You bet! And Colin Edwards was second fastest on race rubber. My point is (I should have written more) that if Hayden really thinks he has only two rders to fear this year he's likely to be terribly disappointed very soon.
I doubt he DOES believe it; his comment is probably a slap at his partner Max and a challenge to the other young riders. Could be an interesting year, don't you think?
I don't think Nicky was being particularly presumptuous. He estimated the Rossi and Gibbers where the only sure title contenders. I don't think this is inconsistent with the opinions of other MotoGP observers.
And if Nicky also sees himself as a title contender, how else should any top rider see himself?
Personally I'm routing for lots of people...
For the young guns, Hopper, Hayden and Melandri.
For Gibbers to finally beat Rossi.
For Bayliss to beat Ducati.
For Edwards to beat Honda.
For Ducati to make a come back.
For Tamada to show his worth.
For Nakano to whip that green machine to the front.
For Rossi to continue being the consumate class act that he is.
LOL, basically I'm routing for everyone but Biaggi... He's a good rider and deserves some wins, too, but as long as he's a whiner, I'll decline to route for him.
Steve V., I agree with your list, too. Except I'm adding a little wish for KR-KTM to be competitive. That would be fun, too.
And I don't think it's particularly presumptuous for Nicky to discount Biaggi. The dude is as a big a choke artist and a whine-a$$ as there is. A good rider? Sometimes. But, frankly, he's overrated. Of course, it's Nicky's third year, so he'd better put up consistently better results than Max, or he'll be pulling that riding boot out of his mouth.
It's hard to root against Rossi, but it would be nice to see someone else win this year.
Wow. Really? Been waiting to hear anything STRONGLY critical out of N.H.s mouth, hes such the normally polite kid. For years I pulled for Max according to the bike he sat on, now I look for his failure at the hands of Rossi. Just cant pull for what 90% of racers concider main spoilt diva. Such a great rider, such thin skin. Still enjoying yamarossi victory over last years greater opposition.
I'm a little late coming into this, but from my perspective Nicky is setting up for a great year. Honda extended the contract because they know he's going to be a "long-haul" superstar. Rossi will leave GP at the end for the Yamaha contract and go straight to F1. That means Sete and Nicky will be the future. Tamada will certainly improve but the real money is on Nicky carrying this sport for the next decade. The real trick will be watching Kawasaki struggle with the fact that they have two more Hayden brothers waiting for their shot. I'd imagine that Roger Lee gets his chance within the next three years. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. Out........