Yamaha Gains Japanese Oil Sponsor For MotoGP Team

Yamaha's sponsorship situation is not as perilous as it seems. Departing Malaysian oil giant Petronas (announced at the end of last week) is to be replaced by Japanese oil brand ENEOS, which markets a range of high-end lubrication products from the Japanese oil giant JX Nippon. 

The deal was uncovered by Greek website MotoGrandPrix.gr, who learned of it from the CEO of ENPO Hellas SA, the Greek importer of ENEOS products, and has been confirmed to MotoMatters.com by secondary sources. As ENEOS is in direct competition with Petronas, it was not possible to announce the fact that ENEOS would be replacing the Malaysian company in the press release issued last week due to contractual obligations. An official announcement of the deal is expected in the next week or two, most probably in the news vacuum once Ducati's annual MotoGP Wrooom event has concluded.

ENEOS and JX Nippon are no stranger to motorsports, having previously sponsored Honda's Formula One team, and currently being involved with with a team in the Japanese Super GT series. They have not yet been involved in motorcycle racing, however, and bringing a new brand into the sport is seen as a major coup for Yamaha, and a positive step for the team.

One point of interest is the question of just how prominent ENEOS' sponsorship will be on Jorge Lorenzo's and Ben Spies' Yamaha M1 machines. ENEOS' corporate identity uses a lot of orange, and there is already one MotoGP team sponsored by an oil company which uses orange as one of its main colors. However, having such a strong color will be a positive step in differentating the Yamaha: one of the golden rules of racing sponsorship is that you change your color scheme as soon as you switch sponsors. Continuing to use the same colors (even with a different design) keeps the old brand fixed in the minds of fans, essentially giving free exposure to former sponsors. Going with some bright orange to replace the dark blue will finally help break the link with Fiat that still exists in the subconscious of many race fans.

Yamaha's sponsorship situation is not as perilous as it seems. Departing Malaysian oil giant Petronas (announced at the end of last week) is to be replaced by Japanese oil brand ENEOS, which markets a range of high-end lubrication products from the Japanese oil giant JX Nippon. The deal was uncovered by Greek website MotoGrandPrix.gr, who learned of it from the CEO of ENPO Hellas SA, the Greek importer of ENEOS products, and has been confirmed to MotoMatters.com by secondary sources. As ENEOS is in direct competition with Petronas, it was not possible to announce the fact that ENEOS would be replacing the Malaysian company in the press release issued last week due to contractual obligations. An official announcement of the deal is expected in the next week or two, most probably in the news vacuum once Ducati's annual MotoGP Wrooom event has concluded.ENEOS and JX Nippon are no stranger to motorsports, having previously sponsored Honda's Formula One team, and currently being involved with with a team in the Japanese Super GT series. They have not yet been involved in motorcycle racing, however, and bringing a new brand into the sport is seen as a major coup for Yamaha, and a positive step for the team.

Comments

Good news

I was really hoping the Petronas thing was due to a shuffle somewhere and not being abandoned. Even it you aren't a fan of Yamaha or their riders it's terrible to think of more dollars floating away and crippling the sport. The livery will be interesting though. I really dug the Fiat scheme but they need to differentiate for sure. These little off-season teasers can be exciting when you have nothing to think over.

Total votes: 71

Fiat

Personally, I found the Fiat scheme uninspiring. A specialty auto manufacturer (e.g., McLaren, Bugatti, Maybach, etcetera) on the side of a World Champion MotoGP bike would be acceptable to me, but a mass produced brand? Sorry, I just did not buy it.

Total votes: 79

Fiat was a great sponsor:

Fiat was a great sponsor: their engineering developed the common rail fuel injection that is used in the current high efficiency diesels. They spent a decade and $100 million to develop their patented "Multiair" variable valve (w/o a throttle valve) intake system that is used on the Fiat 500. That system won "Best New Engine of the Year" award in 2010 in the International Engine of the Year competion.

Fiat owns Ferrari; they also own Magneti Marelli; we know what they do...

I found the Fiat scheme VERY inspiring! It is a shame they are gone

Total votes: 77

Yes

I thought it was a clean and simple livery. Like the company too. I just wish the 500 was doing a little better here in the US.

Total votes: 67

CART IN FRONT OF THE HORSE

re: "I just wish the 500 was doing a little better here in the US."

car sales are up across the board, and the product only just arrived mid 2011 along with the marketing campaign. a pre-requisite for doing "better" involves setting up a dealer network. a local dealer to me didn't open till late summer/early fall...? and i'm already seeing some on the roads and in the fleet of rental companies. we can extrapolate the same occuring in other parts of the country so how much faster/better can it be in basically 6 months to a year...? in contrast, the niche business of motorcycling can only DREAM about such take rates.

Total votes: 70

Hmm

You are correct. I should have said I wish they hadn't made the decision to use the execrable Jennifer Lopez in their ads. That disappointed me greatly.

Total votes: 69

THAT MAKES 2 THINGS NOT SUPPORTED

re: "Sorry, I just did not buy it."

and therein lies the problem. you wouldn't be buying a hyper-niche product like a Mclaren, Bugatti, or Maybach either which of course, is the end-game of sponsorship. a lil' over 3,000 rolls' get sold a year. in contrast, over 200,000 minis. the mass market product wins.

Total votes: 83

ENEOS and JX Holdings

When I read this scoop (kudos to MotoGrandPrix.gr and MotoMatters.com) the first thing I did was to look for more information about ENEOS.

1) I assume that it is ENEOS gasoline and petroleum products that will be doing the sponsoring. Everything goes out the window (in terms of logic) if this is from the JX Holding mining division.

2) ENEOS, as you point out, has a long history of sponsoring motorsports, specifically Honda F1 and SuperGT with a Toyota GT500. But they were always a small player, no one big or splashy.

3) ENEOS is the primary sponsor of Tokyo Disneyland, owns the FC Tokyo football club, and promotes baseball country-wide. People know them not only as the filling station brand but also country-wide. (Personally I think their football sponsorship far outweighs their Disney connection.

4) ENEOS has been expanding along East Asia but not big time. They have spent more money tightening their control and stake domestically.

5) The color issue is nothing to sneeze at, but it might be a push for a CHANGE in corporate colors. If the logo remains the same but the colors change, there will be some resistance from people at filling stations, but corporate sponsorship, maybe not only in MotoGP but also in SuperGT, can help them overcome that challenge. (This last point is pure conjecture on my part).

Total votes: 60

Sly Old Fox...

Lin Jarvis has more up his sleeves (and in his socks) than everybody thought... prior to today! Well done indeed LJ... now let's see the new color scheme for the M1 machines. I'd say to replace the red with orange on their corporate colors! Carbon fibre with orange pin-stripes may look good as well. Did he lock Jorge in with this deal?

Total votes: 82

Great news for MotoGP! Lin

Great news for MotoGP! Lin Jarvis gives a big finger to all those who tried to make the sponsorship issue all about Rossi leaving Yamaha.

It is still disappointing that Petronas pulled out, and it would be interesting to know why they don't see value in MotoGP. Unless they are intending to sponsor another team.

Total votes: 81

My guess

My guess is that they probably weren't up to being title sponsors and Eneos were so it was a decision of who was paying more. THey just couldn't both be there. Hopefully they stay with another team. Dollars are needed.

Total votes: 67

MAJOR OR MINOR...?

re: "My guess is that they probably weren't up to being title sponsors and Eneos were so it was a decision of who was paying more."

wait one, as david eludes it's not clear yet whether ENEOS is a title sponsor or not...? Petronas was not... same as recently acquired AMG is NOT in regards to ducati. although everybody certainly hoped that they would be when it was first announced. as it turns out, AMG are nothing more than a minor sponsor and you need a microscope to see the branding on the bikes and the leathers. a 1 for 1 replacement for Petronas would only mean yamaha continues "to tread water", not suddenly placed on EQUAL footing with honda. even if they WERE a major sponsor, they would still be behind. repsol sponsorship has shown itself to be "durable" and has offset honda's coffers (which are in and of themselves substantial) now going on DECADES.

Total votes: 68

MINORITY REPORT

re: "it would be interesting to know why they don't see value in MotoGP"

because the larger industry of motorcycling on which MotoGP is based is only consumed by 5% of the population (max). on top of this we have the nerve to be terrible consumers. that's 2 strikes... i'm sure you know the rest.

Total votes: 68

So this is a naming rights primary sponsorship?

And not just a bit on the side? If so, great news indeed Yamaha. The one industry that seems to be recession proof.

Total votes: 74

Italy Out

Up goes the dreaded finger as we deplete time whilst watching cricket tests.
ENEOS is the first of a number of subscriber's to Yamaha GP 2012. The Texans need to chuck in a boot. Venezuelan oil next ? Every dollar counts.
When Fiat,followed by Petronas bailed, I saw it as no big deal.
Fact is. Yamaha have the management team,have the riders,without question. Judging by early testing,have the bike aswell. Masao may be retired, but is an active Yamaha man.
Huge respect for Yamaha I have. Tough choices as a corporate and correct ones they have made. Lorenzo/Spies and to hell with Olio Fiat. Petronas be damned if they have no appreciaton for Lorenzo's efforts and what he did for them on track 2010/11.

Total votes: 66

Venezuela Oil

Isn't all the Oil in Venezuela nationalized? That'd be a hoot, Hugo Chavez alongside Paris Hilton as oddball sponsors.

Total votes: 72

Yoda?

Yoda?

Total votes: 67

A New Hope

PIT BULL/Yoda: Ah yes.. ENEOS.. A powerful ally, are they not? They guide us.. bind us.. they are all around us.. controlling our every move! But do not allow yourself to be seduced by the Dark side of the.. oil giant (or something)!

Jorge Skywalker: Whatever, they don't scare me! I'm not afraid!

PIT BULL/Yoda: You will be. (*Sinisterly leans in*) You will be!

etc etc

Total votes: 67

NOTHING TO SEE HERE, MOVE ALONG

re: "The Texans need to chuck in a boot."

they're already in for $250 MIL, though it's related to building a racetrack and sweating over having signed a 10yr deal (not sure who does that, when SPAIN doesn't even do that?) for the "spectacle" of MGP, that has now been suddenly downgraded to the "less than spectacular" business model of CRT. this in addition to losing 2 of it's 3 Italian personalities. here's to hoping F1 pays the bills...??? because in the cowboy vernacular, MotoGP is about to become as "useless as tits" on that proverbial "bull".

Total votes: 70

title sponsor

is ENEOS a title sponsor? I dont think so.. if thats the case i dont see a reason why they have to change colors. And i dont think ENEOS will bring the same funding as PETRONAS. thats what i think, and i might be completely wrong too.. Either way i think they are dealing with a bad situation after Rossi left. and people can whine about sponsorship or best rider, but truth is without money and funding, development will stop completely. Ducati were able to try out so many things was because they had new funding once Rossi dropped in.. Lets see how good the 2012 bikes are on the grid...

Total votes: 70

"SWINGIN' FOR THE FENCES"...

...is the phrase that best sums up brutale's comment above. the "magic eye" he has.

Total votes: 68

there's no magic eye.. i just

there's no magic eye.. i just stated the obvious.. If yamaha remain without a title sponsor for 2 straight years even though Lorenzo won the 2010 championship, it can only be blamed on the Rossi's departure. Thats logic and not a magic eye.

Rossi brough a lot of sponsorship money when he arrived at Ducati. They infact got AMG and Diesel after Rossi came.

on the other hand, when he left yamaha they lost FIAT, Petronas, Packard Bell, Fastweb. They only gained IVECO. and i dont know if they lost Termignoni, or switched to akrapovic.. anyway i just compared the 2010 and 2011 bikes and saw the sponsors...

so, how hard can it be to infer?

Total votes: 70

(TAP, TAP) HELLOO...!? IS THIS THING ON...!?

dismantle the stockpile. power down the defense grid. i was agreeing with you.

Total votes: 70

Brutale bang on, just look at

Brutale bang on, just look at the line of sponsors queuing up at ducati they've had to beat them off with a shitty stick. It's well documented that a couple of main board members at Fiat are personal friends Valentino..Jarvo got greedy, tried to take the pissed and won nothing last year and lost most of the sponsorship, has any team ever crashed and burned as badly in one season? maybe maybe not...
Replacing one minor sponsor is a help without question, but there is still the small matter of a 30 -70m euro gap left by the main sponsor and little sight of a challenge on the title next year, (they won't be able to get away with using the 2010 bike again)... Yamaha's most recent golden era ended as it started with Rossi & Co...

Total votes: 73

Yamaha with Lorenzo finished

Yamaha with Lorenzo finished second, beaten only by the brilliance of Stoner. It was Stoner and Honda who finished Yamaha's reign, nothing to do with Rossi and his money. Anyone who thinks that Rossi on a Yamaha would have beaten Stoner is delusional. It was Ducati who crashed and burned, and big time, despite having Rossi and the money he brought with him. A major humiliation for all concerned. But apparently a few one-eyed Rossi fans with their heads in the sand haven't noticed what is obvious to the rest of the MotoGP world.

Total votes: 71

and ...

Apparently, a few one-eyed Stoner fans with their head in the sand haven't noticed what is obvious to the rest of motogp world: the progress of the Honda last year in comparison with the Yamaha ... Stoner or not. The only reason Lorenzo is second is Pedrosa's injury and Sic unconsistancy (and Dovizioso lack of speed).

Lorenzo
2010, 383 points
2011, 260 points

Delete the Stoner "parameter", there is still not 133 points

2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, best pilot (of the year) on the best machine wins
2004, 2007 best pilot with not the best machine wins

Total votes: 66

And a few other fans haven't noticed that in like for like

conditions the total elapsed race times from 2010 to 2011 were very similar. Indicative of mature designs and stagnant tyre development. Stoner barely went any faster on the Honda than the Ducati.

Total votes: 66

Getbouc perhaps you have

Getbouc perhaps you have forgotten that Lorenzo was also injured in 2011, missed PI, Malaysia and Valencia, and still finished second.

As far as the points comparison between 2010 and 2011, Rossi and Pedrosa were both injured in 2010, and Stoner on the Ducati was having big front end problems. These factors explain why Lorenzo was able to accumulate so many points in 2010.

The 2011 Honda was very little changed from the mid year 2010 version. HRC and Pedrosa confirmed this on more than one occasion.

I would not dispute that the Honda was overall the best bike, but by a lot less margin than some people want to believe. The Yamaha was still better than the Honda under brakes and mid corner. Just ask Dovizioso, who has ridden both. The overwhelming weight of informed opinion is that Stoner made the difference for Honda in 2011 (the list of names that support that view is very long indeed, from Agostini to Rossi and Burgess).

However, I agree that there is a case to be made that the Yamaha in 2004 and the Ducati in 2007 were not the best bikes, but won because they had the best rider. This rarely happens, and illustrates vividly that both Rossi and Stoner are exceptional riders.

Total votes: 74

This has very little to do

This has very little to do with what is being talked about here but you told me something on a different post and I don't remember which one (I think it was you). I told you about the different number of race winner throughout different eras of GP racing and you told me I should go further back in time (Paging Dr. Brown), thanks to wikipedia I did so:

2007-2011: 7 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 12.7 races
2002-2006: 11 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 7.45 races
1997-2001: 14 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 5.5 races
1992-1996: 14 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 4.9 races
1987-1991: 10 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 7.5 races
1982-1986: 8 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 7.75 races
1977-1981: 10 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 6.3 races
1972-1976: 13 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 4.7 races
1967-1971: 7 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 8.4 races
1962-1966: 10 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 6 races
1957-1961: 9 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 4.3 races
1952-1956: 15 different race winners, on average a new race winner every 2.7 races

Total votes: 68

Right, but my point remains

Right, but my point remains that statistically in 2007 - 2011 it was difficult for anyone else to win because there were four aliens at the Rossi level. The top three factory teams each had a least one alien all through that period. The odds were very strong indeed that one of those four guys would win every race.

Compare this to the decade from 1994 to 2007 when there was just one alien (first Doohan, then Rossi, and they never raced each other). If one of those two didn't win, then there was a whole group of more or less equal potential winners.

I am not denying that there are other factors, such as electronics and tires, but in my opinion just minimizing electronics will not make all the much of a difference. It might even make matters worse by exaggerating the difference between the aliens and the rest.

In any case I have no problem whatever with the aliens winning all the races, if they are that good. What I think we want to see is a close fight between the four of them, and hopefully some new faces to join them (Spies maybe, Marquez maybe). I watch MotoGP to see the best riders in the world riding the fastest bikes and competing against each other. Some people get excited about a bunch of riders competing against each other in Moto2 but they are not the best riders, nor the fastest bikes. Moto2 just doesn't do it for me regardless of the closeness of the racing. I can see close and crazy racing at any club meet if that's all I wanted.

Total votes: 68

It is currently impossible to win unless you have a factory bike

the electronics and fuel management of the privateer bikes is just so bad that it's impossible.

At least before, if you were a good driver and had a found a very good setup for a particular weekend, you'd be able to compete for the podiums and maybe give the top riders a scare.

Now even that isn't enough because the bike is inherently much inferior.

Unfortunately it will probably be even worse next year because the 1000s will be even thirstier and the fuel limit is still the same.

Total votes: 71

That may be so, although I'd

That may be so, although I'd like to some hard evidence showing just how much difference there really is. Also, the factory teams are saying that the factory bikes and satellite bikes will be virtually the same at the start of this year, so at the beginning of the year at least there will be some parity, allowing for comparison between works and satellite riders.

However, the best riders end up on the best bikes, for good reason. And it isn't just about having a works bike. There were five non-alien riders who had works bikes, or works spec bikes, during the 800 era. They were Capirossi, Edwards, Melandri, Hayden, Dovizioso, Spies and Simoncelli. How many races did they win? A total of three in five years. None of them were ever contenders for a world championship in the 800 era. And name one other rider in MotoGP in that period who could have done better than those five. I don't believe there was anybody. No, the number one reason that the four aliens won most of the races was because they were head and shoulders above everyone else. And as there was four of them, and there was at least one alien in each of the top three factory teams, statistically they were always likely to win most of the races.

Total votes: 60

I think to make a difference

I think to make a difference they need to change the engines, the tyres, the electronics and the fuel limit.
Also I think there are bigger factors than the talent of those particular 4 riders affecting the statistics.
This days there is a particular racing line that works much better than the rest and that line is narrow, rider have said that it didn't use to be like that, so there use to be more options to chose from to be fast around a track.
Also there are only two tyre choices for the race and that again limits the ways a rider can go around the circuit to be fast (and usually one choice is a lot better than the other), and the tyres have to ridden a specific way to work or they don't work at all, again limiting the ways a rider has to go fast (MotoGP race winner Tony Elias couldn't work the Bridgestone and he was dead last).
Then there are the electronics which limit rider input, I think they are also design to work best with a specific riding style, there for if you want get the best out of them you have to ride that way.
All this factors also affect the bike setup that has to be very precise while I think that before there were more than one bike setup that worked for the same bike and, depending on the rider style, the conditions and the tyres selected, sometime some setups worked better than other.
I believe (and have nothing but my opinion to support it) than it use to be possible for two different rider/mechanics teams to go very similarly fast on the same bike even if the riders did thing very differently on the race. Now a days the correct setup goes fast any other goes very slow, the rigth line goes very fast, the wrong one goes very slow, and so one for many other factors (that all have to coincide). Less and less option for the rider.
So I think that while it use to be possible to adjust the bike to the ride and win, now a days you have to adjust your ride to the bike or else yo go slow.
What this means (in my very unpopular opinion)? that riders are less important than ever before. You got the ones that work with a specific bike and the ones who don't. Which explain how come in 2010 Lorenzo dominated Casey and a year later Casey dominated Lorenzo. Or how come Rossi was a tittle contender one year and not even a podium contender the next.
I don't think this particular 4 rider are that much better than every one else on the 800cc era or in GP racing history, they are just very good and compatible with their bikes (or maybe more adaptable), but now a days the compatibility is more important than the talent.

Total votes: 55

Javi, you won't be surprised

Javi, you won't be surprised that I disagree with most of your last post. To keep it short, an alien's ability to adapt to all the elements of a MotoGP bike is what makes him exceptional. Whether it is tires, electronics, engine characteristics, the ability to work with his crew and engineers, the ability to quickly find the right set up, the ability to adapt to changing conditions and so on.

It is hardly surprising that lesser riders give all sorts of excuses why they can't match the top guys. So they blame tires, electronics, actually the kind of things you mention. Rarely will they acknowledge that they just aren't good enough.

Your comparison of Lorenzo, Stoner and Rossi is a very poor one because it has such an obvious answer, and that is that in 2010 Lorenzo and Rossi were riding a Yamaha, the best bike in the field, while Stoner was riding the Ducati, a bike now universally acknowledged as a difficult bike to ride, with a major design flaw. Rossi went to that same Ducati in 2011, and we know the result.

I don't understand why you find it difficult to acknowledge that the aliens are exceptional talents. To suggest that nine times world champion Rossi is not one of the best riders ever is strange indeed. The measure of the ability of the other three is that they are able to match and beat Rossi regularly, and in Stoner's case, comprehensively so. And in any case, the discussion was not comparisons with other riders of the past, but about why the aliens have dominated in the 800 era. By far the four best riders, and all on works bikes: of course they will dominate.

Total votes: 69

If I expected you to agree it

If I expected you to agree it wouldn't be much fun.

"because it has such an obvious answer, and that is that in 2010 Lorenzo and Rossi were riding a Yamaha, the best bike in the field, while Stoner was riding the Ducati"

Precisely...

My point was that the bikes are more important than ever before and the riders less important (very important but less than they used to be). in 2010 Casey didn't had a chance against Lorenzo ¿was Jorge the superior rider? (superior enough to explain Casey's little championship hopes). In 2011 we knew the championship result at the winter testing ¿did Casey suddenly became massively better at riding? ¿Did Jorge got worse?. Their amazing talent couldn't make up for the difference on the bikes.
The Aliens are a lot better than every one else on the track but the results seem to suggest that they were not "a lot better" or even "very very very much better", but that they were light years away from everyone else who ever rode an 800cc.
"lesser" riders use to be able to beat top rider every now and then, now it is absolutely impossible and I think that it is down to the engine the tires and the electronics forcing a very specific way to ride the bike. If not, then these four riders are better than every other GP champion in history.
And lets not forget Nicky Hayden, he won the championship in 2006 against Rossi, Pedrosa and (rookie) Stoner. He didn't won a single 800cc race even when there wasn't any Jorge ¿did he won the 2006 championship and then suddenly forgot how to ride a bike at the beginning of 2007? No he did not.

Total votes: 66

The point about Ducati is

The point about Ducati is that it has a fundamental design flaw. This is not a simple matter of a bike that suits a particular rider. Even Stoner struggled with it. It is not about set up or electronics. Ducati spent all year tailoring the bike to Rossi's specific needs, without success. It is simply not valid for your argument to compare Stoner on the Ducati with Lorenzo on the Yamaha. A valid comparison is Yamaha versus Honda.

How many races did Hayden win in 2006? Just two. Rossi won five. How many aliens in 2006? Both Stoner and Pedrosa were rookies in 2006, and Stoner wasn't on a works bike. Hayden is a good rider but he is not and never has been an alien. Circumstances worked heavily in his favor in 2006, because Yamaha had some unusual problems.

Stoner has made the point that MotoGP, along with most sports, has become a lot more professional. Racing machines in general have become ultra reliable. Set up has become much more sophisticated, with computer modelling and the like. It is therefore much more difficult to "fluke" a win. Times have changed, so it is almost impossible to make valid comparisons with past eras. The fact is that the teams know that to win these days you need to hire an alien. Just ask the Yamaha or Honda team bosses.

Total votes: 68

On 2005 Rossi had a very good

On 2005 Rossi had a very good Yamaha and Nicky finished ahead of him 3 times (including 2 race wins). If matching Rossi level is what proves that the Aliens are among the very best of GP racers ever (or actually that they are the very best) than Nicky who defeated 2005 Rossi on 3 occasions and 2006 Rossi to the championship must be indeed a very good rider. He didn't won a single race out of 89 during the 800cc and the podium was usually a blessing ¿How can you explain such massive difference merely on talent?

As for the professional level. Was MotoGP an amateur sport before 2007? In WSBK there where 18 different race winners between 2007 and 2011 (a new one every 7,44 races) Are they Rockstar wannabes riding with hangovers?

Total votes: 59

forest, trees.

Javi, I'm a big Nicky fan and his is indeed a very good rider but you are completely oblivious to the point that motogpmd is trying to make. Nicky is a great talent but could not adapt his style to the 800cc bikes thus he is not adaptable and since that is one requirement of an alien then he is not an alien. The bottom line job of each rider is to win the race on Sunday with the machine they are given on Friday. 4 people were able to do that exceptionally better than all others.

>>He didn't won a single race out of 89 during the 800cc and the podium was
>>usually a blessing ¿How can you explain such massive difference merely on talent?

For each of those years in the 800s he was consistently getting beaten by his teammate on the same machinery so yes a talent difference can completely explain his winless situation. Maybe the talent in question was riding an 800cc MotoGP bike on Bridgestone tires as fast as possible. Maybe he'll fare better in next year's talent test of riding initial year 900cc-ish GP bikes but whatever his results are I'm sure the 4 aliens will be up there, they are after all the aliens for a reason. The Ducati situation has not demoted Rossi from alien status, you can't take away his skill and titles and wins. What it demoted him from is that of the engineer that knows how to fix a bike and make it work. Like any rider he can only go fast with what he is given and if the factory can't supply something he can relate too then he cannot fully adapt. The situation really hasn't demoted Rossi as it has shown how good Stoner really is.

>>Are they Rockstar wannabes riding with hangovers?

Ask Crutchlow and he'll tell you that GP riders are a step above WSB riders. The reason that WSB has more winners is that the machinery's absolute limit is lower than a GP bike so more people can wring 100% out of a given machine. Its true for both the tires and the bikes. Its the reason Moto2 is close, the bike limit is lower and easier to achieve than a 250 bike so more people can run at the front. Well, that and the fact that all bikes are running the same internal gearing and have the same power output so unless you screw it up badly you are in the ballpark.

To go off topic this is why it is so important to keep factory prototypes in GP. You'll never develop a rider the likes of Rossi or Stoner on a CRT.

I'd also add that it is not the number of race winners that make exciting racing, its the number of last lap passes. After all, the 990cc era was almost a 50% win rate for Rossi but nobody was complaining. He was just able to make it a good show. Times have changed because he has acknowledged that he's not able to start from 11th and win any more. The talent has increased to such an extent that he can't afford to shadow riders all race long anymore and force an error. You really can't compare the likes of Biaggi and Gibernau with Stoner and Lorenzo. Rossi beat Biaggi and Sete mostly with his off track taunts and completely broke them. Stoner and Lorenzo are much harder riders who seem to ignore Rossi's mind games and let their riding to the talking, with much more success than Max or Sete ever had.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 68

"the number of last lap passes"

I strongly agree with that (Though I would say they don't necessarily need to be last lap). This argument was about the predictability of race result which is one (and not the major one) factor that makes races less exiting and whether that was mostly because of rider talent or technical factors. Actually I think that was what it was about but I'm not sure.

Total votes: 56

Stoner has two world

Javi, your mention of Hayden in 2005 fully supports exactly what I am saying about the four aliens. In 2005 Hayden was on a different bike to Rossi, and did not have an alien team mate. This is my point about 2007 - 2011. There were three, then four aliens, all of them on works bikes, not just the one in 2005. Colin Edwards has said something along similar lines.

It's simple probability: four aliens, all on works bikes. The odds are that they will win most of the races. In 2005 Hayden had to beat just one alien. In 2007 - 2011 he had to beat four. Generally it needs an unusual race for all aliens to be out of contention for the win, like the wet races in Motegi, Le Mans and Donnington (Capirossi, Vermeulen, Dovizioso).

The increasing level of professionalism is a factor, along with tires, electronics etc. Read the Stoner interview. The biggest factor is the talent of the four aliens.

Stoner has two world championships on two totally different bikes. This does not support your contention that the 800 has a style that supports a certain kind of rider. The Ducati certainly doesn't suit Rossi. We also know that Stoner dislikes electronics and likes to minimize their use. Rossi also has a expressed a dislike of electronics. They both believe that electronics are a disadvantage for them because it takes away from their ability to use their skills to the fullest degree. Do you really think these guys would want to reduce electronics if it gives them the advantage you seem to think that it does?

WSBK is generally a bunch of wannabees and has-beens. There is no-one anywhere near alien level in WSBK. Checa romped away with the championship last year, but he achieved very little in MotoGP. A good rider but not a great one. Remember Simoncelli making a one-off appearance for Aprilia in 2009 and beating Biaggi? Spies is the only WSBK rider who has made an impact in MotoGP for many years. Even Bayliss struggled on the 990, and he was a better than good rider.

Total votes: 60

Perhaps the problem is that

Perhaps the problem is that I'm not making my point clear, so I'll Try again:

1st) What you are riding has become far more important than ever before.

reading your comment I guess you both agree with me on that one, so let move on to the alien thing.

Let say you have two riders: John and Paul. And that there are 10 options to go fast round a track A trough J. Now John can go fast with A and B and he can make C work for him. Paul can go fast H and J and he can make C work for him. So both riders have similar chances to go fast. If I make it so that A and B are now the only ways to go fast then John would appear to become much faster and Paul would now be much slower, not because of their talent or adaptability but because now there are less ways to go fast (not only one but less).

2nd) The reason for the alien never before seen uber-dominance is not the unlimited present of MotoGP but rather the fact that technically MotoGP is more limited (regulated) than ever before making it harder to go really fast but more importantly leaving only a few ways to get there.

I'm not saying that Nicky is at "alien" level. I'm saying that the rider is less important than before (once again; very very important but less than before) and that explains how come Nicky went from 2006 champion to mediocre results throughout 5 years, 2 factories and the fact that Jorge wasn't an alien until 2009 and that the other 3 have all had health problems keeping them out of the track. So:

3rd) The aliens are 100 times better than every one else but the results suggest that their are a million times better, because we see less of the riders true potential.

Total votes: 66

The aliens are aliens because

The aliens are aliens because they are able to find the fastest way around a race track race meeting after race meeting with the equipment available under the present regulations. Only four guys have been able to that consistently in the 800 era.

It's the same in every era: the guy or guys who adapt best to the machines and regulations of the time have the most success.

Riders who have been unable to adapt simply demonstrate the limits of their talent.

And actually in the present era there are more variables than is the past, not less. A MotoGP bike today is vastly more adjustable than a grand prix bike in the 1960s.

I understand the argument put forward by some people that the 800s suited a particular style of rider, in particular guys from the European 250 cc style, like Pedrosa and Lorenzo. But Stoner is a very different style of rider altogether, having grown up with dirt bikes, and Rossi is somewhere in between. So it isn't just one style of riding that has worked on 800s. Some people thought that Hayden would do well on the Ducati because he has a similar racing background to Stoner. But he hasn't done well overall, and never looked like winning a race, because Stoner is simply faster and more talented than Hayden.

If Stoner, Pedrosa and Lorenzo had been in MotoGP in 2006 in their second year or later years, and all on works bikes, there is no way Hayden would have been world champion. The odds would have been stacked against him, just as they have been for the last five years. He barely scraped in as it was, with just two race wins for the season. One alien might have a bad year (Rossi in 2006) but it highly improbable that all four would have bad year.

BTW Lorenzo wasn't an alien before 2009 because 2008 was his rookie year.

So I do understand your argument Javi, and I flatly disagree. Best to leave it there, we are just going round in circles.

Total votes: 64

I agree, let's leave it at that.

Agree to disagree.

Total votes: 64

I didn't realize how boringly

I didn't realize how boringly long my comment was when writing it. Sorry about that.

Total votes: 61

pretty difficult to infer accurately in a complex situation

You seemingly ignore the little issue of global financial crisis. The year Rossi left Yamaha also coincided with the ending of several sponsorship contracts. There was a very high likelihood of those contracts not being renewed regardless of who the riders were. Companies can't cancel existing contracts due to penalties that make it financially unwise but they certainly aren't obliged to sign new contracts when corporate coffers are low.

This article is saying how Yamaha signed a NEW sponsor. Without Rossi. After not winning the championship. With the world is still in a financial crisis. To me that is a sign that Lin Jarvis knows what he is doing. Rossi leaving (pushing himself out) is not a death blow to Yamaha.

There is no denying that Rossi is (was) the most sellable rider out there but that does not mean that he is the only sellable one. If Valentino doesn't pull himself up from his bootstraps next year he may find out how difficult it is for a non-alien to find top dollar sponsorship.

Chris
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 74

About 8 million shy

Yamaha lose about 8 million Euro when Petronas bail out. Their race budget GP 2011 was about 80 million Euro. 10%, big, but no big deal. 2nd and 5th 2011 emphasises Fiat/Petronas/Rossi loss /gain,(don't have to pay him 20 M), is neither here nor there.
The only bad situation Yamaha have since Rossi left is......none!
As for Ducati funding, I wonder for how long Philip Moris,Ducati and all are going to tolerate the currently intolerable situation.
Picture this. 2012, Yamaha stuff it to Ducati 2 years in a row with 'minnow' sponsorship and hand HRC their heads on a plate.
Implausible ? I think not.
Colours ? I loved that semi red/orange/dayglo....Yamaha strip back in the Roberts/Lawson '83 season.

Total votes: 68

CANCEL CHRISTMAS

re: "The only bad situation Yamaha have since Rossi left is......none!"

melandri and laverty beg to differ.

Total votes: 66

haha

how weird would it be if they are the title sponsors and all 4 front running bikes are all running a similar orange/red/black livery.

Total votes: 58

Melandri and Laverty ?

Last time I heard they were in SBK. .The Austin venue have nothing to do with the topic either. I'm talking Texan dollars getting in behind Yamaha GP and the only American prospect for the title in 2011 GP 1000.
Maybe Tennesee should wake up and chuck some Old#7 bucks on the #11 bike.

Total votes: 61

Apologies

2012 GP 1000 title that was meant to be.

Total votes: 65

Where Did The Money Go Yamaha?

Yamaha blamed the global crisis for pulling out of WSB and letting 2 front-running riders go scramble for themselves even after Melandri signed a new contract! A slap in the face and kick in the pants if I ever heard one! And what happened to their machinery? BMW picked up most of the personnel luckily. Yamaha throws spare change at Josh Hayes and his team. So where is the money going cause it's not in MotoGP or is it? Monster Energy couldn't step up because of Lorenzo and I doubt if Rossi would allow that happen. The Japanese factories need to streamline their budgets more and get back to making motorcycles that make people want to buy their products which would help the global economy. Ducati isn't complaining about money issues... they just have a problem with their MotoGP machine. Harley Davidson is making money as usual on merchandise, parts, and everything in-between!

Total votes: 62

haha... your comment on magic

haha... your comment on magic eye within quotes made me think it was sarcasm... sorry for the fierce defences...

Total votes: 62

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