Hayden???? HAYDEN???? Are you nuts? go look at Hayden's standing in the championship and that on what is supposed to be the best Honda out there. Hayden's tactic has been to go slow and hope people in front of him fall. He is like Biaggi with less talent. Even Barros (or "zombie Barros" as he's known) has been doing better than Hayden and nobody would mistake Barros for a world champion.
Yamaha already has the best development team in the universe with Rossi / Burgess, so I doubt they're looking to Colin to help evolve the M1. But what Yamaha does get is a smart rider who never falls down and consistently scores in the top 10. Toss in a couple podiums as a bonus, and you have the perfect teammate for producing a Gauloises team victory to ring in Yamaha's 50th anniversary.
Edwards is a solid rider, I rate him higher than the average also-ran, but he hasn't distinguished himself as one of the top riders in MotoGP (not yet anyway), and particularly not in the development area. But boy has he complained a lot, I hope he quits that habit when he joins Yamaha.
The differences are indeed dramatic. However, clumsy control inputs are not something found at the highest levels of motorcycle racing. Not in the 50s', 60s', 70s', 80's, 90s' or today. So though it is true that being clumsy will quickly land you in the hay bales, it isn't anything that you'd of caught Agostini, Hailwood, Reed, Roberts, Sheen, Spencer, Gardner, Lawson, Rainey, Schwantz, Doohan, etc doing. Therefore, I still maintain that they would not be caught-out by the excellence of today's MotoGP bikes. In fact, it is my assertion that the mid-80s' through late 90s' riders dealt with by far the hardest to ride motorcycles ever produced for racing.
That said, I do think that Rossi is one of the all time motorcycle racing greats and perhaps "the best ever" -Sean
This is probably something most people who follow racing already know but by 2007 the MotoGP bikes are going to be required to run 900cc as opposed to the current limit of 990cc. The reasoning being they are too fast and officials are having safty concerns. But all may not be as it seems (i.e. less cc = safer less hp bike). From the article I read:
"Veteran correspondent Michael Scott commented that the capacity reduction could in fact lead to peakier bikes that are more difficult to ride than the current machines. Also, that such restrictions merely present a challenge to engineers to extract more horsepower from fewer cc's. This may be the case, but one has to wonder where it will lead. "
I agree. However, like any rule, it becomes meaningless and invalid if it's only enforced selectively. I always bag on the AMA for enforcing rules when they feel like it, but the FIM in MotoGP this year has been just as bad. The total lack of a penalty for Capirossi was unacceptable after what they did to Hopper last year for the exact same "infraction."
Oh I'm with you 100%. That's actually what I was (poorly) trying to say. I was going back to the insurance comment, which stated that the supersport bikes of today on the street are hard to control. That isn't precisely true. What's true is that they are very finely tuned, and respond instantly. To bad control inputs, to the street rider, this is bad.
For good / experienced riders, however, this is good. In other words, what I stated rather poorly, was the observation that it's not the bikes that are the problem (again, tying back to the nonsense from the Manitoba report) - it's almost always rider error.
A skilled racer would liekly not be caught out by today's bikes - but would likely begin denigrating today's riders, because the bikes are so easy to ride compared to the older ones, I would imagine. Note that I haven't ridden a late-80s Honda MotoGP bike, nor any of the current crop, so I'm probably talking out of my ass.