New Ducati very strong in testing... [and other stuff]

Discussion in 'Motorcycle Racing' started by pablo, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. pablo

    pablo Guest

    ....according to Spanish news, Capirossi beat Tamada's classifying record by
    several 10th of a second while testing. Supposedly Checa used race compund
    tires (not classification tires Capirossi shoed on) and his time was better
    that anyone's in the race, and a personal best. In contrast, Gibernau lapped
    ..5s slower than these guys, and supposedly was very short with everyone,
    seemingly extremely disappointed that negotiations with Honda have broken
    down and that he will *not* have any special status with Honda in '05, HRC
    having stated Biaggi and Hayden are going to be the top Honda riders and
    everyone else is satellite. A moronic decision, but hey, it's Honda.
    Melandri was lapping at Gibernau's pace, but fell off in the process.

    As to the whole rider get-around and the discussions that have taken place
    in the forum... well, it's obvious from my posting history that I am not a
    huge Checa (or Gibernau, for that matter) fan, but of course Checa was bound
    to score a ride. I mean, face it, the fact for all the criticism he gets he
    finished the championship with just as many points as golden boy Hayden, who
    gets to stay in HRC. And yes, while Barros ought to have done far, I mean
    FAR, more with the status he got, it's not like he got outclassed. Fact is
    there aren't too many who are guaranteed to finish ahead of him. Not Hayden,
    who finished handily behind on points.

    The end result in points to me is a clear indocation of who should continue
    to have a ride in MotoGP. Someone starts to slip, they'll start a downward
    progression, as has now been the case with Barros - but however kicking him
    out would not make any sense as long as he keeps being a solid top 10 rider.

    To me there were only a few riders this year that truly provided good Rossi proved he's the best with some margin (I was reading a Brit mag the
    other day where Bayliss is quoted as laughing during some GP qualifier when
    Rossi steals his show and beats his -until then- leading time, and just
    stating "Look at that, he's just the best."). Then there was Tamada, who was
    on fire a few times, and Hopkins, Nakano and Xaus looking like they'd
    deserve better rides on some occasion.

    Then there was the contingent of riders who performed at the level we knew
    they would, which when they've been around for a while starts to taste
    stale: Gibernau, Hayden, Edwards, Checa, Capirossi and the rest.


    Barros. He proved to be a solid top 10 rider. However he was there to
    challenge for number 1, and was never even in contention. At least no one
    will ever be able to say henceforth that on the best bike Barros would set
    the world on fire. He did just like he would have done on any other bike.

    Biaggi. Fell apart under pressure, visibly, and came together again after
    his championship hopes had vanished. It's such a clear pattern that I offer
    1:5 odds to anyone willing to bet: he will *not* win in '05, either. We'll
    start hearing the whole thing about parts that don't work, not enough
    control, the tires this and that, the glove cutting into his finger... it's
    never him. The guy is fragile, he's never been able to *once* say "Hey, I
    wasn't fast enough today" or "I made a mistake". And while I am not sure
    Gibernau is really faster (even though now he has a 2 year track record of
    finishing ahead of Biaggi), at least he's taken full ownership on occasion,
    showing far more mental strength. That's why I am more curious about what
    Gibernau might do on true HRC stuff. Gibernau might maybe have a chance.
    Biaggi, I am very sure now, doesn't, he'll just short-change himself again.
    Biaggi was the biggest disappointment to me this year, because while with
    Barros I suspected he had follower syndrome and might not make a number 1, I
    thought Biaggi would show more and give Rossi a run for his money.

    Bayliss. He was always off Capirossi's pace. Came around towards the end,
    though, so let's see how he does next year.

    Hodgson. Never did anything. His team-mate, Xaus, showed some moments.

    Kenny Roberts. What's Suzuki thinking? It's obvious KR doesn't want it
    anymore. He's just pulling a salary. It became blatant when he suddenly
    upped his results some because his team mate started to make him look real
    bad. he didn't salvage it, though. An ex-world champion that factually is
    number 2 in his own team? How often do you see that?

    pablo, Dec 2, 2004
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  2. pablo

    Julian Bond Guest

    This is the same old, same old, Repsol contract that says the Repsol
    team must get first dibs on any new stuff. The only solution for Sete is
    for Honda to work faster and feed the new stuff out to the satellite
    teams faster. Which will mean he'll get a bike designed for Biaggi's
    riding style.
    Julian Bond, Dec 2, 2004
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  3. pablo

    Paul B Guest

    Depends on how you look at it, Honda clearly will give the best bikes with
    the newest parts to their official team, these are expensive parts and Honda
    want to minimise outlay thus they have to limit how many of these expensive
    parts they distribute, it's also their desire for their team to win ahead of
    any other Honda team so they use whatever advantage they can, in this case
    development. Also from their view they have selected the best riders they
    think will benefit the team, now and in the future, they have hedged their
    bets on Biaggi winning the championship this year and Hayden developing his
    skills to be a championship winner next year. It's a gamble, last year they
    expected Barros to more competitive, they selected the wrong guy, easy to
    see in hindsight but not so easy before hand. This year Biaggi may have it
    all come together, he is well capable of taking the championship and Honda
    are prepared to back him, then again he may be another Barros, would
    Gibernau be a better bet? Maybe but for whatever reason he didn't want to
    leave his current team so Max was the next choice, or maybe Honda think Max
    is a better risk than Sete. Who knows.
    Max didn't do that bad, he was taken out twice by nothing more than bad luck
    at tracks he could have possibly won on and once through his own error of
    judgement, his history in 500 and Moto GP has had him 2nd or 3rd every
    championship, the guy is an amazing talent, this year if he can find a
    synergy with the bike then I really believe he could walk it, and he has the
    full Honda might behind him.

    Paul B, Dec 3, 2004
  4. pablo

    Julian Bond Guest

    These are all just excuses for a double bind they are in where their
    primary team is sponsored by one company and their most competitive
    rider is sponsored by another one. If they can't resolve that then
    they're buggered again. And it looks like they can't resolve it. If they
    can only build 2 or 3 maximum spec bikes, then have to leak one of them
    out to Sete without Repsol noticing. And when Sete beats both the Repsol
    riders (again) they'll just have to smile sweetly to Repsol, shrug and
    say "very sorry, will work harder for Repsol riders next year".
    Julian Bond, Dec 3, 2004
  5. pablo

    pablo Guest

    The disappointing thing isn't the fact that he ddin't "do that bad" - for
    anyone else the results would have been a huge success. But let us be
    honest - we wanted Biaggi to be a part of an epic battle to clinch the
    title, and he wasn't remotely close in the end.
    If this were truly that accurate, then he would not have ended at such a
    considerable points distance from Rossi, because Rossi's own 2 bad mistakes
    would have evened out the difference. Fact is that Biaggi scores average
    results on a significant number of tracks - and that's where the final
    points difference comes from. Not from the times he fell off through others'
    mistake. The other top riders had their own DNFs. It's when they finished
    races that Biaggi all in all did not score as competitively as the others.
    Sure. But what is disappointing is that in a year where things seemed geared
    up for him to make a real run for 1 he was not even that close. And for all
    the discussion about bad luck, the fact may just be that Biaggi is another
    Barros - very fast when things suit him, but all in all not a true number 1.
    Not while Rossi is around. Or perhaps even not when Gibernau has a similar
    That's never been disputed. This is the elite of the sport. From first t
    last, they're among the very, very best in the sport. Their talent is never
    the question. It's been proven and established long before they even came
    close to a MotoGP ride, in my opinion.
    I think it's been established he needs clear bike superiority to win against
    Rossi. Equal terms won't do - Rossi will beat him 9 times out of 10 then.
    Honda better give him a significant machine advantage. Which they may well
    be able to do now.

    pablo, Dec 3, 2004
  6. pablo

    Bill Smith Guest

    Who gets what trick parts is decided more by agreements made before
    the season starts than by their expense. What costs all the money is
    development time, not the time it takes to actually make the
    individual parts. Very little of modern MotoGp hondas are made by
    hand, one off, frames, swingarms and the like, but engine and
    suspension parts are all produced on CNC equipment and just don't take
    that long to do. I'd bet the "A" team guys have an agreement that no
    matter how many new parts are produced they get them first and the "B"
    team guys get them later, if at all.

    Bill Smith
    Bill Smith, Dec 25, 2004
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