FASTER

Discussion and debate about the MotoGP class
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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

I still haven't (yet) seen Faster or Faster 2 :oops: so I can't add my comments about the film at the moment but the thing that interests me the most is the changing riders that drift in and out of MotoGP.

As pointed out by Rats, it mostly follows that to get straight on to a factory ride you have to have come from the MotoGP support classes; and it seems in the last few years that it is those who have come form the support classes that get given a greater chance to prove themselves (ie, more time). The satellite riders change so frequently and I guess they have to make an immediate impact in order to secure their team more funding, or the team will simply not renew their contract.

There are riders who have left who I feel are more deserving of factory rides than those currently in the factory teams. For example, I believe that Toni Elias and Sylvain Guintoli's results would have been significantly better than Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins' had they been on equal machinery. I think it's a travesty that we've lost Guinters.

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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

There are always those in MotoGP that never get the equipment they deserve - there just aren't enough competitive machines out there - but riders from production classes are typically never given the bike they need. I can't say that I agree about Elias and Guintoli when compared to Hopkins and Vermuelen. The fact is, they were given better bikes (even the satellite Ducatis have always been faster in nearly all respects that the Suzuki and certainly than the Kawasaki).

More to the point at hand though, before 1993, the 125 and 250 classes weren't really considered feeder classes (at least as far as I can see) but rather separate competition classes in themselves. How else can you explain why riders often competed in multiple classes and in many cases were forced by their teams to do so (KR Sr had to start winning every race before he was able to demand that he not have to race the Yamaha 250) . When Dorna came in that all changed.

From 1978 until now, riders coming from superbikes have won 19 championships while those coming from 250cc have won 12. If you look at the period up until 1993 the SBK riders won 12 while 250cc riders won only 3. If you remove Doohan from the equation as he entered as this change was taking place and benefited from the previous career path, only 1 superbike rider has won the championship he is also the only superbike rider to have gotten a factory ride on a bike capable of winning the championship (Honda, Yamaha, Ducati) in that time period.

What does this mean? Well, to me, it looks like Dorna is actively working toward making the series more insular, making it a spectacle unto itself without a relationship to any other racing series. This is very much what NASCAR has done.

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Rusty Bucket USA
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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

That's it, Matt... You're banned until you watch them! ;)
Please tell us that you've at least put them on a Christmas wish list?

Interesting theorem, Rats..
With the same information, I would have been inclined to suggest that KR Sr started the change and Freddie Spencer sealed it. Spencer was the last guy to race both at the same time with any success, right? The American parade of Roberts, Spencer, Lawson, Rainey, and Schwantz account for that 19, right? After Doohan, Biaggi and Capirossi seemed poised to restore the "proper order" by rising from 250 success. Of course, Rossi did that instead.
The arrival of the 990's re-opened the door for thinking that 4-stroke experience would be valuable, and we might still have that thinking if we still had 990's. (over to my point about tires in the Jerez test thread...)
You think what we have now is exaclty what Dorna was intending to get?
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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

See, what I am suggesting is that superbike experience can still create a world champion but political and economic rather than technical motives have made that impossible. The fact is, only Rossi has been able to turn a 250cc championship into more than a single MotoGP championship. It looks to me like viable competitors are being shut out in favor of riders from the feeder classes.

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Albert
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Re: FASTER

Post by Albert »

Not sure that I buy into your theorem Rats - although I must admit that it provokes interesting thought.
Apart from Nicky the BEST (for BEST read Regular Front Runners!) riders in the MotoGP class have all come up through the ranks of 125, 250, 500, MotoGP 990 - although Casey missed out on 500's of course.
None of the guys with proven four stroke experience have been regular front runners apart from an odd burst here or there! Bayliss at Valencia being a case in point, along with Chris V (I can't spell Vermeulen! ;) ) in the wet!
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

So, the question is, why have the front runners been at the front? Is it because they are more prepared and capable to handle MotoGP equipment or is it that they have the best equipment?

Take a look at this:

2008 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Yamaha YZR-M1
2007 Casey STONER (AUS), Ducati Desmosedici GP07
2006 Nicky HAYDEN (USA), Honda RC211V
2005 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Yamaha YZR-M1
2004 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Yamaha YZR-M1
2003 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Honda RC211V
2002 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Honda RC211V
2001 Valentino ROSSI (ITA), Honda NSR500
2000 Kenny ROBERTS Jr. (USA), Suzuki RGV500
1999 Alex CRIVILLE (SPA), Honda NSR500
1998 Mick DOOHAN (AUS), Honda NSR500
1997 Mick DOOHAN (AUS), Honda NSR500
1996 Mick DOOHAN (AUS), Honda NSR500
1995 Mick DOOHAN (AUS), Honda NSR500
1994 Mick DOOHAN (AUS), Honda NSR500

1993 Kevin SCHWANTZ (USA), Suzuki RGV500
1992 Wayne RAINEY (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1991 Wayne RAINEY (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1990 Wayne RAINEY (USA), Yamaha YZR500

1989 Eddie LAWSON (USA), Honda NSR500
1988 Eddie LAWSON (USA), Yamaha YZR500

1987 Wayne GARDNER (AUS), Honda NSR500
1986 Eddie LAWSON (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1985 Freddie SPENCER (USA), Honda NSR500
1984 Eddie LAWSON (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1983 Freddie SPENCER (USA), Honda NS500

1982 Franco UNCINI (ITA), Suzuki RG500
1981 Marco LUCCHINELLI (ITA), Suzuki RG500
1980 Kenny ROBERTS (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1979 Kenny ROBERTS (USA), Yamaha YZR500
1978 Kenny ROBERTS (USA), Yamaha YZR500


It's hard not to call many of those in bold (SBK backgrounds) among the greats. Really only Rossi came from 250s and is among the legends.

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motomania
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Re: FASTER

Post by motomania »

I think the other factor that many of those champions had in common was dirt/flat track racing background before or with their roadracing championship(s).

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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:That's it, Matt... You're banned until you watch them! ;)
Please tell us that you've at least put them on a Christmas wish list?
Faster is on the wish list as is the DTK DVD but I can't find Faster 2 anywhere?!

Faster and the DTK DVD come as a pair from Amazon for about £14 which I think is pretty good. I would have bought them by now as I'm dying to watch them but the Wife always struggles for things to buy me so I gifted them to her! ;)

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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

RatsMC wrote:So, the question is, why have the front runners been at the front? Is it because they are more prepared and capable to handle MotoGP equipment or is it that they have the best equipment?

Take a look at this:
....
It seems quite plain to me that although it is the best overall rider in each year that has won the WC, they have also arguably been on the best bike that season. So although I believe the rider makes the MOST difference to the package, it seems you can't win the WC on inferior equipment as you don't have the consistency required.

I believe in 2008 we witnessed two equal (strengths in diferent areas) bikes in the Duc and the Fiat Yam but the better rider won. In 2007 we had the best rider beaten by the second best rider because he had superior equipment; (and with Vale vs Casey I believe it is very close in terms of ability, even if Casey has not yet got the full race craft but he is quickly learning from the Master (or should I say The Doctor)).

Similarly in 2006 we had the best rider beaten in to 3rd place by superior machinery that year (Honda vs Yam) because of the lack of consistency in the Yam (technical DNF's).

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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

cartwrim wrote: Faster is on the wish list as is the DTK DVD but I can't find Faster 2 anywhere?!

Faster and the DTK DVD come as a pair from Amazon for about £14 which I think is pretty good. I would have bought them by now as I'm dying to watch them but the Wife always struggles for things to buy me so I gifted them to her! ;)

The Faster/DTK DVD has Faster 2 on it. Faster 2 isn't really a full-length affair but sort of a continuation of Faster.

cartwrim wrote:
It seems quite plain to me that although it is the best overall rider in each year that has won the WC, they have also arguably been on the best bike that season. So although I believe the rider makes the MOST difference to the package, it seems you can't win the WC on inferior equipment as you don't have the consistency required.

I believe in 2008 we witnessed two equal (strengths in diferent areas) bikes in the Duc and the Fiat Yam but the better rider won. In 2007 we had the best rider beaten by the second best rider because he had superior equipment; (and with Vale vs Casey I believe it is very close in terms of ability, even if Casey has not yet got the full race craft but he is quickly learning from the Master (or should I say The Doctor)).

Similarly in 2006 we had the best rider beaten in to 3rd place by superior machinery that year (Honda vs Yam) because of the lack of consistency in the Yam (technical DNF's).

I think your analysis is spot on but it raises the question: what happens if the best rider is put on a satellite bike or worse, the Kawasaki? Do we even know he is the best? What I am getting at is that in previous generations, SBK riders got the best bike and now they no longer do. Is that because they aren't as good or is it something else?

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Spinmaster
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Re: FASTER

Post by Spinmaster »

The only thing that has changed that makes us all think the GP250 riders are dominating is Rossi. However, he's an anomoly. The GOAT's always are. If you remove him from the list then the Superbike guys dominate the last 30 years completely. Yes, a few GP250 riders have won over the years but they are all one off's except for Rossi. With removing Rossi you'd also free up one premier seat so there could be a lot of speculation about how things would have shaken out differently for riders such as Edwards, Bayliss, and others.

So, no, I do not think the GP250 riders are dominating. Rossi is dominating. Until he retires, we won't know how good anyone else realy is or what the real trends look like.
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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

RatsMC wrote:What happens if the best rider is put on a satellite bike or worse, the Kawasaki? Do we even know he is the best? What I am getting at is that in previous generations, SBK riders got the best bike and now they no longer do. Is that because they aren't as good or is it something else?
We could use the example of Dovi this year. Obviously a very good rider, possibly one of the best, whose talent and ability to get the most out of the machinery he is on has been very apparent. Indeed, there are many that argue he was the real rookie of the year and would have gained more points and prizes than Lorenzo had he been given the factory ride. A rider in this situation doesn't come along too often as they usually go straight to the factory ride (Lorenzo, Pedrosa). Stoner was the last one in Dovi's situation but even the mighty Stoner was Ducati's 3rd choice rider for '07 I believe. The ones going straight to the factory ride (read 'best' machinery) are the ones who have to immediately prove their worth.

On the contrary, who has been slowing the Kwaks down? West and Hopper or are the bikes really that bad? Too difficult to tell and too subjective I suppose :geek:

Maybe there has been a rapid change in who the MotoGP teams see as potential victors? In the 'old days' when electronics were not as advanced as they are now maybe it was thought that SBK riders could hop on a MotoGP bike and win immediately so the top teams would take them on; maybe the opposite is now thought to be true, ie, that SBK riders need time to adapt to the MotoGP bikes. Have the differences between MotoGP bikes and SBK bikes become larger? I would say yes in terms of the electronics and riding style required as well as the braking distances etc. Maybe it is thought that riders from the MotoGP support classes will be easier able to adapt to the premier class? Also in this day and age of the 'must win immediately' strategy, riders coming from SBK who don't know the MotoGP tracks are thought to be at a disadvantage (well they are but in the 'old days' that would have been no excuse!)

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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

I think it is clear that the general thinking is that 250 riders will adapt to MotoGP better than superbike riders. But why is this the case? It isn't the elctronics, WSBK has had them for some time, both TC and active suspension. Brakes are certainly better and the bikes are smaller but is it really that different? More importantly, is it really more of a gap than it was 15 year ago?

Of course, the actual difference isn't really important because the question is can a great superbike rider be a great MotoGP rider? The problem that I am trying to work through is that we don't have an answer to that question because superbike riders simply are not given the factory Honda, Yamaha or Ducati and in the rare cases where they are (Hayden) it is on a team where they are expected to play second chair even when their results are better than the chosen rider.

So, the belief is clearly that superbike riders cannot compete with 250 riders but that belief is not based on any actual fact.

BTW, where is Krop? He has ventured an opinion or two on this subject.

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Rusty Bucket USA
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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

Spinmaster stated better what I was trying to say: Rossi is skewing the curve.

However, the rash of rules changes since 2 years ago are a clear move away from the likely success of riders bringing big 4-stroke experience. The bikes are just so much more like "big 250's" than lighter and faster superbikes.

Even if that weren't the case, with Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and Dovizioso all queued up on top rides, there's no question "former 250 riders" are going to dominate - because Rossi and Stoner are still included in that category. The only person with a realistic shot at breaking that up is Hayden, and maybe Spies in a couple years. Even if Edwards, Toseland, and/or Hopkins get their maiden wins this year, they will not dominate. After that, the only other candidate is Vermeulen, who - if he were to magically dominate the series - would have to credit the bike.

The real problem, as it were, arises after next year, because there won't be any "250 riders", and it's entirely unclear just how much the "600 proto-stock" class will be a good feeder for MotoGP. Simoncelli will be in with somebody, making Rossi forget about his dislike for Lorenzo, and the most likely departure will be Edwards, if not also Capirossi. Those may be the years for Hayden and Spies to push the superbike doors back open, if they can prove capable of regularly beating back the smaller, younger 250 grads and if Vermeulen and Toseland can justify keeping their seats.

OK, Matt, you have a reprieve until 1Jan09... ;)
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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:Spinmaster stated better what I was trying to say: Rossi is skewing the curve.
I beg to differ :)

I have produced the list below of all of the 2nd place riders in the premier class over the same period as Rats' original list of the 1st place riders. We have to go back 15 years before we get a rider who hasn't come up through the 125 / 250 ranks, coming second in the championship. I therefore posit that it is Nicky Hayden that has been the anomaly in the last ten years (being the only rider from SBK background to have finished 1st or second in the WC) and prior to that Doohan, Schwantz and Rainey were the anomalies.

Rossi's dominance certainly skews something, but if it wasn't for Hayden's WC in '06, a SBK rider would have not have won a WC for 10 years; and prior to that it was Mick Doohan's dominance that was the anomaly, with 5 different ex-250 riders playing second fiddle to him over the period 1994 - 1998.

The statistics do show that in general, SBK riders can not win in MotoGP. As Rusty says in the above post, it will be interesting to see if that changes come the introduction of the new 600 class.

Table showing 2nd place rider in Premier Class. NB: '250' feeder means either 250 or 125 as some riders skipped a series. 'SBK' means either WSBK or country specific SBK championship. Apologies for poor formatting of the table :oops:

Year Rider Feeder
2008 Casey Stoner 250
2007 Dani Pedrosa 250
2006 Valentino Rossi 250
2005 Marco Melandri 250
2004 Sete Gibernau 250
2003 Sete Gibernau 250
2002 Max Biaggi 250
2001 Max Biaggi 250
2000 Valentino Rossi 250
1999 Kenny Roberts Jr 250
1998 Max Biaggi 250
1997 Tadayuki Okada 250
1996 Alex Criville 250
1995 Daryl Beattie 250
1994 Luca Cadalora 250
1993 Wayne Rainey SBK
1992 Mick Doohan SBK
1991 Mick Doohan SBK
1990 Kevin Schwantz SBK
1989 Wayne Rainey SBK
1988 Wayne Gardner 250
1987 Randy Mamola 250
1986 Wayne Gardner 250
1985 Wayne Gardner 250
1984 Randy Mamola 250
1983 Kenny Roberts Sr SBK
1982 Graeme Crosby SBK
1981 Randy Mamola 250
1980 Randy Mamola 250
1979 Virginio Ferrari 250
1978 Barry Sheene 250

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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Okay, I think I am not making my point really clear. What I am trying to get at is that SBK rider are not even given factory machinery and therefor have no chance of winning. Hayden was the only exception and, well, he won a championship.

Rusty, you mention that the 800s are more like faster 250s and are therefor better suited to 250cc riders. Is this fact or is it just generally accepted as true? I have to wonder if this belief is self-fulfilling.
Rusty Bucket USA wrote:

The real problem, as it were, arises after next year, because there won't be any "250 riders", and it's entirely unclear just how much the "600 proto-stock" class will be a good feeder for MotoGP. Simoncelli will be in with somebody, making Rossi forget about his dislike for Lorenzo, and the most likely departure will be Edwards, if not also Capirossi. Those may be the years for Hayden and Spies to push the superbike doors back open, if they can prove capable of regularly beating back the smaller, younger 250 grads and if Vermeulen and Toseland can justify keeping their seats.

Spot on. This new class may well change everything in ways that I hadn't considered until recently. I have to believe there will be some confusion for a couple of seasons over who has what it takes to make it in MotoGP with questions arising around what the new class proves in terms of talent. What is this going to mean for the Mike DeMeglio's and the Stefan Bradl's?

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

RatsMC wrote:Rusty, you mention that the 800s are more like faster 250s and are therefor better suited to 250cc riders. Is this fact or is it just generally accepted as true? I have to wonder if this belief is self-fulfilling...

What is this going to mean for the Mike DeMeglio's and the Stefan Bradl's?
I think conventional wisdom - or, biased preconceptions - plays a big part of what you're talking about. There are many factors, as we already discussed, figured in to determining who gets a ride on which bike. So, like the rest of life, these things are not always distributed in a way that is fair and merit-based.

However, some examples are available that seem to reinforce the conventional wisdom... Bayliss comes to mind first. With the exception of Valencia a couple years, he generally could not perform as well as Capirossi. He also had a bad year with Honda. So, on what bike would he or could he have been a WC?

Contrast him with John Hopkins. Hopper went back and forth between 4-stroke and 2-stroke before he got brought up to 500's in 2001, and was remarkably fast on very different bikes and styles. It is very reasonable to assume that he would have a better record had he not been with Suzuki all those years.

Edwards has not often been Rossi's wingman, trailing at a close and appropriate distance. What bike would he have been better riding? How much better would Vermeulen be on a Yamaha or Honda?

I guess my point is we don't have enough here to confirm a trend. These guys are all indviduals with unique situations and they can't be so easily grouped.

A truly talented rider currently in 125 will prove his mettle by being able to adapt to the new bikes, just like in the past. It's just that they might find out that riding the new bike takes a different style and some will adapt better than others.

The 800's ride more like "big 250's" in that they are lighter and are using more corner speed to offset less power on corner exit. Once again, this is because of the loss of torque in the smaller engine, and the loss of power resulting from a smaller fuel tank. And now we're back to my KR Sr quote...
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Rusty, I believe you are correct - it is very difficult to really extrrapolate from the data who is or would be best able to lead a championship.

cartwirm, in looking through the info you posted, I don't think that it conlicts with the argument that I am proposing. The foundation of my argumnet is that beginning in 1993 riders fro the 250s were pushed to the best bikes while those from SBK classes were only given satellite rides. I actually think your list supports that idea more than mine does as it removes the anomalies created by the legends.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Albert »

This is becoming a fascinating thread because the arguements/disagreements are well reasoned and well thought through.
As I've already said to Rats, I've got to be honest and admit that at times it escapes the memory as to just how many guys from the four stroke background did well in the 500 class!

Occasionally we should all be reminded of those facts!

To pose another question (but on the same subject,) having taken a good look at the stats posted by cartwrim is it possible that we're beginning to see a dominance from the ex 125/250 riders? :?: :?:
Look at the regular front runners. Rossi, Stoner, Pedrosa, Lorenzo, Dovizioso -- all riders who have served their apprenticeships in the so called lower classes.
Admittedly they also gain experience of the majority of the tracks having raced at them for a few years, whereas the Superbike guys have a handful of tracks to learn!

----- and to add a little bit of meat to the pot -- Rossi has said that the 800's favour the 250 riders because of their agility (compared to the heavier 990's) and also because the current electronics packages smooth out the power delivery much more than the 990's ever did! (that's not to say that they won't spit you off if you abuse them though!)
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Spinmaster
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Re: FASTER

Post by Spinmaster »

cartwrim wrote:
The statistics do show that in general, SBK riders can not win in MotoGP. As Rusty says in the above post, it will be interesting to see if that changes come the introduction of the new 600 class.
I guess this is where you lose me. The two lists show clearly that 250 riders place second and WSBK riders place first. The only thing that's changed in thirty years is the arival of Rossi. If you factor out Rossi, every previous winner of multiple championships was a WSBK rider. I'm not sure of your logic that because 250 riders place second in the championship that they are dominant riders. If anything it proves they are at best second and placing second by definition isn't dominating (unless were taking about dominating second place ;) ). In 30 years we've had one dominating 250 rider...Rossi. Other wise it's been WSBK riders.

If that has changed we will not know it until Rossi is out and other riders start winning mutiple championships. Until then, all of the ex 250 riders that are getting premier rides and winning second place are only continuing the trend of ex250 riders placing second. Rossi being the one and only exception....not a trend. An anomoly.
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Spinmaster wrote:unless were taking about dominating second place

:lol: I guess this is what would make you take the #2 plate...and then the #3. You are dominating second place.

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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Spinmaster wrote:
cartwrim wrote:
The statistics do show that in general, SBK riders can not win in MotoGP. As Rusty says in the above post, it will be interesting to see if that changes come the introduction of the new 600 class.
I guess this is where you lose me. The two lists show clearly that 250 riders place second and WSBK riders place first. The only thing that's changed in thirty years is the arival of Rossi. If you factor out Rossi, every previous winner of multiple championships was a WSBK rider. I'm not sure of your logic that because 250 riders place second in the championship that they are dominant riders. If anything it proves they are at best second and placing second by definition isn't dominating (unless were taking about dominating second place ;) ). In 30 years we've had one dominating 250 rider...Rossi. Other wise it's been WSBK riders.
Sorry Spinmaster, I don't think I made my point very clear either. Rats' original list of WC winners over the past thirty years shows that in the last ten years, only one rider from SBK background has won the WC (Hayden). In addition, my list of second place in the WC shows that in the last ten years, no rider from SBK background has placed 2nd either. It was stated previously, that Rossi was skewing the stats towards the belief that ex-250 riders have dominated the WC. What I am saying is that this is not the case, as even when Rossi has won (forgetting '06), an ex-250 rider has come second. Therefore, even if Rossi wasn't present an ex-250 rider would arguably have won the WC. So the stats show that in the last ten years, regardless of Rossi, ex-250 riders have dominated. Does that make sense? :D

I am supporting the theory that something has changed, whether intentionally or unintentionally, such that in general, riders from SBK background (forgetting '06 again!) are no longer front-runners in MotoGP. Whether this is due to them not being offered the equipment or the time to perform, or whether because they simply can't get to the required standard, is the question.

Cheers,
Matt

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Re: FASTER

Post by yzr-m1 »

SBK riders could arguably have a steeper learning curve to climb due to unfamiliarity with some of the circuits. Even Colin Edwards still seems to perform better ( or have the potential to perform better ;) ) at tracks such as Donington and Assen.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

Well put, Matt!

Now, if I may clog up the works... while acknowledging your assessment, and realizing that Dorna are still trying to put an end to this stream of interlopers from the USA and Australia until we put up the ratings and ticket sales enough to warrant big sponsorship contracts, so they (Dorna) keep manipulating the rules to keep Spaniards and Italians at the front, I submit that this is more like observing the weather. A few warm days followed by a few cool days do not necessarily signal a change of season.

Each of these Champions and Runners-up are unique situations. "Trends" are things like global economic shifts and technological advances. These can affect who gets a ride on which bike and, theoretically, supply the conditions for a championship winner, but they all still have to perform or execute.

Rossi is not a trend, he is a dynasty. The same with Doohan. The last real trend was the parade of dirt-tracking Americans from Roberts to Schwantz. At the time the Doohan dynasty began, the was an immediate dearth of Americans in the sport. KR Jr followed the "proper" path to his Championship, and probably helped with the next trend of American talent that hasn't dominated, which happened to coincide with the arrival of 4-strokes.

Getting back to the topic of the thread... John Hopkins was the guy who was poised to benefit from the lack of American presence. If you recall from the first movie, John Ulrich was asked to send over "the next Kevin Schwantz", or prodigy. Why was this? Because it had been several years with KR Jr going it alone, and not really making the big stories here in the U.S., American fans (small bunch that we are) had begun to wonder if we were locked out for good. The request for "a new Schwantz" was an appeal to get a talented American or two into the sport. Then KR Jr won in 2000, Hopper was brought in, and, as if by script, they became teammates at Suzuki. If that bike had been any good, perhaps this conversation would be completely different.
The internal combustion engine was not put on wheels just to rest the horses.

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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:
....realizing that Dorna are still trying to put an end to this stream of interlopers from the USA and Australia until we put up the ratings and ticket sales enough to warrant big sponsorship contracts so they (Dorna) keep manipulating the rules to keep Spaniards and Italians at the front
Oooh you big cynic! :lol: I have to say I'm inclined to agree with you. I like the romantic idea that Dorna etc will keep MotoGP going and improve the rules in order to provide us, the fans, with the best possible spectacle; but it makes commercial sense to keep the fans that bring in the most cash happy. How? Keep their riders on top. This goes back to a point made earlier about Dorna wanting to cultivate the 'celebrities and personalities' by getting them on top rides, whilst giving the guys who are good riders but less of an attraction the satellite rides. I may be over-simplifying this too much but there's a conspiracy theory in there somewhere....
Rusty Bucket USA wrote:Getting back to the topic of the thread...
I'm pleased you did that, as I believe I derailed it to home in on the debate on SBK vs 250 riders, which clearly wasn't the main focus of 'Faster' or this thread. :oops:

John Hopkins is a bit of a mystery to me. When he was on the Suzuki he was 'the lean-meister', almost getting his elbow down at every turn and he was obviously capable of running at or at least towards the front. Taking a ride at Kawasaki was a complete disaster in my opinion (although I'm sure it made short-term financial sense). Maybe if he'd stayed with Suzuki he'd be a front-runner still? Has he ever been regarded as 'better' than Hayden? Why has Hayden never been regarded as 'the new Schwantz'? Maybe because of the 'Rossi Dynasty' effect as Rusty calls it (I like it :D )

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