FIRST POST! The most interesting thing is that Rossi is about 8/10ths faster than Checa and 2 seconds faster than Melandri and Abe (all Yamahas). Just in case people think that riders are not important...
I think you're full of it. Rossi if at a completely different level than Max. Rossi spanked the Biatch when they were on basically identical machinery. From the looks of these times, Rossi will probably wax his a$$ this year as well.
I was really hoping for a more competetive season but after seeing these results with Rossi only riding the bike for a short time, I think he'll come out on top by the end of the season.
Rossi is the class of his generation. At last years testing he bettered Biaggi by less than 2 tenths yet kicked Biaggi's ass all season. I don't think Rossi ever really shines until its time to race, the more pressure the better. How many times have we seen Biaggi(and others) throw it down the road when Rossi just sat behind them and turned up the heat?Without a doubt Yamaha have their work cut out for them to keep their bike competitive, but I think they only need to get within a few Percent of Honda to allow Rossi to close the deal.
This is a quote taken from a MotoGP.com article concerning the Sepang Honda tests...
"Like Biaggi, Sete Gibernau and Nicky Hayden are also testing an engine similar to the one used by Rossi at the tail end of the 2003 season, and all three seem happy with its performance and the direction the factory is going. Gibernau remarked, "Its got more rpm definitely, maybe even 500 more, and the clutch we used with it is much better, its definitely an improvement. Theres a smoother transfer when you shift down going onto the brakes, and already were seeing the difference in the lap times, which are quick compared to the race here."
As you can see, Rossi's '03 RCV was on another level compared to the rest of the Honda field. I think the same will be true of his M1 compared to Checa and Co's machinery.
I predict that Honda will continue to get faster and Yamaha will not have the development $'s to keep up with Honda's development. Biaggi will be leading Championship points but this will be due to his constant podium finishes with scattered riders winning races one weekend and then crashing out of points on other weekends.
Nicky will win a race or two but will throw it down a couple times and cost him the loss of points for the championship.
Sete will be leading the championship but Biaggi will take it from him at the end of the year much like Edwards did to Troy with the 2002 WSB.
Edwards will finish on the podium but not win a race.
Rossi will be roasting tires and not make race distance often enough to win the championship on the Yamaha. His aggressive riding will just be too much on the tires as he takes the slower Yamaha to the front early on many races and then fades or DNF's due to tire fading/chunking. He will win races in the rain and the tighter tracks with cooler temps.
The Aprilia will set many top speed records but will continue to be unrideable.
Ducati's Capirossi will win a few races with the Ducati's doing well in the more open tracks. Troy will not win a race although he will podium a couple times.
Kawi's new bike will not podium and will continue to be a disapointment.
Suzuki's Hopper will finish just off the podium a few times and KRJ will be talking about retirement as his frustration with Suzuki will bring him to wits end.
be fun to watch Honda slowly unravel when Biaggi starts blaming Honda and Honda starts blaming Biaggi in that incleasingly less-inscrutable way where it's fun to read betw. the lines as the big dog under attack by the small mean ones starts to accidentally bite its own tail. Yes. big fun ahead. I like Kurtis Roberts too and his dad, can't remember the guy's name but talk about your ankle-biters. So we'll probly just get NASCAR this season.