Makes perfect sense. The F1 guys get obscene money to wheel those things around. Vale knows it and wants in. Ferrari needs a new hero and Vale will comply. It gives Nicky a chance at a GP championship for '07.
It couldn't possibly be worse than this year. Rossi circulates for 24 laps, passes Gibernau on the inside and pulls a 2 second gap on the last 4 laps for the win. Nicky sweats blood to just make the podium.
But next year, he isn't going to risk his new multi-trillion lira contract with Ferrari. Riders with nothing to lose and everything to win might make some risky passes on him and he'll just have to pull back, ya reckon?
Wouldn't that make the MotoGp championship a little hollow? Sure it would be nice to win, but I would rather win against the very best. Can you really call yourself the best motorcyclist in the world if the guy who truly is the best didn't race.
The thing that strikes me is that in 2007 when the Moto GP rules change it will be a bit of a crapshoot as to who has a competitive bike. If he is interested in moving to F1 then the timing makes a lot of sense. Better to go out on top than at the back of the field because of a lousy first-gen 800cc bike.
Well let's not jump the gun here. Rossi is a great rider certainly, but if anybody thinks he is going to waltz into F1 and dominate just because "he can win on two wheels so four shouldn't be a problem" they are dreaming. Lots of cross platform jumps have failed, in fact, who really has truly dominated in both equally? Even Mike Hailwood got raped when he tried to transition his two wheel legendary status to four wheels.
What's most likely to happen is Rossi will jump into the fray, become a contender, get spanked by Schumi and slapped around by some other guys, then realize as a driver he is 2nd tier at best or behind all the 1st tier drivers. Winning in one format doesn't guarantee wins in another. Even among 4 wheel formats, it's very difficult going over to something radically different, Andretti being the only obvious exception.
Except that one of the things that mkaes Rossi truly great is his skill as a development rider. It was largely becaue of this that Yamaha felt that they needed him. If the development is done right and the bike made sound, then more riders can potentially take it to podium. In other words, Yamaha didn't want Rossi to give them a fish, they wanted him to teach them to fish. development riding is a different skill set than racing. Remember Gary McCoy who nearly killed himself every time he raced? It was his work on tire development that a) gave him his visually entertaining and somewhat successful ultra-slidy style. It's also what has given us the last two generations of GP tires.
So I don't expect Rossi to rape Mike Shumacher his first year out...that would be like Rookie-Rossi beating Veteran-Rossi. But I do expect that he will ramp up very quickly. At $200M, Shumacher is the highest-paid athlete in the world today. And Rossi may be even more photogenic and personable than Mike. He'll do just fine.
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