Been to Bonnevile salt flats,raced my bike.If you ever get the chance to do it,do it worth the trip. took me 6 hrs from Las Vegas 2hrs on bonneville spent overnight in west wendover 6 hrs back.Worth the time and money.
The 100hp advantage may be true but the current FIM rules allowed a weight change this year making the cars lighter, right? Rossi's been in a F1 car just a few times and has shown skills. He races Ralley cars for fun and does well at that. Why would he NOT be a top competitor in F1? When he makes the change he'll podium at least three times in his first season. I'd bet a steak dinner on that.
There's no doubt that Rossi would get tons of publicity for Ferrari and Marlboro (yes, a tobacco sponsor!). But to satisfy the tifosi, the legions of Ferrari fans around the world, a driver needs something more than commercial appeal: he's got to, well, win races. And that's a bit of a shortcoming on Rossi's résumé at the moment: he's never actually won a race in a 4-wheeled vehicle. And, AFAIK, he's never even competed in an open-wheeled car.
Rossi and his well-oiled PR machine, campaigning at full volume, seem to be trying to get Vale signed by Ferrari for 2007, after Schumacher retires. Without a single car race on his record. No F3. No F3000. No GP2. Not even an apprenticeship with another F1 team. This is so utterly absurd that it defies comprehension.
A Formula 1 car corners at twice the speed as a MotoGP bike and brakes from high speed in one-fourth the distance. While I think that Rossi is capable of mastering the much different skills that F1 requires, it's going to take a lot more time and effort to reach that level than he seems to think will be necessary. A few weeks of off-season practice this year and next before the '07 season begins won't do it. The drivers he would be competing against are no less gifted than Vale, but they've spent the past 10 years or more mastering the skills of F1 while he was mastering the skills of MotoGP. That's a helluva lot of ground to spot the competition and still hope to succeed.
The fact that he's been spinning the car (only a few times in 52 laps) points out that he is beginning to be able to master it and explore its limits.
True, he's at a tremendous disadvantage to drivers who've been in open wheel competition since they were six, but I happen to think that top racers in most any discipline will do pretty well in any form of motorsports they might choose to participate in. Also consider that F1 is a huge step up for anyone coming from one of the "feeder" series in any case.
Put Dale Earnhart - in his prime - in an F1 car (if you physically could have...) and he'd have been competitive after some time in the car. There is something guys at this level possess that we mere mortals simply don't. Watching Rossi in MotoGP lately has been watching one guy running his own race. He's been toying with the other riders. He's simply looking for a bigger challenge (and payday?)
I'm not ready to predict podiums, but he'll be a lot more entertaining to watch than Hiro Matsu****a or Andrea "DiCrashurus" ever were.
I agree with what you said, and believe that most of the racers at the top levels have a gift of making just about anything go fast around a race track. Witness Rossi going from the Honda to the Yamaha and still dominating.
However, while we've seen top riders do well as race car drivers, I've never heard of the other scenario, have you? Has a fast car driver ever made the switch to bikes and done well?
"There is something guys at this level possess that we mere mortals simply don't."
After becoming a club racer myself, I no longer believe this for the top racing fields in general. Maybe guys like Rossi and Doohan personally, but not all of them. What a WSB or motoGP racer possesses is non-stop track time and experience since they were kids. No regular job to interfere. No worry about money. Can't even say that about all AMA superbike riders because there are some genuine privateers in that field with limited resources.
I have found that laptimes that once seemed unattainable simply come with time and experience. I have seen some riders that were timid, mediocre backmarkers at the beginning work their way to the front of the field and turn some very respectable times after a year's experience.
Sure, there's always someone here or there that just doesn't get it, or simply lacks the coordination or intuition to understand how to ride well, but most people can become pretty good given enough practice.