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o.k., anyone one to weigh in? maybe make a perdiction? who's gonna be tops in 2005. i think it's gonna be a dogfight between honda and yamaha and of course you have to consider yamaha and yamaha.

thoughts?

tex
 

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a dogfight between honda and yamaha? tex, where do you get such brilliant insight? okay, enough making fun. but yes, it's the usual suspects. perhaps ducati have their shit together? Checa was fast at the recent philip island test. colin edwards might cause honda some trouble too. i think honda didn't listen to what he had to say about the bike. but now that he's associated with the Rossi/Burgess genius, maybe he'll do something. i think he's a good rider, just not a very good development rider. it's also a shame he's such a goober. Edwards is a bit of a question mark, Rossi is not a question mark, but other than that i think yamaha is kinda screwed. who are their other riders? Rolfo, a rookie, and Melandri who had like 7 DNFs last year. yeesh, how'd you like to be the manager of that team. i want the KTM/KR partnership to work out, i think that would be sweet. i wouldn't mind seeing Hopkins do well either, i feel like he deserves it for some reason. maybe with a fast team like Ducati using Bridgestones, Suzuki will benefit.
i could go on and on about this stuff...anyone else have thoughts?

Z
 

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I've always heard Edwards was a great development rider, I was thinking that's why Yamaha picked him up, to smooth out some wrinkles in their bike. Rossi won on the Yamaha but he had work at it like he never did on the Honda.
I think Edwards is a very good rider...but he has to work too hard to be "great". I also can't see him keeping his edge, nothing to do with age...but he's getting into the family thing, the comfortable thing...but then again it's now or never for him.
Nicky....I don't know..another guy that's very good but missing that "greatness", you can see these guys working too hard on the track. They force themselves to be good, unlike Rossi who let's himself be great.
I think it will be a replay of last year...Gibbernow...and Rossi. And yes I know his name is not spelled Gibbernow.

And yet.... I wonder about Rossi...How long can he keep his facination with bike racing...although he's probably smart enough to get out of it when's he's not giving it his all, as he is very aware of his image and reputation.
JohnnyB
 

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yeah zach, on my insight, i guess your right! what i meant to say is that i think honda was thoroughly embarrassed last year and that they will be throwing everything in their power to get the title back home (like 40 ton of cash). i also think that rossi and edwards together with burgess will be brilliant, giving edwards his own opportunity to make it to the podium this year many times. don't count out colin as a development guy, he wasn't too shabby in superbike when he dominated bayliss on the vtr. i agree with your opinion on hopper. i think he has shown great poise and patience with suzuki, and would love to see him especially, or any other american do well, but i'm still rooting for vale!

my podium prediction for jerez on 4/8: 1st- rossi, 2nd- gibbernow (funny, johnny b!), 3rd- edwards......we'll see!

tex

p.s.- i was told that sete is the great grandson of count bulto (bultaco founder), any truth to that?
 

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Remember..the hype about Honda's GP racing budget is pretty much...hype. Honda has a HUGE racing budget...but they race F1, Superbike, GP, motocross, and every other freakin form of racing in the world. Their MotoGP budget is in line with what the other big names are capable of spending. Obviously Yamaha has a few dollars to spend. Honda reaps huge rewards from cross purposing their R&D, using their knowledge derived from F1 and other efforts to speed development across the board.
It's Honda's dedication to racing that is more of a factor than their money.

Honda is in a tough spot.....they had the best bike last year. Yamaha had the best rider. I'm not sure if any amount of work or money can make a bike so much better than the competition that Rossi can be taken down by a lesser rider. In my opinion Rossi is so much better a rider that he alone can juggle the whole GP scene solely by deciding who he wants to ride for. Give him a machine within 5% of the other machines and he will win on it.
JohnnyB
 

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i'm interested, johnnyB, which wrinkle do you think Edwards will be able to smooth out of the Yamaha that Rossi couldn't? i've just never heard anything about edwards being a good development rider. he rode better with RC51 forks on the 211V in his first year. at any rate, i don't think edwards was picked up for development on Rossi's team. Rossi, i have read, is the ultimate development rider. Burgess says he can process up to 3 times more information that Doohan ever could. when Burgess first started working with him Rossi would want to change like 3 settings at once during practice or testing and Burgess though "well mick would only ever do one at a time, who does this italian kid think he is". then Burgess learned that Rossi's brain could in fact handle changing all three settings at once and be able to tell the difference. and i dunno if anyone remembers Doohan, but he wasn't bad.

i agree with what everyone is saying about Honda, but keep in mind that it is not always a positive thing to have such an empire in racing. empires have a history of falling apart. Ducati Corse is convinced the reason they can compete with the big japanese companies is because they are a small group of people who get along well and work closely with each other. i think that is just what Burgess and Rossi have taught Yamaha, that massive technology and money doesn't necesarily do the trick. Suzuki? lots of $$, F1 inspired 'fly-by-wire' throttle technology, and a transmission that pops out of gear. Honda is maintaining, but johnnyB's right about the hype. where's that V6 people were muttering about? i think Honda is just beginning to wrap their mind around the fact that more power isn't always the solution. this four-stroke revolution has turned the motorcycle premiership into a barrel race rather than a rodeo. not falling off is still important but more weight has been placed on controlling one's steed. i know someone's going to make fun of that analogy, but i like it.

did anyone think it was interesting when Kevin Cameron said at Valencia Nicky gave himself away by saying "i'm riding at 110%"? implying that by admiting he was trying as hard as he could he was giving up a psychological edge to the other riders. i thought it was a good point. i remember a rider telling me once, "you'd better pass me any chance you get because if i get the chance i won't have any mercy on you". i just smiled back. i can play well on your opponents if they don't know much about how you feel. you'll notice that Rossi often still celebrates on a cool down lap, waves at fans and so forth, even when he finishes second.
okay, i'm done...for now...

Z
 

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quote:

but other than that i think yamaha is kinda screwed. who are their other riders? Rolfo, a rookie, and Melandri who had like 7 DNFs last year. yeesh, how'd you like to be the manager of that team.
correction on that. Fortuna Yamaha's riders are Ruben Xaus and Tony Elias. still, a famous crasher and a rookie...so my point stands. my bad though, my bad.

Z
 

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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 homo or I'm going to do you in the butt with a Redbull can for a condom.
JohnnyB
 

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quote:
MotoGP obviously needs me as a rider motivation trainer....get out there and win you homo or I'm going to do you in the butt with a Redbull can for a condom.
Just make sure to turn the can so the logo is visible before reaming. Gotta get the sponsor plug in there...

I hope Sete can step it up this year. I want to see an actual race instead of Rossi toying with riders for 80% of the race then pulling away to win. Biaggi... bah... he's a poof and will be top 10, but just doesn't have the talent to be consistently up there.

I wish MotoGP was like World SBK a few years ago, with Haga making kamikazi passes on the Yamaha, Corser? on the Aprillia, Forgerty on the Duc. Back when Ben Bostrom didn't suck.
 

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I agree about WSBK a few years back. Some freakin great racing....that's what worried the GP guys so much...numerous WSBK races were drawing bigger crowds than GP.
JohnnyB
 

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quote: p.s.- i was told that sete is the great grandson of count bulto (bultaco founder), any truth to that?
I was talking to a guy who works for our company (Addidas-Salomon)in the Spanish office a couple of months and he told me this about Sete being the great grandson. I guess Sete brings his ski's into their shop to get waxed and likes to hang out and talk. When the Bulto's have a family reunion, instead of playing softball or volleyball like my family, they race a bunch of TSS's that grandpa keeps in the garage at some local track.
Their shop is just a few miles from the Valencia circuit and Sete hooks them up with pit passes for the pre season tests. They said he was a super nice guy.
bfd
 
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