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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
"..possibly the best 500GP racer ever.." What? Is this a joke? After his first brilliant year you're calling him the best 500GP racer ever? Sorry...methinks he has to win quite a few more races and titles before he gets that honour bestowed to him. He MAY do it, but right now, the best 500 GP racer ever? Nope. You're mistaken.
 

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Ahem,

In case you didn't read the whole article, or hear the news about four strokes in GP next year, this was the last 500 GP ever.

Further, Valentino has, in fact, had 6 brilliant seasons in a row. He has won the 125, 250 and 500 GP championships, each one in only his second season in the class. If you look over the standings, you'll see that young Rossi took second place in overall points last year, his first 500 GP season. In fact, with the exception of his first season in the 125 GP, when he finished 9th in the standings, he has never finished lower than 2nd in overall points.

Oh yeah, he's the real deal.
 

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Okay, I don't dispute the fact Rossi is brilliant (and in my opinion the best roadracer in the world today) but to call him the best ever is insane. What about Doohan, Agostini, Hailwood or a dozen others. Rossi has the potential to be the greatest of all time but not yet. At 22 I still think he has a ways to go.
 

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Just for fun, I compiled some 500 GP stats:

Of all the 500 GP riders that have won 10 or more races, there are only 6 with higher winning percentages* than Rossi:

[*]John Surtees - 92.31%
[*]Mike Hailwood - 71.15%
[*]Giacomo Agostini - 70.83%
[*]Geoff Duke - 59.46%
[*]Freddie Spencer - 44.44%
[*]Kenny Roberts - 44.00%
[*]Valentino Rossi - 40.63%
[*]Mick Doohan - 39.42%
[*]Wayne Rainey - 32%
[*]Phil Read - 28.95%
[*]Barry Sheene - 28.36%
[*]Kevin Schwantz - 27.17%
[*]Eddie Lawson - 25.83%
[*]Wayne Gardner - 19.15%
[*]Alex Criville - 10.79%
[*]Randy Mamola - 10.74%

So what does all this prove? Nothing really, but there's one way it could be interpretted: Rossi is the winningest 500 GP rider since Freddie Spencer. That was a long time ago, race fans.

*Winning percentage is 500 GP wins divided by 500 GPs contested.
 

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rossi record breaker.

There is only ONE man to have won ALL three titles and that is Surtees.And no oe has Rossi achievements by 22. As for Race wins, i believe, only hailwood did so by Rossi's age.

Also keep in mind, that today all classes are far more competitive than in yesteryear, with most machines at the tech limit due to 30 years of the same restrictive rules;therefore, the bikes are as close as they have ever been.
 

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Re: rossi record breaker.

Don't know what you mean with Surtees winning ALL three titles. He did 500s from '57 to '60, ie 4 years and won in '58, '59 and '60 after Gilera withdrew. ie he had to beat just his team-mate, as the rest of the field were well-outclassed on Nortons against his 4-cylinder MV. Same is true for Agostini and Hailwood, also riding MVs in the 60s and 70s. They had a couple of years competing against each other with Hailwood on Honda and Agostini on MV, dividing the spoils between them. Spencer was clearly spectacularly good, if only he hadn't burn out after a couple of years. Rainey, Schwantz, Lawson, Gardner, KR were good but flawed. Really leaves only Doohan, who would have dominated the whole of the 90s but for the Assen crash in '92.

Best ever is a toss-up between Doohan and Rossi.
 

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I think Rossi has the potential to be the best ever GP racer, but this can't be judged until he has finished his career. We've yet to see how he handles severe setbacks that many champions have to face. So far he's been fairly lucky in that he hasn't really injured himself badly yet. It will be interesting to see what effect his first accident that results in a substantial injury will have on him. Will he be as fast when he finds out how much it can hurt?
 

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Rossi's good, very good, may have been the greatest, but who will ever know? This new MotoGP class is a load of BS. All this crap about "The last 500cc race" is really quite distressing. They should either allow unlimited capacity in 2 or 4 strokes or leave the bloody class as it is. What Id love to see is some huge ass 2-strokes again like the Kawasaki H2 750's of the 1970's. Ive been to classic racer meets where the H2R's have absolutely killed anything in their path including overworked 1100cc - 1300cc Honda and Suzi 4 strokes. The 2 stroke is a race bred machine, it shouldn't be held back because of politics and Honda's non-stop whinging about the ugliness of 2 strokes. No mufflers and mammoth 2 strokes... now thats racing!



Conrats Valentino!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was specifically replying to the "best 500GP racer ever.." quote. Yes, I know he's won both 125, and 250. That's doesn't make him the greatest 500GP racer does it? Nope. That's a very bold statement to make after only 2 500GP seasons. Sorry. He's got a ways to go before he's the "best" at anything...but I agree he's the real deal. Just hasn't reached "greatest" status yet.
 

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Who was the most fun to watch?

What I'd like to know is which of these great racers was the most fun to watch. Rossi is the only one I've seen thanks to Speedvision, and even they don't show his most entertaining antics, such as the costumes, etc.
 

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Re: rossi record breaker.

I think by "all three", he meant 125, 250, and 500 titles. It's kind of silly though, since others have won titles in 3 different displacement categories, back when there were more than just those 3.

I'm not old enough to remember racing from the 60's and 70's, but I've heard the same from others (that it wasn't nearly as competitive then).

I'm not disagreeing with you, but what do you mean when you say that "Rainey, Schwantz, Lawson, Gardner, KR were good but flawed"?

You could easily argue that Rossi is "flawed", in that he's not always very good in the rain... he was awesome in Italy in the rain this year (until he crashed 2 corners from the end), but he was (relatively) awful in the other rain races. Is that the kind of flaw you're talking about?

No doubt in my mind, though... Rossi has a long way to go to be better than Doohan. He certainly has the potential, but this is a conversation to be had in 2006, when people are talking about changing the rules because it's so boring watching Rossi win nearly every race wire-to-wire by 20 seconds.
 

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Colin,



I, for one, hope that you're back next year. I've enjoyed your timely coverage of the GP circus this year. Nothing can replace watching the race, but your descriptions are way beyond a simple results sheet. And I appreciate your participation in the discussions, too. Good luck to you in whatever you do.



Dave
 

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i wholeheartedly agree with you

people are like "wow, the new 990cc 4strokes wll be monsters, boasting 10-50 more horsepower than the 500's". well, i just wish they would unleash a 990cc 2stroke. tire development would grow leaps and bounds then, i bet
 

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Re: Who was the most fun to watch?

Probably depends on the viewer... to my eyes:

Rossi is more "entertaining", because he's young and flamboyant, because he has a clear and entertaining rival, and because the racing has been fairly close.

Doohan was more "amazing" because he was just so much better than everyone else. It still amazes me that interviewers would ask him whether he would be willing to slow down during the races just to make it seem like the racing was close.

So, it depends on what you think is "fun to watch"... entertaining or amazing. I find both fun to watch.
 

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Re: Hows that, then?

Huh? I'm finding it difficult to believe that the tire manufacturers are holding back so much right now.

That's not to say that a hugely more powerful bike wouldn't require different tires. I'm just not convinced that the development of such different tires would genuinely advance the state of the art of motorcycle tire manufacturing.

But, more importantly, don't you think that lots more horsepower would lead to LESS exciting races? I mean, as it is now, it's a relatively rare move to pass mid-corner on a 500. Most passes are drafting moves, or on the brakes at the end of the straights, or because of a mistake by the other rider. The 250 class has less HP, and (usually) more dicing. The 125 class has even less HP, and even more dicing. See the trend?

Huge HP, especially large HP differentials between bikes (which is related), would amount to more of a series of drag races between turns, rather than true road racing.

Don't get me wrong, I love drag racing, but I don't see any need to make the new MotoGP class into a drag racing class.
 

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I'm a big fan of 2-strokes, even more so now that I've ridden an Aprilia RS250. WHY can't we have street-legal bikes like that here?? 2-strokes may not be the cleanest, most fuel-efficient, or easiest to ride well, but dammit, they're fun!!



Alan, come out to the the right side of the country sometime and I'll let you goof about on my CR250 motard. I have finally gotten around to ordering the wheels up..should have 'em all set up by the new year :)
 

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It becomes much harder to maintain that average when you increase the number of years participating and therefore the denominator in that formula. Without taking away anything from Rossi (I believe he will be one of the greatest) given that all top gp riders have a similar level of talent, a particular brand (specially Honda) favoring one of their pilots can skew the final outcome on a particular year.

It is a well known fact that two bikes from the same team (never mind brand) can have different hp outputs. Then, you need to find the perfect tune up (engine, tranny and suspension) for a particular racetrack. And, in this case, Rossi has Doohan (He really is one of the greatest, if not the greatest) on his side to help him with the tunning.
 
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