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The second Yamaha was a whopping 36 seconds behind Rossi! Norick Abe said he couldn't believe it when he saw it.

But what a race, Rossi and Biaggi really went at it from the start, the intensity was incredible, well done to both.

It must have been tough for the other Honda's, being outclassed by Rossi and Biaggi like that, ouch...

Here's Biaggi's comment on the race (from his website, http://www.max-biaggi.com/Eng/Racing.htm?NNews=137):

Hey guys,

Did you enjoy the today?s race? I did, for sure. We kept an incredibly fast rhythm, and I enjoyed the race so much that I?m not even tired. I could start again right now even if I gave the 110% . We set up the new material we received from Honda in just four hours, or better, we understood something about it. And with this I wish to underline the great job made by my team. It has been the best way to remember Antonio. I think that we can get more from it with some extra time of work. In the last section of the track I was loosing something to Rossi and although I tried hard in the last lap, I was not able to pass him. Anyway, congratulations to him because he made a great race. I think than the mutual respect, above all after such a race, is indubitable. At the start the bike high-sided and I lost a fraction of time but, luckily, I was able to control it and I was third into the first turn. That gave me a great enthusiasm and after some fighting with Gibernau, me and Rossi went away. We lapped in 1?33 and something all the race long and despite the stress we gave them, our Michelin tyres were been something of superlative. As first race of the year was not so bad: we warmed up well, we got the rust off? A special thanks to the guys of the Fan Club that came so far, from Italy, to support me. It was fantastic to see you.
 

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Re: Max's Last Chance?

Exactly. Gibernau was good last season, but I rate Biaggi's chances higher this year.

Barros can be very fast, but not on a regular basis. Hayden is talented but still young, and at the moment off the pace (losing almost a second per lap, ouch). Edwards isn't up there yet either, he will have the regular first-year-on-a-new-bike problems. They will need to work hard to improve in the next few races. Probably the new 16.5 inch wheels most teams are using take some getting used to as well. The thing is, to win the championship you need to be on the podium just about every every time, and it's hard to catch up during the season.

Of course, it's only the first race, but Biaggi and Rossi sure beat the hell out of the rest of the field.

And yes, it's a shame that it's limited that the coverage is limited during the race, but I wouldn't have missed a minute of the battle in front, incredible stuff. I really had the feeling I was watching a historic event ;-)

Oh, it's also a shame to see Ducati having problems with their new bike! It seems Bayliss can be taken off the list of contenders...
 

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Indeed, and in the end it's always the combination of rider and bike that wins, to greater glory for both. I do get the impression Yamaha has stepped up the development effort, of course directed by Rossi and Burgess.



That's the thing though, the Honda guys are suddenly finding themselves without this team

developing the RCV for them, they have to do it themselves now. Suddenly they have problems with grip, chatter, don't know what tyres to choose, yadi-yadi-yada.



Perhaps the few months old RCV parts developed by Rossi & Burgess weren't so bad, at least they had been further developed than the stuff that comes straight from the factory, and you could always complain about the fact that you got the new bits later.



Again, I do think the change to 16.5 inch wheels plays a role as well, apparently they take some getting used to, adding another factor to the equation.



Biaggi made a big impression on me though, I think he's the Honda man to watch at the moment.
 
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