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MotoGP season so far

Discussion in 'Motorcycles & Boats' started by sjb509, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    After watching a fantastic race today from Italy, what are your thoughts about the MotoGP season so far? There must have been 40 lead changes, when is the last time that has happened in F1?

    It looks to me like a two-man race between Gibernau and Rossi. Biaggi is close but I wonder if his time has passed (even though he is second in points).

    The other Yamahas (Checa, Abe, Melandri) can have great races but cannot put together the consistency needed to ever amass enough points to challenge for the championship.

    Barros and Hayden seem about equal with barros more consistent. I would always laugh to myself when magazine cover stories about Hayden ask "Champ 2004?" or something along those lines. He'll be lucky if he even wins a race this year, it won't happen, IMHO. Tamada may have an advantage with his Bridgestones at a track later this year and he could also challenge for a win, similar to today on Italy.

    The Ducati contingent seems to have great acceleration and top speed, the handling must be awful. How ironic that for years Ducati won world superbike championships from Honda by outhandling them, while the more powerful Hondas were regarded as having good turn-in or good exit traction, but you could only have one.

    Kawasaki seems improved, but there was no where to go but up from last year's green caboose at most races. Proton, Aprilia, WCM, all seem to be working hard but never seem to gain on the front-runners. Suzuki looks to have improved their speed, but come raceday are still fighting to be in the top half of the finishers.

    That leaves Colin Edwards, who is my pick for the disappointment of the year so far. Not that I root for him, I think he is extremely arrogant and unprofessional. Most picked him to challenge for the championship, he'll be lucky if he is not the sixth-place Honda (out of six) when the season is over. For over a year he cried about how he was shafted by Honda in 2002 for not getting the GP ride last year on the Honda. Now he has a Honda, so shut and win something...
     
  2. aawil

    aawil Formula 3

    Aug 10, 2002
    1,279
    NJ
    Full Name:
    Aaron
    The racing has been phenominal this year.Probably the best racing anywhere currently.I'm enjoying these great battles.
     
  3. j. cordon

    j. cordon Rookie

    Nov 17, 2003
    11
    las vegas
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    j. cordon
    What a great race today, 210+ mph down the front straight with 6 guys was just awesome! Nankano highsided on the frontstraight somehow thank god he wasnt hurt, Rossi is just incredible!
     
  4. RyanZX6R

    RyanZX6R Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    254
    Riverside County
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    What I love about this season is that it seems that anyone can end up on the podium. There really isn't any one rider that is dominating the way that Rossi did last year. However, it is early in the season and that may change. Sete is a really smooth rider. Hardly ever makes mistakes. Biaggi wants a win really bad, but he's had to settle for podium finishes so far. I couldn't believe that after the restart Rueben Xaus was actually leading the race. But the Ducatis couldn't hold on. I don't expect to see too much from Colin Edwards. I'm sure he'll say it was his first year on the Honda and he's still getting use to it, or some excuse like that. I would like to see Hayden on the podium at least once, but it won't be easy for him. He did start off good but couldn't hold the pace, then he crashed. Can't wait for the next race!
     
  5. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    I really believe that Rossi is the best motorcycle racer at any level, but Gibernau is very close, and the difference might be made up on his Honda. Barring injury, it comes down to those two. I did think Rossi would win in South Africa, but I did not forsee his getting fourth place at both Jerez and Le Mans. So I was very pleased at his win yesterday. And yes, for me MotoGP is by far the most exciting racing to be seen. I really like F1, but it pales when compared to MotoGP. Edwards, Hayden? I just hope they get with it soon. I've got no predictions for either of them.
     
  6. LA Swede

    LA Swede Formula Junior

    Dec 5, 2003
    369
    SoCal
    ok, now I am "this close" to getting cable. I so miss MotoGP, 250's and 125's.

     
  7. Ducman491

    Ducman491 Formula 3

    Apr 9, 2004
    1,361
    Mentor OH
    Full Name:
    Jason
    That was a great race. I, for one am glad Rossi switched to Yamaha. The races last year were a bit on the boring side with him checking out so often. I also hope Colin and Nicky do well even though I don't particularly like Nicky personally. (I met him @ Mid Ohio and he was an ******.) He did just lose the race to E-Boz (my guy for a long time) though so I'll give Nicky a little leeway. The Ducati will come along but I don't know if they have the resources to win multiple championships like the Honda troop. I think it will have to be a special rider on his way up and the right bike at the right time. Nakano is lucky to be alive from the looks of the video. His neck looked like it was made of rubber. Very scary. I can't wait to see what happens next.
     
  8. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Biaggi doesn't have the top equipment. He's riding on a B+ bike, not the A bike of the works riders. If and when Honda decides to provide him with the top of the line vehicles, he may be fighting for the lead. Honda isn't the most straight forward company, and its politics remind me of the Italians.

    I do want to see Rossi win on the Yamaha, but I would like to see Biaggi have a fighting chance.

    Suzuki is apparently out of it at this time.

    Art
     
  9. RyanZX6R

    RyanZX6R Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    254
    Riverside County
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    Art, I do think Biaggi has a fighting chance. He has finished on the podium for most of the races so far. He is third in points for the championship. His Honda has more power than Rossi's Yamaha. His "B" bike has ran in front of most of the other Hondas. I think the only thing that is holding Max back is himself.
     
  10. Badapple

    Badapple Formula Junior

    Nov 20, 2003
    870
    West London
    Full Name:
    Phil
    It was cool seeing bayliss & xaus dicing for a couple of laps at the front.
    The dukes can only get better, capirossi has been nowhere so far.
     
  11. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    6/11/2004
    Gibernau Leads Provisional MotoGP Qualifying At Catalunya

    Copyright 2004, Roadracing World Publishing Inc.
    1. Sete Gibernau, Honda, 1'42.934
    2. Max Biaggi, Honda, 1'43.563
    3. Makoto Tamada, Honda, 1'43.708
    4. Valentino Rossi, Yamaha, 1'43.710
    5. Nickey Hayden, Honda, 1'43.840
    6. Carlos Checa, Yamaha, 1'43.860
    7. Alex Barros, Honda, 1'43.911
    8. Shinya Nakano, Kawasaki, 1'43.948
    9. Marco Melandri, Yamaha, 1'44.071
    10. Troy Bayliss, Ducati, 1'44.277
    11. Loris Capirossi, Ducati, 1'44.290
    12. Kenny Roberts, Suzuki, 1'44.302
    13. John Hopkins, Suzuki, 1'44.407
    14. Colin Edwards, Honda, 1'44.609
    15. Alex Hofmann, Kawasaki, 1'44.623
    16. Norick Abe, Yamaha, 1'44.988
    17. Ruben Xaus, Ducati, 1'45.088
    18. Shane Byrne, Aprilia, 1'45.200
    19. Neil Hodgson, Ducati, 1'45.586
    20. Gregorio Lavilla, Suzuki, 1'46.382
    21. Jeremy McWilliams, Aprilia, 1'46.466
    22. Andrew Pitt, Moriwaki Honda, 1'46.700
    23. Kurtis Roberts, Proton KR, 1'46.945
    24. Nobuatsu Aoki, Proton KR, 1'46.957
    25. Michel Fabrizio, Harris WCM, 1'47.503
    26. Chris Burns, Harris WCM, 1'49.739
     
  12. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
    33,425
    Purgatory
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    Anybody keep up with the TT this year?

    I found it hard to watch with David Jefferies gone. Seems I heard Archibald took it.
     
  13. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    If you missed the race, see the replay.
    It was fantastic!
     
  14. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    Rossi won, but what a race! Still think that Biaggi needs the A bike.

    Art
     
  15. F308 MAN

    F308 MAN F1 Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    2,907
    Isle of Man
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    Dave S
    there is a thread, within the UK section, with almost up to date news from the TT
    cheers, d
     
  16. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    ART355, Without a doubt, you are correct. If he gets the A bike, he will have a chance for first (at least once this season). Without it, his best podium finish will be 2nd.
     
  17. UroTrash

    UroTrash Three Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Jan 20, 2004
    33,425
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    Historically, when Biaggi leads all Rossi has to do is sit behind him for a few laps....Max ALWAYS flinches.
     
  18. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    I think Biaggi has missed his chance for a championship. '99 or '00 would have been his years. I guess the question is whether a B+ Honda is better than a A-bike Yamaha. I'm guessing that the B+ Honda is still better. Max gets the same tires as Gibernau, which should go a long way toward equalizing the bikes. Biaggi style may be just not as compatible with current MotoGP bikes, you may have to slide them a little to get that last 0.500 second of lap time. Max has never adapted to sliding, preferring the 250 style of high corner speed (hence his tendency to low side when he crashes).

    I was thinking about something else this weekend as well. Is it just me, or does Kenny Roberts Jr look like he is just riding around for a paycheck? He does well generally in practice, but come raceday he is always midpack at best. If the Suzuki is a hopeless POS, why has he stuck with the team for so long? There were two spots open at Honda this year filled by Barros and Edwards, if KRJR was so concerned about winning, wouldn't he have tried to get on one of those bikes? Look at Tamada, who has been near the front recently on his B-bike Honda. That guy is riding his heart out.
     
  19. RyanZX6R

    RyanZX6R Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    254
    Riverside County
    Full Name:
    Ryan
    Max's 8th place finish was due to a defective rear tire that kept him from being competitive. We'll see how he does at the next race. As for Kenny Roberts Jr., I think his sticking with Suzuki, at least through this season, shows his loyalty to the team. True, Suzuki is no where near competitive, but maybe he's just not one to jump ship when things don't go right. However, we'll see just how long he sticks it out.
     
  20. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    UroTrash, My thinking is, in a race where Rossi wasn't the Rossi we typically expect (Jerez) on an A bike, Biaggi could have had a better chance for first. This is only my opinion, and as I am relatively new to MotoGP, I hardly expect this to change opinions, but that was my thinking. Perhaps in fact, Biaggi's style alone will keep him from first.
     
  21. ART360

    ART360 Guest

    As far as Kenny, Jr. goes: the tires were a major problem for Suzuki at that race. They were much too hard, Bridgestone overcompensated for their tires blowing up at the last race. Hopefully, they'll be better. He's stuck there because of his salary: he makes more than he's worth at the present, and no one will pay him more, or even the same. It's my understanding that KRJR did make some inquiries about another ride, but 1. he under contract with Suzuki for another year, and 2. He costs too much.

    Biaggi needs the current bike, the A bike. Honda isn't going to give it to him, and we'll see how he does. At the present, Honda has the best tires and best bikes. What you're seeing with Rossi is brilliance, pure brilliance. I hope he wins the championship: That's what Honda get when they told him his record was due to the bike, he's out to prove them wrong, and may just do that.

    Art

    Art
     
  22. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Another pole for Rossi at a track that should be dominated by Honda. Obviously all of the Yamahas are improved by their qualifying 1,2 & 4. It appears as though the loss of Rossi and Burgess is hurting Honda while helping Yamaha. For some reason the Hondas are struggling with only two riders in the top ten.

    Colin Edwards and Nicky Hayden had miserable days. Actually Hayden had a miserable day, for Edwards it seems about business as usual. Even the Suzukis outqualified them.

    Kawasaki seems much improved this year, or Nakano is much improved, or both. Either way it is good to see the green bikes getting faster.

    Ducati continues to struggle, although Xaus seems get better each race weekend on the '03 bike. He hasn't crashed as often as he usually does when learning a bigger bike. Could he be on the full factory bike in '05?

    WCM, Aprilia, Proton continue to fill out the grid. Pity poor Kurtis Roberts, he goes from front-runner Hondas in AMA to the dog Proton that makes less horsepower than a 1000cc superbike (190 for the V-5 vs 200+ for the CBR's and GSXR's). Hope a KTM V-4 could do them some good if that materializes for '05.

    http://superbikeplanet.com/2004/Jun/040625c.htm

    IMO, Rossi is asserting himself again this year and will be champion barring injury or extremely bad luck. Gibernau is close, so close, but will come up short in the summer stretch. I never rooted for him while he was on Honda, but Rossi may be the best ever (compared to Hailwood, Agostini, Roberts Sr., Doohan, etc) if he can pull this off.
     
  23. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    My mistake on the race date, but has Rossi had enough time to sort out the M1 for a race in the rain? Baring Jerez's rainy weather, Rossi, pole sitter at Jerez, likely would presently be leading or at least tied in points with Gibernau.
     
  24. Paul Vincent

    Paul Vincent Formula Junior

    Apr 3, 2004
    474
    Don't miss today's showing of Saturday's MotoGP race in Assen on speed Channel at 5:00 p.m. Eastern. It's at least as good as the last two races (from what I've read).
     
  25. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Rossi won again today at Sepang, the seventh win for him this year and he now has a 30 point lead over Gibernau.

    With only 2 races (50 points) left, he is very close to his fourth championship in a row.

    He has performed incredibly well this year and would have already had the title clinched had he not crashed in a couple of the recent races. His accomplishment this year after switching to Yamaha would be analogous to Schumacher switch to Ferrari in '96, except Rossi will win the title against superior equipment.

    I personally hope Rossi stays in MotoGP one more year, then moves to WRC or even F1.
     

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