I'm glad to see Colin where he should be, on a first rank team with a proven machine. However, Rossi can't be counted out, no matter who he rides for. So my thoughts on the potential winner next year are Edwards, Gibernau, Rossi, Caparossi, or Bayliss. Ducati still has a very fast machine, perhaps the fastest straight line bike. Their first season was nothing short of amazing. If I have to guess at a winner next year, it would be Caparossi on the Duc.
Justice is done and the Texas Tornado will ... ride ... the Honda RCV.
I seem to recall that Honda treated Colin Edwards rather badly after he won the WSB championship.
If justice is really going to be done, Honda should make it up to him by providing the very best support next year.
I would have liked to see Colin kick butt on the Cube, but I don't blame him for making the move. He'll be a contender next year.
You say Rossi can't be counted out, and I agree. Besides the money I think he wants to prove that he can win on any competent ride. You watch and see, Yamaha is up to the challenge, and we already know Rossi is. Side note go Colin and Nicky.
i think rossi will be in the hunt on the yamaha. natural talent trumps machine shortcomings. plus yamaha will have enormous incentive to make their bike competitive. because if rossi loses it will be a huge loss of face for them.
This sets the stage for some great matchups. We'll get to see a replay of Edwards and Bayliss dicing it up as serious contenders. We'll get to see Nicky go from pupil to challenging his former tutor. We'll get to see if both Yamaha and Rossi can live up to some pretty serious pressure (and I'll bet they can) and live with each other if things don't go smoothly. We'll get to see Biaggi complain about ... whatever. And on top of it all, Sete's gotta think he just won the lottery for next year's title. It's gonna be some world-class excitement.
True, but.. I think Honda will also be wanting to prove their bike is the best, no matter the rider. So I'm thinking a seriously improved RCV next year and a committed factory to kick butt to show the world who's best.
Can we start the season now and avoid the rush? These changes ought to make everything much more interesting next year. Edwards deserves a competative ride, and this might be it. Could be a very exciting year for GP.
So now Edwards is riding on a competitive bike with a year's experience on GP tracks under his belt on an uncompetitive bike? Sounds like a master-stroke of tactics to me--no way he'd be top dog on a Honda that first year, so have him ride a different bike and see what the comp is up to while learning the rounds of GP racing. As an extra bonus, instill in him a sense of outrage to win and show Honda who's who. Plus Professional Wrestling-style soap opera of screwing him over first season in GP. Masterstroke on the part of Honda. I predict an Edwards, Gibernau/Hayden, Rossi1-2/2-3 finish next year. Should be exciting, anyway... Kudos to Rossi for putting cash ahead of glory and thus making 04 GP a much more exciting crazy-season spectacle. Although, Rossi was so far ahead and had so many come from way far behind podium finishes, its tough to see him in anything but the lead. Yeah, I'm looking forward to the 04 GP season...
I don't think it was just cash Rossi was after. It's hard having a stigma attached to your abilities because of the quality of your ride. I think he really want's to prove he is one of (if not the best) GP racers of all time, and feels that doing it on a bike other than the accepted "best" is his way of proving it...