I think Yamaha is looking to the future, Rossi developes a bike that Rossi can ride. They may be looking for a second opinion, I can't see them hiring Edwards for his stellar ability or his potential future. Obviously the Yamaha has handling issues....if you watched the same MotoGP season that I did. Besides it being obvious that Rossi was having to MAKE the bike do things on the track...you would see him sweating and totally ragged out after the races, very unusual for Rossi. A couple of times he commented on the Honda being the better bike..and I don't think that was mind games. Is it cooincidence that both the Yamaha riders were with Honda last? I just can't see Yamaha wanting Edwards for his chance at podiums, at best they are buying a fourth or fifth in the championship, they had to have other motivations.
Honda used to take Edwards to Japan to assist developement work, seems like I remember them sending him over to test the RC211 during developement. And what's wrong with using RC51 forks...how different are they than GP spec forks.
The Honda has the edge in handling and power...they just don't have Rossi and Burgess anymore. Top level racing has always been dominated by the combination of best bike and best rider, with the rare exceptions of a truely great rider on a second best bike...we are in one of those exceptions now. Honda is the favorite whipping boy of motojournalist...as the top dog always is, look at HRC, the actual group that does the engineering is compact as any manufacturer out there, the real grunt work done by about 50 guys in a single building in Japan. Ducati likes to hype some kind of "special" relationship with racing when in reality they commit the same resources and personel to the effort that the other teams do, they just give the credit to a few "names" instead of something corporate like "HRC". But I guess their "success" is to be commended for a company that makes more money selling Ducati clothing than they do bikes. They also don't seem to get along any better than other teams...they seem to change top management in their racing program every couple of years and other than Bayliss seem to have a problem keeping riders very long.
Whenever you see a rider and a good portion of his team change manufacturers there's always a bit of pilfering of the former teams technology and data...I don't doubt that gave Rossi and Burgess a leg up at Yamaha. Honda's big problem is corporate micro-managing of the race effort, teams have to shake out and settle into personality groups that work, Honda tends to try to force the issue with people showing statistical success that might not work well together. Honda has the tightest R&D in the business but then often puts the machinery in the hands of new formed teams. Their greatest successes have been with the teams that stuck together and formed a tight group for several years....like Doohan and his guys, Rossi and his guys.
I don't think Hayden or Edwards have what it takes to be MotoGP champ no matter what they are riding. They are both excellent riders, but just top ten guys. They don't have the skill to dominate, and they don't have the passion to force a single year victory like some have. They are just filling up the grid. Sete can win...when Rossi has a bad day.
I think it's 50% rider, 30% team, 20% bike. A second rate bike can win with a stellar rider, a stellar bike will never win with a second rate rider.
MotoGP obviously needs me as a rider motivation trainer....get out there and win you **** or I'm going to do you in the butt with a Redbull can for a condom.