FASTER

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FASTER

Postby Rusty Bucket USA on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:56 am

Last weekend, while barely able to get out of bed, it occurred to me that it had been a while since I’d viewed “FASTER”. Presuming that most of you who read this have already seen it several times and hold a similar sacred respect for it, and now that we’ve started the off-season, I decided to share some of the things I re-learned while watching it for the ?-th time:
(Those of you who haven’t seen it are temporarily banned from this site until you do… just kidding. Seriously, it is MUST-SEE material, so please, by any means necessary, rent it, buy it, or both, ASAP!)

Now that the material is 6 and 7 years old, I frequently paused to consider how much has changed and how much (surprisingly) hasn’t.

I had forgotten about Dr. Costa’s heart rate comparison between Biaggi and Rossi. I think it must have slipped my mind sometime last year because I used to ponder it all the time while monitoring my own heart rate at the gym.

It’s really entertaining to see the number of people saying – back in '01 & '02 – that there is no real rival for Rossi. With the benefits of all these years of hindsight, well, it’s just obvious, wasn’t it?

After explaining the Rossi vs. Biaggi grudge, at the beginning of 2001 it was suggested that there was someone posing a potentially larger threat to Rossi than Biaggi did… Garry McCoy. As it turns out, it can be easily argued that McCoy’s career was done in by a broken left scaphoid from a QP crash at Le Mans in 2001 (sound familiar… a small and brutally fast Australian with a cracked scaphoid that took forever to heal?). Subsequent broken legs didn’t help matters, either.

There is a quick – nearly throwaway – line where, in the garage at Catalunya in 2001, Hamish Jamieson says to McCoy, “We just reset the traction control.” Really, who knew?

Was it as obvious to everyone like it was to Wayne Rainey when he said, “It’s probably going to take a rider who’s not in the series yet to race Rossi..."? Again, in hindsight, we see how true that was, but not who anybody expected… they introduce us to John Hopkins at that point.

Seeing John Hopkins’ story retold reminded me of the tragedy that is his story so far. His father’s dying instructions were to seek help from John Ulrich when they couldn’t get any further on their own. The kid won on everything put underneath him and got the quick ticket to a 500cc GP ride at 19 as McCoy’s team mate. He did well and, at that time, it was just natural to assume he’d be on the podium and winning routinely by now. It’s truly heart-wrenching to hear his mother’s voice over video of him riding back then. I have an admitted soft spot for the guy, and hope both he and his equipment find their way very soon.

Thanks to good editing, we get the debate between Sheene and Roberts about whether Roberts could really steer with the throttle, and KR countering, “I don’t think he really got it…”

I laugh hearing KR borrow my favorite comedian's (Bob Nelson) line: "... you could get seriously killed..." :lol:

A practice crash at Suzuka in 2002 is the likely origin of Rossi’s rather stark and outspoken criticism of the circuit; a full year prior to Kato’s death.

Naturally, I could go on and on, but I’m leaving the floor open for discussion…
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Re: FASTER

Postby Spinmaster on Fri Oct 31, 2008 1:25 pm

There are some great quotes from that movie.

VR - "At the beginging when you try the 500 i's like...fauck!"
Capirossi - "200mph...is good uh?
Schwantz - "Growing up as a kid, always thinkin, you know, if I could ever just race motorcycles to make a living, that'd be the coolest thing known to man kind.
Barry Sheene - "What about GP do I like now?....Crumpets I suppose."

I have the movie ripped and my laptop and have watched it while flying around the world about 30+ times. I guess you could say I like it.
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Re: FASTER

Postby carty on Fri Oct 31, 2008 4:48 pm

I haven't seen it :?

I really want to though! Going to look it up now to see where I can get a copy. I nfact, I really need to increase my back catalogue of racing footage. I only really got in to MotoGP in 2005 when I passed my bike test. Before that I watched occasional races when I happened to see them but I didn't sit riveted, absolutely fascinated at the way the guys manage to hold on to their 200bhp machines like I do now.

I will see it, then I will report back!
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Re: FASTER

Postby Beaufort on Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:10 pm

I like the bit where they explain why McCoy's tire spining style doesn't destroy the tire.
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Re: FASTER

Postby danomar on Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:57 am

Spinmaster wrote:VR - "At the beginging when you try the 500 i's like...fauck!"


That's one of my favorites. :D
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Re: FASTER

Postby Grimturtle on Mon Nov 03, 2008 6:59 am

I'm in about the same boat as you on following motoGP cartwrim, but I watched FASTER for the first time earlier on this year. It was definitely a great movie, but personally, not having followed 500's (apart from the odd Doohan race back in the day) and only catching one season of 990s I found it a little old.

I heard there was a sequel? Faster and Faster or something? I haven't been able to find out anything about it, let alone watch it. Does it exist?

I would say it's about time a new one came out. Perhaps the Ryder, Moody and Mamola crew can put together something in their newfound spare time :?:
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Re: FASTER

Postby Albert on Mon Nov 03, 2008 11:23 am

Grimturtle wrote:I heard there was a sequel? Faster and Faster or something? I haven't been able to find out anything about it, let alone watch it. Does it exist?


Try looking for "The Doctor,The Tornado and the Kentucky Kid" Grimturtle.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Gustav O on Mon Nov 03, 2008 2:06 pm

Grimturtle wrote:I'm in about the same boat as you on following motoGP cartwrim, but I watched FASTER for the first time earlier on this year. It was definitely a great movie, but personally, not having followed 500's (apart from the odd Doohan race back in the day) and only catching one season of 990s I found it a little old.

I heard there was a sequel? Faster and Faster or something? I haven't been able to find out anything about it, let alone watch it. Does it exist?

I would say it's about time a new one came out. Perhaps the Ryder, Moody and Mamola crew can put together something in their newfound spare time :?:

Faster, Faster exists. It is a sequel and has shots from the frist 900 season. great stuff as well as "The Doctro, The Tornado and teh Kentucky Kid".
Get all three and enjoy them.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Spinmaster on Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:09 pm

A liitle taste for those that haven't seen it....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2tndDENGxY

(how the heck does one embed a YouTube movie? :evil: )
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Mon Nov 03, 2008 4:53 pm

I got to see this in the theater with the guys that made it. I have to say that it was the beginning of my obsessiveness regarding MotoGP. I went from being a fan to being tracking down every bit of information I could find.

I think that there is room and even a need for this sort of story-telling within the MotoGP world. I would love to see a Ryder, Moody, Mamola season summary.
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Re: FASTER

Postby phil on Mon Nov 03, 2008 5:21 pm

quotes that stood out for me were biaggi saying "rainey was a hero of mine" then correcting himself to say "IS a hero of mine."
then to have rainey said he's never seen biaggi do anything but was admittedly good in the "smaller classes".

and top marks to biaggi when after his scuffle with rossi he was asked where the blood on his face was from...
he quipped "a mosquito bite!"
very funny.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Rusty Bucket USA on Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:09 pm

Grimturtle wrote:I heard there was a sequel? Faster and Faster or something? I haven't been able to find out anything about it, let alone watch it. Does it exist?

It is basically known as "Faster 2" and is available as a package with the first one these days. It covers the '03 and '04 seasons, which boiled down to Rossi vs. Gibernau, and includes Rossi's switch from Honda to Yamaha.

"Doctor, Tornado, and Kentucky Kid" - also abbreviated as "DTK", and affectionately known as "Faster 3" - is about the lead-up and USGP '05 race at Laguna Seca. It was released shortly before the '06 USGP, and like the originial, has a lot of meaning in hindsight.

It's too bad that he wasn't able to continue a similar project in the '06 season, because he finally would have had a chance to make it about all of the riders and not so focused again on Rossi (which is probably what he was trying to avoid, and couldn't have predicted what happened...).

"Faster 2" and "DTK" will be further installments on this thread... in a couple weeks or so... ;)

They're all available from Amazon, and you'll get all kinds of links crossing them altogether...
(Many thanks, Rats!) :arrow: \/
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Mon Nov 03, 2008 10:26 pm

This link http://astore.amazon.com/motogpmatters-20 will get you there directly. Just used it yesterday :D
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Re: FASTER

Postby Kawa-Z on Tue Nov 04, 2008 1:22 am

One of the most interesting aspects of Faster is the philosophy of Dr. Costa. I find his view on racing, life and esp. Wayne Rainey truly inspiring.

He sums up why I ride. Only much more eloquently than I could.
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:51 pm

I just watched it again and everythought I had about it was continually wiped from memory whenever they went to the race footage.

I loved the 990s so much.

There is a lot of romanticism regarding the 500s but watching them and then watching the 990s you can see how much more beautiful the lines that the 990s could take are. The 500s looked like beast - when they were tossing their rider. The 990 looks like a raging thoroughbred, nostrils flaring, taking the corners in anger. The 800s look like kids bikes, except they also toss their riders.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Gustav O on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:26 am

RatsMC wrote:I just watched it again and everythought I had about it was continually wiped from memory whenever they went to the race footage.

I loved the 990s so much.

There is a lot of romanticism regarding the 500s but watching them and then watching the 990s you can see how much more beautiful the lines that the 990s could take are. The 500s looked like beast - when they were tossing their rider. The 990 looks like a raging thoroughbred, nostrils flaring, taking the corners in anger. The 800s look like kids bikes, except they also toss their riders.

Sorry but exactly what was more beautiful wit the lines that the 990s ( brake deep, square off- stand up - squirt out ) could take compared to the 500s or the 800s? :?:
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Re: FASTER

Postby Rusty Bucket USA on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:24 pm

It's known as "steering with the throttle" and, as I mentioned, a fair amount of the movie is dedicated to this concept. With this, you get more than just one line around a corner.
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:46 pm

Honestly Gustav, I hadn't really noticed how different the 990's were in how they looked through corners until I watched Faster again as well as watching several 500cc and 990cc races recently. I know that a lot of people hold the 500s as the ultimate in competitive racing and they certainly are the most extreme machines to manage but the 990s were just beautiful in how they executed. It is sad that they were cut down before they had the chance to really develop into the class they should have.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Gustav O on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:53 pm

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:It's known as "steering with the throttle" and, as I mentioned, a fair amount of the movie is dedicated to this concept. With this, you get more than just one line around a corner.

I know that, and thought that was what Rats was thinking about, but I was just curious to the term beautiful. :)
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Re: FASTER

Postby Gustav O on Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:54 pm

RatsMC wrote:Honestly Gustav, I hadn't really noticed how different the 990's were in how they looked through corners until I watched Faster again as well as watching several 500cc and 990cc races recently. I know that a lot of people hold the 500s as the ultimate in competitive racing and they certainly are the most extreme machines to manage but the 990s were just beautiful in how they executed. It is sad that they were cut down before they had the chance to really develop into the class they should have.

I was mostly curious to what is a more beatiful line around the corner.
For me it is the fastest one given the bike and circumstances, and yes I am a big fan of the strokers as you probably already know. :D
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:02 pm

Perhaps the lines are not really what I am talking about and it would be more appropriate to talk about the manner in which the 990s take the lines that they do. More important to my point is how the bikes look when taking those lines. They simply look more fluid and graceful while being absolutely muscular at the same time. The 500s had the muscularity and the 800s probably have the grace.
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Re: FASTER

Postby Rusty Bucket USA on Wed Dec 03, 2008 7:14 pm

Faster & Faster:
Rather than start another thread, it just makes more sense to continue this one with the 2nd installment: “Faster & Faster”, or “Faster 2”. Since it is a shorter movie, there is less to comment on. Essentially, it starts at the end – the beginning of the 2004 season – as a perspective on the 2003 season and contrasting the 990’s against the 500’s.

My miscellaneous thoughts on Faster 2:

The initial topic is the impact of Ducati’s arrival and Livio Suppo pointing out that the regulations allow up to 130dB. So, they tried straight pipes and were under the limit and stuck with it. Everyone else followed by mid-2003. This, for me, begs the question: why didn’t the FIM consider putting silencers back on before all of these other radical rules changes? What about 120dB or 115dB? Still loud enough to hear what makes them awesome, but not quite so severe, and cut a few HP for free. I still think they should go back to the 990cc formula, but make them put silencers on the bikes, and drop this pretense of “slowing the bikes down”.

Right at the beginning, we are treated to Kenny Roberts, Sr. telling us, “The sport has never been better. If you look at the grid, it’s never been this good.” The next voice you hear is Nicky Hayden’s, talking about 212mph. Just a minute later, KR Sr explains: “The things are so powerful, it’s about who can get it pointed and get it going; more important than corner speed.” (my emphasis)

A few clips of Nicky Hayden, fearless at Philip Island ’03, his first race there… Easy to understand, in hindsight.

The death of Daijiro Kato is still such a tragedy. What kind of year would ’03 have been with Kato and Gibernau as team mates near the front every week?! Kato probably would have gotten the HRC Repsol seat vacated by Rossi’s move to Yamaha, and ’04 would surely have been so much different. We North Americans experienced a similar loss in CART in 2000 and beyond with the loss of Greg Moore at the end of ‘99. He died because of poor track design, while on the way up to what was obviously going to be a bright future.

For the next significant portion of the movie, the same question kept repeating in my head: “What happened to Gibernau?” I think it is far too simplistic to keep tagging him with the “mentally fragile” label that is so common now. It just can’t be that simple. If you really pay attention to Julian Ryder’s comments after he won at Welkom – the race after his own team mate’s death – it is clear that the one thing Sete is not, it’s mentally insecure. When you listen to him explain his thinking as he narrates his race footage from the ’03 season, there is no doubt he knows how to play this game. It seems to me like he understood his place; he knew that Rossi was the best, but understood how he could be beaten when the opportunities presented themselves. I realize that Rossi spooked him, somehow, but there just has to be more to it. Like Hopkins, Gibernau’s history should not be what it has been.

“The Suzuki is like a computer with a virus…” Michael Scott. Now it’s just slow.

Haga returned to WSBK after one year on the Aprilia, preferring to ride “…an analog bike rather than a digital one.” I don’t think they’ll be calling him to ride that new WSBK bike.

The last scene in the movie is of Rossi seated in front of his M1, after winning at Welkom to begin the ’04 season. It appears to be an emotional moment where Valentino savors an unlikely triumph over the seemingly impossible – changing to an inferior bike in the off-season and winning right out of the blocks. In reading his book, you rather find out that he is laughing to himself at all those who said it was impossible, and perhaps those at Honda who insist that the riders are as replaceable as light bulbs.

If you contrast this scene with those shown near the beginning of the movie from a year earlier - at the same track - where Sete Gibernau is far more dramatically moved by his triumph while also carrying the weight of his lost teammate (remember that Kato did not die immediately, so his actual passing was during the week immediately preceding the round in South Africa), you get, I think, a glimpse at a significant difference between these two individuals. I am somebody who truly appreciates Valentino Rossi and his ability as much as anyone can from afar (make sure that is clear up front)… but if you compare him to Gibernau, you will probably come up with a word similar to “arrogant” pretty quickly. Sete, compared to Rossi, and especially Biaggi, seems to talk about himself a lot less, especially in any relationship to the center of the Universe. It is perhaps an unfair comparison, because I am not suggesting that Rossi is inappropriately confident, especially in the years since. The way he was so sour about losing the Sachsenring race seemed a bit childish. In direct contrast to each other, it is unavoidable to note that in the same place a year apart (Welkom), similar images have endured with very different meanings; one is honoring the loss of a friend, the other is celebrating himself.

In the “Wheels & Tyres” extra, there is the information I used for a post on a different thread a couple weeks ago… When McCoy started winning on the 16.5” rear wheel, everybody thought that was the secret and tried to copy it, even though they didn’t like it as much as the 17” they were all more used to. In reality, it was a unique situation of McCoy’s light weight and riding style that allowed him to use that smaller wheel and softer compound. Even though he was constantly dirt-tracking the bike, he never had tire wear problems. But, after everyone made the copy-cat move to 16.5”, Michelin stopped making the McCoy Special super-soft compound because the molds would be busy supplying the rest of the grid with the harder compounds they needed. As near as I can tell, this is about the point that McCoy had a lot of rear grip problems and more season-shortening crashes. After he got better service from Dunlop, it was too late, because he as aboard the Kawasaki and that bike needed more help than good rubber. My understanding of the timeline could be wrong, so I beg that caveat on the following conclusions: we had one of the most popular riders on the grid pushed out of the sport because of a fairly short-sighted series of economic decisions by the dominant supplier and the teams. Said differently: the only real competitor to Rossi was locked out by the company who supplied both of them with tires. Does this sound familiar? Single tire rule, anyone?

This also reminded me that I think Rossi, before he retires, should have to do penance on a vastly inferior bike. IF he and JB can turn the Suzuki and/or Kawasaki bikes into winners, then they will unquestionably own the GOAT mantle.
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Re: FASTER

Postby OZintheDesert on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:03 pm

Rusty Bucket USA wrote: Said differently: the only real competitor to Rossi was locked out by the company who supplied both of them with tires. Does this sound familiar? Single tire rule, anyone?

This also reminded me that I think Rossi, before he retires, should have to do penance on a vastly inferior bike. IF he and JB can turn the Suzuki and/or Kawasaki bikes into winners, then they will unquestionably own the GOAT mantle.


I totally agree with you. Its interesting in the light of the Hailwood thread that for Rossi to really proove beyond any doubt of GOAT title he should be able to manage that feat. Maybe a development of an Aprilia could qualify also?
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Re: FASTER

Postby Rusty Bucket USA on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:12 pm

Oh, yeah... I forgot to include that last bit with a quote from Suppo at the end of the movie about JB's 80/20 rule (before Rossi went on to dominate '04). Suppo suggests that if they put Michael Schumacher in a Minardi, he's not going to look very good. But that a good rider can make up more of the difference for a bad bike, than a good driver can for a bad car... but there are limits, and we won't know until we see Rossi on a really bad bike.
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Re: FASTER

Postby RatsMC on Wed Dec 03, 2008 9:53 pm

A lot to respond to as much of this stuff has been on my mind lately as well. I apologize in advance as I edited your quotes a great deal. This was with the goal of reducing the amount of rereading anyone might have to do and to focus on the points I was responding to.



Rusty Bucket USA wrote:The initial topic is the impact of Ducati’s arrival and Livio Suppo pointing out that the regulations allow up to130dB. So, they tried straight pipes and were under the limit and stuck with it. Everyone else followed by mid-2003. This, for me, begs the question: why didn’t the FIM consider putting silencers back on before all of these other radical rules changes? What about 120dB or 115dB? Still loud enough to hear what makes them awesome, but not quite so severe, and cut a few HP for free. I still think they should go back to the 990cc formula, but make them put silencers on the bikes, and drop this pretense of “slowing the bikes down”.


This occurred to me as I watched it as well. Silencers are a technical obstacle that do not interfere with the prototype foundation of MotoGP. Let the engineers go crazy trying to limit the impact of the silencer but those modifications do not artificially impose arbitrary performance fiddling like fuel limits do. If fuel capacity limits simply cut overall horsepower across the board, I would not be opposed to them but they don’t. As implemented, fuel limits artificial impact to performance in a manner that is decided upon which results in races being decided much like they are in races that require pit-stops. I don’t want pit strategy or fuel strategy to win races – I want riders and bikes to go out there as well armed as they can be and battle it out. I want the rider to decide when to go slow, not an engineer.

That whole argument is probably incomprehensible. I apologize. I need to work out how to articulate myself better.


For the next significant portion of the movie, the same question kept repeating in my head: “What happened to Gibernau?” I think it is far too simplistic to keep tagging him with the “mentally fragile” label that is so common now. It just can’t be that simple. (...) When you listen to him explain his thinking as he narrates his race footage from the ’03 season, there is no doubt he knows how to play this game. It seems to me like he understood his place; he knew that Rossi was the best, but understood how he could be beaten when the opportunities presented themselves. I realize that Rossi spooked him, somehow, but there just has to be more to it. Like Hopkins, Gibernau’s history should not be what it has been.

(out of order…)


…If you contrast this scene with those shown near the beginning of the movie from a year earlier - at the same track - where Sete Gibernau is far more dramatically moved by his triumph while also carrying the weight of his lost teammate, you get, I think, a glimpse at a significant difference between these two individuals. I am somebody who truly appreciates Valentino Rossi and his ability as much as anyone can from afar (make sure that is clear up front)… but if you compare him to Gibernau, you will probably come up with a word similar to “arrogant” pretty quickly. Sete, compared to Rossi, and especially Biaggi, seems to talk about himself a lot less, especially in any relationship to the center of the Universe.


I have to believe that the media made a bigger deal of Gibernau’s mental fragility than was deserved. However, MotoGP pilots are much like fighter pilots: their confidence is essential to their performance and often that confidence comes from ego. Biaggi is mentally fragile as is his ego. In His case, Rossi did clearly break his ego and thus his confidence. Biaggi was never a real challenger to Rossi so capitalizing on his ego was easy for Rossi. Gibernau does seem to understand the mental part of the game and he understood how Rossi was playing it which makes it hard to believe that he could fall victim to him. At the same time Gibernau did fold. Perhaps it is not a matter of breaking the confidence as it is a matter of eroding it by degrees – inserting questions into that confidence that Gibernau could easily brush aside but some remnant of them remained. Or maybe Gibernau was just confident enough that he didn’t need the validation of the podium. All just conjecture really.


…we had one of the most popular riders on the grid pushed out of the sport because of a fairly short-sighted series of economic decisions by the dominant supplier and the teams. Said differently: the only real competitor to Rossi was locked out by the company who supplied both of them with tires. Does this sound familiar? Single tire rule, anyone?


This is interesting to me and I have been pondering it a lot lately. MotoGP has a long history of short-changing potentially great riders because they are in some way not characters that Dorna needs in the spotlight. I am primarily talking about Superbike riders both from WSBK but more importantly those from various national series. Starting in 1993 Riders entering MotoGP from any Superbike class seemed to end up on a satellite or worse bike while those coming from 250s went straight to the factory ride. The exception of course was Hayden but he was at the behest of American Honda and he was never positioned to actually win.
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