I think you are right, Valentino Rossi must be the greatest motorcycle racer that ever lived!
Would love to see him on an old Suzuki Bandit 1200 or a Buell XB12 or even a H-D Sportster and see just how many people he could leave behind with them mounted on the latest and greatest sport bikes down a very tight and twisty mountain road.
Rossi does seem to be the greatest ever. He is so good, its easy to ignore how good his non-rivals are.
But you hit the greater loss, the loss of the historic Assen circuit. What a shame that development can't co-exist with such history.
Better question, when will the US build a world class GP/F1 circuit. Laguna is fine (I'll be there), but we need a real world class road course, something like Road America, but with modern facilities, runoff and safety. A real circuit for the F1 cars (see the Indy fiasco 2 weeks ago) and, perhaps, 2 MotoGP races in the US.
Given the building of courses in Malaysia, Shanghai, Qatar (?), why can't the US build a course like Mugello?
How frustrating must it be for these other guys to continually finish second to Rossi? I mean, they are all ridiculously fast and probably riding slightly better bikes. Gibernau et. al. must go home and just tear their hair out.
I think we can all agree that Rossi is a freakin' freak. I'm constantly amazed at how consistent he is and how he never seems to make the big mistake.
By the way, the assumption that he's on an inferior bike might be in error. I've seen a number of magazine pieces where jounalists (including Cathcart) who have had the chance to ride the top bikes said that the M1 (2004) was superior to the Honda (and, of course, the Duc, Suzuki and Kawasaki). Take that for what it's worth--these are still jounalists who've not taken the bikes to the absolute limit--but I think it's reasonable to argue that the M1 is at least the equal of the Honda.
Oh, and a nice showing for the Americans (for once)
Great job by Edwards and Hayden. In fact, we might have seen Nicky on the podium, too had it not been for Gibernau trying to saw is leg off. Just goes to show that one small mistake like running a bit too wide can kill you at that level.
Edwards did a great job catching the leaders after getting a crummy start and being bogged down in traffic a bit.
Hard to tell, I think the Yamaha is not the most powerful there (Capirossi is faster than Rossi in the straightaways, for ex.) but it's the best "tuned" bike (engine, suspensions, etc.) and that must be in great part because of Rossi and Burgess. If you see "Faster," pay attention to what they say about Valentino's ability to tell the mechanics exactly what to do to make the bike better. I would think Yamaha and Honda are probably just about equal as bikes, but then there's Rossi.... Melandri was quoted after the race as saying that he thought he could catch Rossi before the last lap, but that his bike (because of tires) was getting really squirrelly, and, of course, that's when Rossi set the fastest lap...
Looks like Michelin have solved all the problems as far as Rossi's style of riding is concerned. I watched the race through the on board camera and noticed that he seemed to use a much looser line than the guys in front and behind him. It seemed to spread the wear over a wider stripe on each side.
After setting fastest lap on the last lap, he burned a 360 degree donut and took another lap; the rear tire STILL looked good. Yet the other riders had tire trouble at the end.
The last few races there's been no doubt about the winner after the 10th lap.
Face it folks. King Kenny is dethroned, fast freddie ain't so fast anymore. Not taken anything away from the moto gods of the past, but we are looking at the true embodyment of a motorcycle racing god.
Rossi has nothing to prove any more, he can just pick the next challenge he want. Ducati, WCM, KTM/Roberts?????
I'd wager that he will either get a kings ransom from Yamaha for one more season, or get a kings ransom from Ducati. Then he can be the first mult championship rider on three manufacturers.
The only thing that stands in his way is boredom.
The only thing stopping the competition is Rossi.
Oh, and prop's to Shinya Nakano, if he can get some A grade michelin tire on that Kaw, he might stay with the front runners. Nicky and Edwards look to be raising their games up as well.
Biaggi will be lucky to get a Honda ride next year.