WEll, one thng about Agostini and Rossi is that comparing them is comparing apples and oranges. Ago would race the 350, win that race, then get on the 500 and race that too (same day) and, much as I loved him when I was growing up, the MV Agusta was a dominating machine, almost never broke down (bikes used to break down more in racing than today) and Ago never made a mistake. What Rossi did this year is unbelievable: Honda for much of the year should have had the better bike, but Rossi negated that advantage. I think beside his enormous talent as racer, he must be absolutely excellent at helping his team set up and improve the bike.
I have to admit, I like what Rossi and Ricky's team changes have done for MotoGP and will do for AMA MX. Honda is dominant in both and having two of the best riders to ever straddle a motorcycle riding for them kind of made things ho hum. But Rossi getting on a Yamaha- that wasn't considered competitive last year- took on the question (and now answered it) "is it Rossi or the bike winning these races?".
Same will go for Ricky on a Suzuki. Plus, we get to see James Stewart in the mix. Can't wait, it's going to be fun.
Of course, tires, chassis, suspension and power delivery all all much better understood by today's engineers and all of them have had MAJOR strides made in the realm of ridability and control. So, although it is true that the bikes are much faster today, they are also much more tunable and most likely easier to ride than say a 1970s' Yamaha TZ-700.
I think it's unfortunate that Rossi and Sete are no longer on speaking terms. When Edwards and Bayliss were in WSB, they had great mutual respect for each other. Bayliss even sort of took up for Edwards when Honda gave their Repsol spot to Nicky.
The first race of the season was the most impressive to me. No one was really thinking that Rossi would be a contender this year or that he would get on the podium until midway through the season. Rossi, more than any other racer I've watched, makes me believe that as long as he's on the track, he can win. Winning under pressure is the difference between him and so many others. He doesn't seem to calculate where he can finish and still win in overall points, he just goes for the win. I feel lucky to be watching a living legend and I can't wait until Laguna Seca next year!
Mladin is a wonderful rider to be sure. But with the likes of Roberts, Lawson, Spencer, Rainey, and Schwantz, each of whom went on to achieve greater things at a higher level during their primes, I would argue against Mladin being the best AMA Racer ever (as opposed to the most accomplished at that level). Spencer never won the AMA Superbike title (as I recall), and I think he would have run circles around Mladin with both at their best. And Schwantz would have handed Mladin his head on a plate, to say nothing of a guy like Russel. IMHO.
The only thing that hinders Rossi's legacy is the lack of a definitive competitor, a la Schwantz and Rainey. It has now become clear that Biaggi, while extremely talented, can't harness the consistency and fire necessary to beat Rossi. He's brilliant one week, 8th the next. Gibernau has showed signs of following Biaggi into also-random, but his recent antipathy towards Rossi may be a welcome realization that winning the championship requires more than a top bike and a sunny disposition.
Further down the order, we've been teased with flashes of brilliance from Tamada, Nakano, and the Suzuki boys, but these guys have the added burden of inconsistent equipment holding them back. It's tough to win when your tires don't stick and your motor stops firing.
In the absence of a true rivalry, we're left with a contrived Rossi vs. HRC show-down, which doesn't mean anything if the HRC riders don't show up to the fight. So unless Biaggi / Gibernau take it to another level, another manufacturer bottles 990cc's of foolproof lightning, or maybe a young rider (Pedrosa?) lights MotoGP on fire, we'll be subject to another Rossi championship in 2005. And then it's only a matter of time before he moves on with his legacy of domination, but no real challenger to linger in our memories.
Federal Budgets for dummies (W) and San DeEggo State grads
"We can always raise taxes on lower middle class types like yourself"
Well If your man W wouldn't have bankrupted the treasury to finance his tax cut to his supporters (the wealthist 1%) during a war (what a fracking idiot), there would be no need to raise taxes on us hard-working honest Americans.
You raised some excellent points. I have a feeling that Sete has made the realization you pointed out. Albeit a little late. His body language was that of a competitor not happy with what transpired earlier on the track. I think if Honda put their resources behind Hayden and him they could knock off Rossi. Rossi is beatable but I don't think Edwards, Biaggi, Barros, Melandri, Bayliss, Hopkins etc., have what it takes. Hayden and Sete have it I think. Biaggi will never get there cause like the movie Faster showed he is already riding at his limits and he uses that 250cc riding style. IMHO.
Great move for Yamaha. They just took one of the best development riders, outside of Rossi, away from Honda.
Colin took the SP-2 from an over built rigid sled and cut frame supports out to make it more ridable and won the WSB world championship in one of the best come from behind seasons ever in the WSB history. Rumor has it that his better results at the end of this season are due to Honda working with him on development of his bike. Something Honda has only done this year with the Factory squad and then later with Sete after he started showing good results.
Honda doesn't deserve Colin's help after the way they stiffed him by not offering him a ride following the SBK championship.
Thank you Yamaha again. First the news about Moto GP coming to US now they sign Colin. That's respect to US fans.
I'm pretty sure I never said anything about Mladin, much less Austrailains in general. I happen to really like our friends down under. The women seem to be really hot and that accent is really sexy coming from one of them.
Now, that being said, I still find it an honor to be mentioned in the group of people that have pissed you off.
I think that "harder to control" has different meanings in different contexts.
I would submit that today's bikes can accept much finer control inputs, and will respond immediately and predictably. However, that means that clumsy or excessive control input will also yield catastrophic results much more quickly.
The implication is that today's bikes are actually much easier to ride fast when you are paying attention to what you are doing - but will similarly get you in trouble much more quickly. You can prove it to yourself by riding a bike from 4 or 5 years ago, and riding the latest and greatest from today. The differences are, surprisingly, pretty dramatic.