FASTER

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Spinmaster
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Re: FASTER

Post by Spinmaster »

cartwrim wrote:
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

Cheers,
Matt
I see the point you're trying to make and it does make sense in a way. In fact, my first take on the 2nd place list was that you were on to something.

But, the more I thought about it the more I keep going back to the fact that it's based on the assumption that had Rossi not been present then the number two rider would have won the championship. This I disagree with. You're assuming that removing Rossi doesn't change anything else. But it does. Rossi, being the GOAT, impacts everything. So much of what we see today in MotoGP is based on Rossi's influence. Strong arguments can be made for Rossi being the reason for the move from 990 to 800cc bikes, the single tire rule, and others. Removing Rossi removes those influences and that makes quantifying what reality might have been like had Rossi not existed an impossibility.

Consider these few points.

Would Yamaha have been the power house that they have become without Rossi?
Would Honda have pushed for 800cc bikes had Rossi not defected to Yamaha with JB and developed a great 990?
Had the 800’s not been developed would Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and others be doing as well as they are if they were on a 990?
Had we stayed with 990s would Hayden have continued to improve as he was from ’05 to ’06 and into ’07?
Could anyone other than Rossi have been able to break contract with Michelin and started the move towards a single tire rule?

The list could go on and on and this is why I feel until Rossi goes, we won’t know the real underlying trend. By the time he leaves, things may still change a great deal and any trend that he may be masking could change yet again.

Note: rusty and cartwin both posted while I wrote this so sorry for going off topic again. :oops:
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Rusty Bucket USA
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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

Excellent!
That's why I was agreeing with you: Rossi does not count as a trend.

Spinmaster wrote:Would Yamaha have been the power house that they have become without Rossi?
No.
Spinmaster wrote:Would Honda have pushed for 800cc bikes had Rossi not defected to Yamaha with JB and developed a great 990?
No.
Spinmaster wrote:Had the 800’s not been developed would Pedrosa, Lorenzo, and others be doing as well as they are if they were on a 990?
Yes, but maybe to a lesser extent. DP was pretty good as a rookie in '06.
Spinmaster wrote:Had we stayed with 990s would Hayden have continued to improve as he was from ’05 to ’06 and into ’07?
Yes.
Spinmaster wrote:Could anyone other than Rossi have been able to break contract with Michelin and started the move towards a single tire rule?
Maybe. Michelin was in trouble before the switch to 800cc, but having to throw out all their old data and make all new products killed them.
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OZintheDesert
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Re: FASTER

Post by OZintheDesert »

It appears my reply just vanished into thin air! all this traffic.. wow!
I just wanted to say I agree with your analysis rusty and the Melandri situation highlights what you said about what bike for what rider.
I still agree that mostof the decent slot go to 250 fed rider though
And most definitely without rossi the ball park totally changes.. cripes we may have Wc's from Sete or even MAX! but maybe we would have seen more from Hayden. Hell Colin may have even won a race..
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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Removing Rossi does two main things to the championship.

First, the Yamaha would never have been anything but a second place bike. They were not in the trouble that Rossi made them out to be but in 2002 they were fighting the NSR rather than the RC211V. In 2003 they were fighting the Ducatis.

Second, we would still have a Japanese rider with a shot at the title. On the RC211V Ukawa was consistently leading races. Anyone remember Ukawa?

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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Spinmaster wrote:
cartwrim wrote:
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

Cheers,
Matt
Rossi, being the GOAT, impacts everything.
Yes Spinmaster, I completely appreciate your point that Rossi has impacted everything. That's why I only said 'arguably' an ex-250 rider would have won; and this is backed up by the stats we have. I know in reality it is impossible to say what would have happened and the scenarios you mentioned probably have been brought about purely because of him. :)
Spinmaster wrote:Would Honda have pushed for 800cc bikes
I'm not saying this isn't true - but do we have any evidence that it was Honda that pushed for 800's? I thought it was a Dorna move aimed at reducing speeds? :?:

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Rusty Bucket USA
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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

RatsMC wrote:Removing Rossi does two main things to the championship.

First, the Yamaha would never have been anything but a second place bike. They were not in the trouble that Rossi made them out to be but in 2002 they were fighting the NSR rather than the RC211V. In 2003 they were fighting the Ducatis.
Excellent assessment. In fact, it's fair to say that, removing Rossi from the picture, they are STILL competing for 2nd or even 3rd among manufacturers. Not only would they not have a better bike, only the addition of Lorenzo makes them a legitmate threat to dominate the podium. Prior to this year, there was only the occasional Edwards podium run and the very rare Tech 3 placing in the single digits.
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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:only the addition of Lorenzo makes them a legitmate threat to dominate the podium.
And that begs the further question, would Lorenzo have even wanted to join them if it weren't for Rossi? Lorenzo wants to learn from the GOAT. We could be here all day with these hypetheses! :D

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Spinmaster
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Re: FASTER

Post by Spinmaster »

cartwrim wrote: I'm not saying this isn't true - but do we have any evidence that it was Honda that pushed for 800's? I thought it was a Dorna move aimed at reducing speeds? :?:
It's been widely reported that Honda initiated the 800cc discussions as a "safety" request. They claimed that corner entry speeds were getting dangerously high. The conspiracy theory is that Honda saw it as a way to unseat Rossi and Yamaha via the development process. They should be able to go from a 990 V-5 to an 800 V-4 easier than anyone else than someone going from a 990 I4 to an 800 I4. I guess that didn’t work out as planned.

There’s so much conspiracy theory around Honda, Yamaha, Rossi, Hayden, Pedrosa, and the switch to 800cc that the guys who did Faster could do an entire movie on that topic alone.
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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

I just came across an article on Superbike Planet from 2006 talking about what the changes to 800cc would mean. It is remarkable in its accuracy.

I think I'll need to start another topic on it so as to avoid derailing this one again.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

cartwrim wrote:John Hopkins is a bit of a mystery to me... 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 )
Sorry I didn't answer this question sooner; I didn't mean to gloss it over, just lost it in the undertow... I'm probably not qualified for a comprehensive answer, since Hayden's rise through the AMA ranks happened while I wasn't able to watch anything, so I have to rely on what I've read.
Getting the thread back on course, and maybe setting the segue for an eventual review of "DTK":

I don't know if anyone on the outside thought Hopper was "better" than Hayden. Hayden is older, but Hopper has been in GP a year longer. They had different paths to MotoGP, and their styles are different. Up until around '06, Hopper kind of probably thought he was better, but he has to know that won't hold up now. The problem for him is, he's never been on really competitive equipment. In his rookie year, he was partnered with McCoy and did pretty well. The next year, that bike was gone and he ended up on a back-marker 990cc machine for almost longer than anyone has been with a single team. It's reasonable to assume that his life would be much different if he had gotten the Repsol Honda ride alongside Rossi in '03, but that was never going to happen, and you could tell Hopper coveted that opportunity. It's also reasonable to assume that his career would be significantly different if he had been offered a ride on nearly any other bike on the grid, and therein lies the tragedy...
There's even more debate whether Edwards should have gotten that HRC Repsol ride after winning the WSBK Championship, as opposed to Hayden's AMA Championships. And Edwards' '04 ride on a Honda allowed him to beat Hayden in the standings, though Nicky missed a couple from injuries. But, as I mentioned before, after Edwards went to be Rossi's Yamaha team mate, he wasn't always a reliable #2 to Rossi's #1, and Hayden beat both of them in '06 to mostly settle whether or not HRC had recruited the "correct" American for that bike.

There are several ways to answer "Why is Hayden not the new Schwantz?" question... The easiest one is to simply point at records in GP. Schwantz and Rainey finished with the same number of wins, but Rainey consistently beat Schwantz in the Championship. At this point, one would have to say that Nicky Hayden's record is nearly the opposite, except for the same 1 Championship they have in common. But it's a partly loaded question, since in the story of the movie, it is directed to John Ulrich, who brought Schwantz to Europe and then was asked if there was another in the "pipeline". Ulrich was not working with Hayden, so his answer wouldn't have included Nicky or his brothers (or, so goes my inference).
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carty
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Right, after getting a few new DVD’s for Christmas I’ve finally done my homework on the ‘Faster’ DVD. :D I’m afraid my comments are a bit random in order and flit around a bit but hopefully most of it makes sense!

The film starts by asking ‘How do they do it?’ and ‘Why do they do it?’ I thought I’d see if the film really answers those questions and I think it does in part but not fully – it’s more of a scene-setting narrative really.
Ewan Mcgregor also says the bikes are going ‘faster and faster’ searching for more speed, which in 2001 was truer than today. Once 200mph was reached they seem to have reached a ceiling – whether this is due to engineering restrictions or conscious decision by the manufacturers I don’t know. The motorcycles could be set up and geared to go faster but then they would not make the power elsewhere so I guess it is a conscious decision and a compromise by the factories to find a good ‘all-round’ balance for the bikes.

During the clips at the beginning of the race there is a sequence of crashes and one shows Rossi highsiding. The way he ‘steps’ off the bike is exactly the same as when he did it last year (as per the photochopped photo Lucy posted). The reason he was able to get off the bike this way was because he did not hang on to it for too long – as soon as he realised it was going and couldn’t be saved, he hit the eject button. This is in complete contrast to Lorenzo who had a couple of major highsides last year (just in case you didn’t notice!) and when he went he hung on to the bike for far too long which is what gave him the stupendous amount of airtime. Is this a difference in sensitivity between Rossi and Lorenzo? Rossi knows when it is irrecoverable but Lorenzo doesn’t?

‘Faster’ seems to have been produced when it was because of the hype surrounding the phenomenal power of the two-strokes and the fact aht they were hitting 200mph, etc. Several years down the line we are de-sensitised from that – we expect the bikes to be hitting 200mph on the straights or they are classed as ‘slow’. The game hasn’t moved on in that sense – indeed Dorna have looked to regress and regression is not good for drawing in new fans IMO.

Jerry Burgess worked with Rossi after Doohan’s accident – would the face of racing have been changed if these genii hadn’t been allowed to come together when they did? Would Rossi have ever hit the heights he has without the influence of Burgess? Burgess mentions that it was obvious that Rossi had ‘extremely good education’ and I couldn’t work out whether he meant in terms of race experience or literally, his school education. Reading Vale’s book ‘What if I had never tried it?’; and knowing his parental background, it seems that Vale was essentially a rich kid with a lot of time on his hands for mischief making with what to many would be unobtainable machinery for kids his age. Does a combination of family wealth and good education help to breed top-level racers? I believe yes as there are probably many undiscovered talents who could be just as quick in MotoGP if they were given the opportunity to start from such an early age.

Schwantz appears talking about a wrist injury he had whilst he was the defending champion. He knows he should have taken the rest of the season off to recover but didn’t as he wanted to defend his title. Sound familiar? Exactly the same as Stoner in 2008, except that even when Stoner had lost the WC he continued racing to secure 2nd place in the WC.

Catalunya 2001, the scene of the Rossi / Biaggi fistfight. I’m not too interested in the rivalry between these two and the hype surrounding their ‘fight’ but I enjoyed seeing the race that was a pre-cursor to the skirmish. Rossi, wide at the first corner and down in 14th position, fighting through the pack in typical style to take the win from Biaggi. Rossi must have felt like the King following this race – he had beaten his closest rival, as well as his childhood hero Capirossi. The amount of adrenaline coursing through his veins must have been a contributory element to the fracas.

I found the heart rate comparison of Rossi and Biaggi interesting. I find it interesting because I myself have previously monitored my heart whilst out riding. Obviously, racing is a completely different kettle of fish but I went for a spirited ride and found my heart rate only peaked at 95bpm. The next time I do a trackday I will wear the heart monitor and see what I get to. I believe that Casey Stoner would have a heartrate more akin to Rossi than Biaggi during racing – does anyone else have an opinion on this?

The introduction of John Hopkins, with hindsight, was a little disappointing. His first few races where he was finishing mid-pack were no better than any of 2008’s rookies; and considerably worse than some rookies we’ve had since then. I think the fact that he was young and American (and obviously gifted) captured the imagination of many within the paddock but unfortunately, for whatever reason, he has not been able to follow up on that early promise. This has been talked about on this board a lot, so I don’t really have much to add here I’m afraid!

I was interested in the talk between Kenny Roberts and Barry Sheene regarding the ‘new’ riding style of hanging off and dragging the knee. As someone who grew up and got into bikes after this ‘style’ was developed I personally can’t imagine any other way of getting the motorcycles turned as fast as possible. The first thing I wanted to do when I passed my bike test was ‘get my knee down’ like the racers did. What did new riders aspire to do prior to this?!

I haven’t yet gone in to the detail on the second disc ‘Faster and Faster’ – but will hopefully watch it again soon. Sorry for the huge post! :ugeek:

Thanks,
Matt

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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Great stuff, cartwirm.

Much to respond to, too little time. I have been thinking about Hopkins a bit lately and your discussion of Rossi's background got me thinking. Rossi made a point of not moving up classes until he had conquered the one he was in. Hopkins got thrown into MotoGP at the age of 19. Rossi, at this age had just won the 125cc championship and was moving to 250cc where he would spend 2 years before going to MotoGP.

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Re: FASTER

Post by raisinberry777 »

RatsMC wrote:Rossi made a point of not moving up classes until he had conquered the one he was in. Hopkins got thrown into MotoGP at the age of 19. Rossi, at this age had just won the 125cc championship and was moving to 250cc where he would spend 2 years before going to MotoGP.
The thing is, success in the lower classes has (as a general rule) never really meant world championship success in the higher classes. Let's take a look at Marco Melandri - if anyone looked to be on the track to a 500/MotoGP title, it was him. He really showed himself in 98 nearly straight away as being 'the real thing', if you ever get a chance - watch the 1998 125cc race at Mugello (I can upload a small highlights clip if you want). It's the first time Melandri got to dice it with the big boys of the class (and in those days they really were top 125 riders, not guys who weren't good enough to move up classes) in a 7-way lead battle with himself, Kazuto Sakata, Tomomi Manako, Lucio Cecchinello, Gianluigi Scalvini, Noboru Ueda and Mirko Giansanti and he really proved himself, at that point, to be up there with the very best.

In 1999 he was a little unlucky (and injury-prone), along with some amazing thinking by Angel Nieto Sr., Marco was to lose the championship by one point, but in the second half of the year the was no doubt he was the best rider in the class. Moving up to the 250s, he enjoyed a fair bit of success until winning the championship in 2002. Unfortunately he was on a rather uncompetitive bike he had significant trouble adjusting to in MotoGP for 2003 and 2004. He had a great run in 2005 and 2006, finally getting to show what he was made of (see Turkey 2006). Probably the best guy from the lower classes never to win a world championship.

Biaggi is another example, with 4 250 championships but never able to make it into the top spot in the MotoGP championship. Criville constantly finished runner-up to Mick (and 1999 doesn't count).

In fact, while I'm on it, if you ever get the chance to watch the 98 and 99 125cc championships, for those who can't remember it so well, you'll see the best racing you'll ever see. I'm sorry, but I don't think we've ever seen scenes like this or this since those days, and I dare say we won't again for a while yet.

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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Well, now, you have given me something else to do. I am a huge 125cc fan and enjoy 250cc a lot but, until recently haven't followed the championships.

While, I'll agree that success in the smaller classes doesn't guarantee success in MotoGP, I think it does provide a solid footing from which to exploit one's talent and that seems to be exactly what Hopkins was missing. Having competition that is tough but within your range should give you a better understanding of playing the long game and certainly provides more exposure to the fighting for the front whereas, doddling around in the middle of the field only exposes you to guys who are struggling. Learning to beat those guys doesn't help much when you get further up the field.

Ack! I can't seem to access those pics. Let me try a different network. - Never mind. I was able to get to the on my phone which routes through Canada.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

DTK:
For those who don’t yet know, and have not properly read this thread from the beginning, DTK: The Doctor, Tornado, and Kentucky Kid is the third installment in Mark Neale’s beautiful documentarian’s look at MotoGP. The focus of the story is the race weekend of the re-inaugural USGP at Laguna Seca in 2005. Because the prior two movies feature a lot of screen time for Valentino Rossi, this work extensively focuses on the three Americans who are celebrating the advantage of returning to a home track that they know. It is an in-depth look at the schedule of a race weekend, the lives of Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, and John Hopkins, and then the race itself.
(Whether you've seen the movie or not, watching the trailer always feels good!)


The first thing I notice in overview is – what I consider to be – the tragedy of the drastic rules changes that have happened since then. For those not familiar with my work, those would be: the change to 800cc, the reduction in fuel allotment, the removal of a tire supplier, the new reductions in off-season testing, and now the looming shorter practice sessions every weekend, among other things. No thanks to all these changes, it seems that nearly half of this movie is no longer applicable, and it is just 3 seasons in the past. In showing how Rossi would “prepare” for a track he has never seen before, the movie shows us a clip of the MotoGP video game. Seems to me like this is where Dorna wants to go with the whole sport…

Secondly, for those who question why Colin Edwards is still “allowed” to participate at this level, I suggest they watch this movie. It is plainly evident that the man is intelligent, insightful, determined, and yet agreeable. It is not hard to understand why he holds the position of longest tenure as Rossi’s teammate. And, from that perspective, he answers some of the questions posed in the first movie about what it is that makes Rossi so special. Reminding us of the first movie, he also observes that Rossi seems to be like a child at play, while the others are all straining at their limits.

Additionally, the introduction of the three riders’ families is highly rewarding. Perhaps that’s my American bias with our tendency to celebrate rags-to-riches success stories, but “meeting” Colin Edwards Sr. and Earl Hayden is inspiring in a way that should appeal to anyone with a heart. There is a tremendous contrast to the first movie’s introduction of Graziano Rossi and his claims that he couldn’t teach his son anything about riding. As humorous and impressive as that is, there is clearly something to be said for a family banding together to support the giftedness of the child (or children) who will someday compete on the World’s stages. And, all the while that child keeping his humble roots in mind and staying grounded in life. I would have to assume that a similar tale would be available from the Stoner family, were someone to investigate it.

On the #69, Nicky says, “Everybody expects some wild and kinky story… but it was my dad’s number when he was racing… his bike was upside-down a lot.” There are pictures from his very young years of racing. Without question, he would have been thinking, “This was my daddy’s number, and my brother over there’s got #96, which is almost the same.” At some point, he would have learned that there was an additional meaning, but decided – perhaps with the help of others – that he didn’t need to be afraid of anyone’s preconceptions, so he kept the number. I now have “#69 2006 World Champion” stickers on my car, and don’t even begin to worry what anyone thinks about it.

Two different times in the movie, there are references to Hayden’s tendency to use up rear tires. Ahhh… the good old days when a rider could actually be hard on the rear tire… even though there were myriad “electronics” back then, too, which this movie illustrates.

Early in the film, we are treated to the best imaginable "tour" of a racetrack, as Hayden, Hopkins, and Edwards all contribute their narrations while we are shown various glimpses of the circuit and each corner in detail. Later, there is an interesting split-screen with Hayden's fastest qualifying lap on the left side and Rossi's on the right. They are sync-ed up with each other, and if you know what you're looking at, you can see and hear where Hayden's advantages are, even though you can only see their right hands and the passing scenery.

So much of this movie is directly quotable, that reading a pure transcript would be nearly as rewarding as watching it. This makes narrowing down a field of memorable quotes a difficult prospect. Nevertheless, here are some of my favorites:
· “A lot of the tracks we go to now were designed on a computer for Formula One. This track definitely wasn’t designed on any computer by some guy in an office…” - Nicky Hayden. A brief history of the circuit ensues.
· Speaking of safety around the course, the narration states: “To the Americans, this is home. To the Europeans… it’s a bit of a shock.” Nicky and Colin have similar responses, with Edwards’ slightly more humorous: “I’ve heard some of the European guys complaining a little bit about a couple of areas… Good! It’ll psych ‘em out.”
· Speaking of off-season practice, “You have to go race pace all the time. If you don’t, you’re just wasting time and wearing out the equipment.” – Nicky Hayden
· Earl Hayden, in discussing how much effort it took to raise a racing family: “Some said, ‘He pushes them too hard; making them race.’ I had to make them brush their teeth and take a bath. I never had to make them race!”
· In a conversation between KR Jr and Hopkins, they agree that they’re having trouble getting power to the ground – getting on the throttle just a little later – compared to… Kawasaki! He spends the entire race being held up in corners by riders who get away from him on the straights.
· Dr. Ting expresses a Darwinian application of high pain thresholds and faster recovery rates as being key to the “natural selection” process of the sport.
· “I don’t want to be a paddock playboy…” – Nicky Hayden
· Edwards comments on tire testing. Of all people, in hindsight, to comment on the exasperating task of the tire engineers continually throwing a stream of new tires on to acquire data at this new venue, when Colin Edwards says “I’ve tried 10 tires, I found one I like!” you really have to take notice.
· In the movies’ on-going series of defining “chatter”, Nicky describes it as succinctly as anyone does, then offers up one of his solutions: feather the clutch, open the throttle a little (!) to put some tension on the chain and the swingarm. Dirt-tracking background, indeed.
· Someone asked in another thread how it is that we said that Rossi is a flat-track master. In this race you see that, even though Edwards has superior local knowledge, Rossi always gains ground through the flat turns 3 & 4, while Edwards uses the rest of the lap to his own advantage.
· It is interesting to note Colin Edwards showing Rossi the inside pass at the top of the ‘Screw, and then consider Rossi’s “application” of the maneuver in ’08.
· This movie was released in 2006 to coincide with the anniversary of the story. The later “Ultimate Collector’s Edition” contains extra interviews with Nicky, Colin, and John, filmed the week leading up to the ’06 race. In retrospect, there are some tremendously valuable insights revealed in these interviews. Too much to elaborate on, here.
· As you watch Mark Neale’s recap of the race, you can’t help wondering, "Why isn’t this guy in charge of the annual recap?!"

Since this work was done primarily by Brits and Scots, it seems a natural inference they thought this story was as appealing outside the States as it should be inside. That would be difficult for me to know, but as an American who was thrilled to see a relatively foregone conclusion develop in front of my eyes, I re-live the joy with every viewing. A fair amount of time is given to the idea that Nicky was nearing a precipice; that if he couldn’t win this race, his days were numbered. To watch that race was to view an inevitable outcome hanging by a thread. I think Estoril ’06 and Welkom ’03 are the only races that offer similar emotional impact, were such care to be taken to re-tell those stories. When Nicky takes his father around the track on the back of his bike, there is an image that – to Hayden fans – is only partially eclipsed by his subsequent Champion’s lap of Valencia in ’06.

For coverage of the race itself, check in with Rats’ review in his excellent continuing series…
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

This movie is, in my opinion the best of the three as it really does a great job of getting into a world that none of us will ever understand, a track we will never ride as fast and the mind that is able to make it all work.

It is special to some of us because it focuses on what felt like a door to the rest of the racing world to us here in the States but it is bigger than that. There hasn't been another film that digs as deep into what makes a racer. The first two films were about what makes MotoGP what a sport, this one is is about what MotoGP is.

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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

Something that really hit me when watching this was Hopkins expalining his focus. He was saying that weird things enter your head when you are riding and things like what you are going to eat for lunch come into your head. What surprised me was that he said when this happens he is at his best. My first response to this was confusion. Maybe this was the reason for some of Hopper's results. But after thinking about this for several hours, I realized that when I am playing Forza 2 or MotoGP 08, when I have found my rhythm and am setting laps within .1 second of each other, I am barely paying attention to any of the corners - or anything for that matter. That said, any distraction, breaks the focus - or lack thereof and I lose my pace. It is a weird state of mind and perhaps this is what Rossi has over everyone else. Perhaps he can get into and out of that state at will.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Richo »

Finally tacked down a copy of DTK the other night and sat down and watched it. I was fortunate that the family were out and I could watch in peace (for a change). I tend to agree that this is a better watch than Faster, probably more of an insight into the MotoGP circuit and more technical. I found it very enjoyable and will probably watch again soon so that I can take more of it in. Also great for gaining a greater understanding of the LS track, that corkscrew is a massive drop!

Which corner was it that Stoner came off at in 2008?

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OZintheDesert
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Re: FASTER

Post by OZintheDesert »

I think its turn 12, the one at the start of the straight before the finish line.
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Richo
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Re: FASTER

Post by Richo »

You are right Oz, just found a copy of the race and checked it out. As Stoner gets back on you can see the main straight and all the pit boards etc.

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

Richo wrote:Which corner was it that Stoner came off at in 2008?
While you are correct, it is the final left-hander, that is referred to as "Turn 11".
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RatsMC
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Re: FASTER

Post by RatsMC »

It would be turn 12 but the corkscrew is turns 8 and 8a. Why, I have no idea.

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OZintheDesert
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Re: FASTER

Post by OZintheDesert »

Meh all sematics..

I just popped the number from my head.. I really had limited idea on it.
I just knew it was the final corner.
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Re: FASTER

Post by carty »

Rusty Bucket USA wrote:DTK:
For those who don’t yet know, and have not properly read this thread from the beginning, DTK: The Doctor, Tornado, and Kentucky Kid is the third installment in Mark Neale’s beautiful documentarian’s look at MotoGP. The focus of the story is the race weekend of the re-inaugural USGP at Laguna Seca in 2005. Because the prior two movies feature a lot of screen time for Valentino Rossi, this work extensively focuses on the three Americans who are celebrating the advantage of returning to a home track that they know. It is an in-depth look at the schedule of a race weekend, the lives of Nicky Hayden, Colin Edwards, and John Hopkins, and then the race itself.
(Whether you've seen the movie or not, watching the trailer always feels good!)
Here's my addition to Rusty's analysis above: I have tried to avoid doubling up on Rusty's comments but some bits will inevitably overlap.

I have now watched DTK a couple of times and feel in a good enough position to reply to the topic in depth.

Right, first off I think that this movie was called DTK for marketing purposes. Rossi is obviously a big draw and stuff with his name on sells. There is not much footage or contribution from Rossi. I wondered if the movie would still have been called DTK if that had not been the 3-2-1 finishing order of the race? Was it a working title and it magically happened that they finished that way, or did they make the movie and name it based on the podium finishers?

One of the first things that struck me is how lean, mean and hungry Hopper and Edwards look. Literally, they both look hungry. Colin has always been slim but has filled out a bit in the last couple of years. In 2005, Hopper hardly filled his slim leathers but these days (admittedly following a couple of injury-forced training lay-offs) he has got relatively chunky for a pro motorcycle racer. Hopper’s vital stats are given as 5”10’ and 155lbs, I can’t believe he’s that these days! The analogy that popped in to my head was that they are both now like men who are comfortable in marriage and have let themselves go a bit. They are comfortable in MotoGP and maybe don’t feel they have as much to prove anymore. However, going in to the 2009 season I think this situation will change for both of them. Edwards wants to prove he is top dog in the Tech Trois team (by his own admission he knew that was never the case in the factory team) and Hopper wants to go and show the world what he can do against ‘lesser’ riders in WSBK. They should both now be as hungry to prove their worth as ever.

Melandri is referred to a ‘rising Italian star’. Due to a couple of unfortunate decisions and reasons largely beyond his control, he is now, 4 seasons later, a ‘falling Italian star’. Let’s hope he can at least level off that decline this year.

Nicky Hayden (in my opinion the provider of some of the greatest quotes from MotoGP) says the “great thing about motorcycles, at the end of the day it’s still the dude sitting in the seat who wants to twist the throttle the hardest”, referring to the pilotVs.bike debate. Casey Stoner is obviously the man who has been prepared to twist the throttle the hardest in the last couple of seasons, trusting the chassis, suspension and tyres to grip the track. Let’s hope Nicky gets back to being that man for his own sake.

Hopper is heard talking about Melandri’s crash at the corkscrew during practice and he sounds cocky, saying it was always going to happen to someone sooner or later. He then goes on to have a big moment himself – almost coming in to contact with a wall after he runs off track. This reminded me of how easy it is to criticise others. I myself have criticised others who I thought were being slow / poor riders at trackdays yet I have come off myself and know only too well how easy it is!

Edwards talks about how he’s “not a technogeek” but does enjoy playing around with suspension and electronics, etc and then analysing the data. This is obviously what makes him a great development rider. Conversely, Hopper freely admits he just says to the mechanics “this is happening there” and the techies attempt to sort it out for him by looking at the data.

Edwards talks about how prior to riding with / against Rossi, he thought he himself was at least as good as anyone, but now he can’t argue that Rossi is the G.O.A.T. He says he wishes he knew what it was that Vale has, as though it is a mystical quality. Effectively he says that Rossi operates on a different plane to the rest of the riders. Whether he would say the same about Stoner after the last couple of seasons? Who knows!

There is a part in the movie talking about the riders’ injuries / recovery etc and the subject of MotoGP riders being slightly superhuman in terms of recovery times comes up. Hayden is quoted as saying “you need to be able to take a good licking sometimes”. I’m always amazed at how riders crash and bounce and this line sums it up for me!

Edwards talks about how in 1999 he did lots of raining, 20 miles a day on the pushbike, gym etc and got his ass kicked on the track. In 2000 he did the opposite, just chilling and doing wakeboarding, motox, etc (still physically demanding activities but more fun) and he won the SBK WC. He concludes that winning on the bike is all in your head. He says he used to feel bad if he missed a day’s training but it’s all psychological and doesn’t really matter for much. I agree with this wholeheartedly.

Hopper is heard being slightly disparaging about Nicky Hayden, saying he should have been getting regular podiums with the factory ride he was on. People have since said the same about Hopper but it is widely reported that the factory Suzook has never been as good as the Honda was / is.

Prior to the actual race footage, several spectators are interviewed. One lady says “As much as I love Rossi I’d like to see the Hayden guy get a podium too”. I think someone should have prepped her before she was allowed to speak to a camera….

Split screen side-by-side footage of Rossi and Hayden going round the track is shown which I found very interesting. Hayden uses 1, 2 or sometimes 3 fingers for braking. Rossi almost invariably uses 4, or at the least 3. I have heard a quote from Troy Bayliss saying how “there is a lot of feel in that little finger” and I wonder if that’s what separates the very late brakers from the late brakers?! It would be interesting to know how many Barros and other notoriously late brakers use to see if there is any correlation.

Earl Hayden (all-round nice guy and model father IMO) is quoted before the race saying “These people Repsol, they expect you to win, not come 3rd, so [the race is] big for Nicky”. Earl knows how much pressure is put on his son by Repsol and it sounds like he tolerates it because he knows it is Nicky’s dream but he sounds suspicious of the organisation and slightly critical of their methods. (You can glean a lot from someone’s tone!) The Hayden family, all round, seem very nice, genuine people who appreciate what they have and I really hope things work well for Nicky at Ducati. The well-reported ‘family spirit’ at Ducati should suit them well.

At 1hr, 15 minutes and 16 seconds in to the film we are ‘treated’ to a shot of Brad Pitt’s arms. They are ridiculously ripped! He is one of the most genetically gifted individuals in the world and could have been a pro-athlete or body-builder but because he is a pretty boy got his break in the movies. I like his films a lot.

Brilliant quote from Rossi talking about Edwards’s pass during the race – “I don’t expect when he arrive he overtake me at the Corkscrew”. The exact same pass used by Rossi on Stoner in 2008, except Rossi arrived slightly later at the corner because of the speed required to get past Stoner at the top of the hill. Expect to see that move used again by a daredevil in 2009.

The last thing I notice in the race footage are the dark lines of rubber (we call them 'darkies' in the UK, don't know if that's used anywhere else?) left as the riders gun it up the hill. This is very cool 8-)

I very much enjoyed DTK as it gives a lot of insight in to the riders. I also really enjoy the DVD 2 which is race footage from all different angles. You really get a sense of speed and involvement. All in all, I'm very glad I got this for Christmas!

Cheers,
Matt

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Re: FASTER

Post by Rusty Bucket USA »

Two things I left open for others to pick up on (or, I forgot, in one case):

There are two brief moments where we are treated to a view of that seemingly mysterious Australian ability to wheelie while smoking the rear. In what I assume is two different views of the same event during one of the FP sessions, Bayliss is seen lighting it up out of Turn 4 and the nose picks up before the rear stops sliding. I'm not sure why they passed up the opportunity to make the connection back to the first film and examine that more closely, but worse, they play through them so quickly, it's easy to miss.

In the discussion of injuries, recovery, and body-enhancing hardware, around the time of Nicky's "taking a licking" quote, there is a shot of an X-ray of his shoulder "modification" from his Super Motard accident the year before. It is this plate that gets bent by Pedrosa 15 months later at Estoril, and stays bent (forcing the re-fractured collarbone to stay cracked for nearly 3 weeks) until after Hayden races to 3rd at Valencia and wins the '06 Championship, before he tells anyone publicly. It is this image I have in mind whenever people attempt to say Hayden backed in to his Championship by "coasting" to 3rd after Rossi fell off. I'll hear from volunteers willing to try to replicate the feat... :!:
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