I watched the race live until about lap 12, when the video stream went kaput. Although I am a Rossi fan, I am an American, and I was pulling for Hayden to win the championship this year. I have not been a Pedrosa fan--perhaps it's because he's just too damn good. Rookies aren't supposed to do as well as he has this year. Today, Pedrosa reminded us that he is indeed a rookie. With little chance to win the title, Pedrosa was undoubtedly under team orders to protect his Repsol teammate Nicky's position at all cost, much as Colin Edwards did for Rossi in this race. Instead, Pedrosa's will to win cancelled out team orders, and he stuck his front wheel inside of Nicky's on the fifth lap. The front tucked, Pedrosa low-sided into Nicky, taking both riders out. Nicky was naturally furious, pounding the gravel, shaking his fists at Pedrosa. Was it a rookie mistake? Or does Pedrosa lack what it takes to be a team player? If it's the latter, let's hope Nicky can get out of that contract he just signed with Repsol Honda. MotoGP is tough enough without your teammates trying to take you out.
Hayden was in the championship lead. Pedrosa was out of it. As his teammate, he had NO BUSINESS PASSING HIM. Every point he earns ahead of Hayden is a point Hayden doesn't get.
Once Nicky passed him, it was Pedrosa's duty as an HRC team member to stay back and keep pressure off of him. He never, EVER should have put himself in a position to be dicing with Hayden. And you can bet the team-oriented Honda brass feel the same way, in spades.
Which race were you watching? Colin was a rolling roadblock for a good portion of the race, keeping everyone off Vale's back. Pedrosa pulled the bonehead Kamakazi manuver of the year. I guarantee he won't get a christmas card from Kentucky this year. Ellias(?) rode the race of the year and KR Jr wasn't half bad either. One thing is for sure, the next race has the potential to be one of the best of the year.
Wasn't Hayden pretty much handed the points lead by bike problems Rossi had during the season? If Rossi's bike had been healthy, this whole discussion would be a moot point, because Hayden would not have been in the lead.
Don't get me wrong, he is a good rider, but he is not the caliber of Rossi. He has shown himself to have wonderful talent, but just as in years past, when he gets into the home stretch, he has all sorts of problems and cannot close the deal. It is not Pedrosa's fault Rossi got so close in the points, that fault lies in the hands of Hayden and HRC.
I would have preferred to see this go down to hte wire, and Hayden is not out by any stretch. The momentum has just shifted, that's all. Anyway, was there any real doubt that Rossi would not do well, and Hayden would have problems? That just seems to be the way it goes.
Fire Pedrossa? Hardly. IMO he's Honda's best hope for the future.
Also, this is Nicky's 1st major setback in an otherwise very consistent season. Rossi's had several disasters this season. If one setback like this destroys Nicky's chances of beating Rossi, then maybe he just doesn't have it this year.
I think everyone would agree that there isn't a rider quite at the level of Rossi, although the talent pool in MotoGP is quite deep. No one, Hayden and Pedrosa included, is at Rossi's level yet.
However, do not forget that MGP is very much a team sport. Factory, crew and rider all have to perform to win. Rossi's team and factory was not getting it done at many points in the season. It could certainly be argued that HRC hasn't been getting it done as of late, either. HRC admitted in a CNN report that they couldn't solve the problems with the developmental clutch on Hayden's bike. Posturing and disinformation, maybe. But they've had their own problems, obviously.
If Rossi is to win, fine. But the last thing anyone wanted to see was the championship potentially decided by a hairbrained move by Hayden's own team mate.
Besides the possible clutch problem Hayden has had every opportunity to win. He didn't really win enough while others were having problems. Rossi had a DNF. Hayden has one now too. No matter what caused the DNF it is now even. So to say Hayden was robbed is not really true. He could have placed better in some other races to have a better point lead.