what? I think that Kurtis is more talented than his older brother, and I look to see Kurtis back in MotoGP within a few years. He has more natural talent than his brother, and on the right machinery, will do very well. He got screwed the last time out, and came back to the US to get things straightened out.

    We'll have a better idea of just how good everyone is come Sunday. I still say, don't count Irv out. He's likely to put together some awesome equipment, and that's something that will act as a spoiler.

    Art
     
  23. white_fly

    white_fly Karting

    Mar 10, 2005
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    Both Rossi and Hopkins like Jerez and are both really looking forward to it. I call a battle between the two at the front. I think we will have a definitive answer to the Hopkins vs. Rossi question quite soon.
     
  24. stephens

    stephens F1 Rookie
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    What an awesome season ahead of us, with Yamaha, Honda, potemtially Suzuki and maybe even Ducati being competitive front runners!! Time to buy a new plasma TV.
     
  25. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
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    Yes, it will be an awesome season, but how long will it be before a majority of American racing fans wise up about MotoGP?
     

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