As much as I am a Hayden fan, I have watched Vale through the years and he has proved himself to be THE superior rider over the long haul. His ability to win on Honda and Yamaha shows that it IS the rider and not the bike. Just listen to his signature line "Yes, is possible. . ." That tells it all.
If you saw him in person you would see how efficiently and elegantly he moves on the bike and how he truly becomes one with his machine. (for all of you non-racers and non-track day guys. It is very difficult to put in ONE good lap, much less 26 or 28 near identical ones. ALL of these MotoGP riders are so good it is hard to believe.