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Well, who would have predicted that?



Really happy for Hayden but a little disappointed that we were deprived of the big showdown. That said, even if he had not binned it, Rossi didn't look like he had it today. A terrible start and Chris V. was making things tough for him before the yellow bike, incredibly, went down. I was shocked.



Rossi showed incredible grace in defeat.



What happens next year? With the new 800cc regs, how will the playing field change? Will Suzuki get a real bike? Will the Franco-Japanese alliance at Kawasaki become a legitimate power or simply surrender early in the campaign? Is all forgiven in the Repsol paddock and will HRC get its act totally together? Will KR have a second bike (not piloted by Kurtis Roberts)? Will Ilmor get proper funding? Is Ducati now the biggest threat? Will Casey Stoner ever get out of the gravel?



Should be fun.
 

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I also read other comments where Rossi said that if he couldn't win the championship, he wanted Hayden to do it because he is "a great guy." He was very impressed that Earl came to his motorhome after the Estoril race and congratulated him, calling Mr. Hayden a real gentleman. He also said that his relationship with Nicky hasn't changed since Hayden arrived in 2003, which is very difficult to achieve and unusual at this level of racing.



He also threw in a little jab at Pedrosa, saying that Hayden handled several incidences of Dani's aggressive riding with class.
 

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No doubt. After reading several of Valentino's post-race comments, he almost sounds as if he's defending Hayden against detractors and saying things that he obviously couldn't say during the title chase.
 

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Yup. More specifically, he said that he thought by getting caught between two other bikes, the M-1 was not getting proper cooling and losing HP.
 
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