Jeremy Burgess On Laguna 2008 - How Valentino Rossi Beat Casey Stoner

Back in the spring of 2010, I was asked by Chris Jonnum, editor of the late and very much lamented motorcycle racing monthly Road Racer X to do a story on the bikes that won the US Grand Prix at Laguna Seca throughout the years. The story meant I got to talk to a lot of people about a single subject, and turned up some fascinating material. One of the most interesting interviews I did was with Valentino Rossi's veteran crew chief, Jeremy Burgess about the race that Rossi won at Laguna Seca in 2008, when he beat Casey Stoner in one of the most thrilling races of recent history.

Burgess spoke to me prior to the 2010 French MotoGP round at Le Mans, while Rossi and Burgess were still with the factory Yamaha team, and talked about their strategy in taking on and beating Casey Stoner and the Ducati, what it takes to win at Laguna Seca, and the difference between Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa. Here's the interview:


MotoMatters: How did the victory at Laguna Seca in 2008 come about?

Jeremy Burgess: I'd have to say it was a pivotal point in the championship to make a statement with Casey. The bike certainly wasn't faster than Casey's bike, but with Laguna being such a unique track, where the straight has a corner on it, a long corner. So it was more of a tactical race than a bike performance race. It was a case of making sure that we were in front of Casey.

Casey had been dominant through all of the practices, and comfortably dominant. So his mindset was probably, "this is my race, I'm going to win this easy". What Casey hadn't dealt with, was the possibility of someone being in front of him. So my message to Valentino was exactly that, Casey hasn't thought about having to race anyone, he's thought only about winning the race.

Valentino either took that on board or had already worked it out for himself quite probably, because Wayne Rainey and I had discussed it after qualifying, that Casey's mind would probably only be used to being in the lead, in control. To have anything else thrown up in front of him that he hadn't seen through the course of the practices may have rattled him a little bit. So our plan was clearly that, to get ahead of Casey, which we did at the chicane, and we led if you remember every time onto the straight.

MM: I remember watching Rossi and Stoner through Turn 1. Rossi would come out of the final corner ahead, Stoner would start catching him and Rossi would slide across leaving Stoner only the outside line around Turn 1.

JB: It wasn't a case of offering him anything, that was the only place to pass, it was a case of not giving him the ideal line. So if Casey was going to pass Valentino round a corner, it was going to be the long way round, which is the only place to pass, unless you do it in the braking area.

My feeling at the time was that Casey probably only had one game plan, and having watched Casey over the years, he doesn't have a plan B. If it doesn't go his way from the outset, it's probably one of the weaknesses that he had through the youth that he had, through the lack of experience that he had. That's not a criticism of him per se, he was still only 22 at the time.

And that was it, it was clearly a tactical race. They both cleared off in the vicinity of 20 seconds ahead of Chris Vermeulen, and Casey was able to pick it up after slipping off at Turn 11 and still finish second.

MM: You found a couple of tenths in the morning, what did you do to the bike?

JB: We often do things to the bike, the more practice you get, the more analysis you have, the better the decisions you can make. Like here in Le Mans this weekend [in 2010], you can make the bike good in one section, or you can see that you're bad in one section. So you set about to improve.

In Laguna, there's a number of issues. It's a shitty little race track with low gearing and high RPM, and no rest at all, so it's quite difficult, and to be perfectly fair it's highly undesirable for the sort of motorcycles we're riding. And add to that the topography of the place, and it's something that European riders when they first go there are terrified of.

Certainly there are elevation changes where the bikes would leave the ground and do all sorts of things. I mean it's lovely to have a racetrack like that, but it's really probably not a great racetrack. It created a great race on that particular day, mind you, and everyone said there should definitely be more races like them - everybody except Casey.

But it certainly wasn't all machine. The disappointing thing about Laguna for me technically is that you can go there on Friday afternoon and do 21.9, and work on the bike all weekend and you'll still do 21.9. So it tells me that the guys are just wrestling the thing around as best they can, and there's not much in it for us to technically improve the bike.

MM: Is that why the Yamaha M1 is good around the track? It seems to be an easier bike to ride.

JB: Well, we only came second and third there last year [2009 - MM], and we've only ever won there once. And as far as Grand Prix goes, me personally, I've only ever won there once, with Valentino. As we saw with Nicky, it's a little bit of a local hero's track, the Europeans are looking for the technical edge on the bike, whereas the guys who have raced there all their lives know that they just have to wrestle it around and take the right lines. And Colin was able to beat Valentino there in 2005.

MM: Do you think that's how Rossi learned his way around the track, by following Edwards around?

JB. Well he saw where Colin passed him, and he wanted to make sure that never happened again, and he knew where he passed Casey. It's the sort of racetrack that favors the brave, but at the same time if you ran the measuring stick around the place you might not find that it doesn't quite measure up. We'd rather be racing at 5km tracks than the ones that say they're 3.5km while they're really 3.3km.

MM: It's interesting, I was asked to write a story about the bikes that have won there, but everyone I've spoken to says that it's not about the bike, it's about the rider around Laguna.

JB: Yes, I mean, it seems to have a massive ability to favor the local riders.

MM: Is that atmosphere or track knowledge? Is it like the Spanish finding something extra at the racetracks in Spain?

JB: Well, therein we show the weakness, don't we? If you can get up on that weekend, on the technical racetracks of Spain, why can't you get up on the technical racetracks likeAustralia, where the Italians do? Lorenzo is a guy who will and does. Stoner has been able to get up on tracks all over the world. Unfortunately, Dani Pedrosa's into his 6th year in MotoGP, and he's won 8 races [since Le Mans 2010, Pedrosa's total is up to 14 MotoGP victories - MM], Jorge Lorenzo's two months into his 3rd and he's won 6 [Lorenzo's current total is now 16 - MM]. It's night and day between those two, is the way I see it. Dani's an extremely fast rider, but a shockingly poor racer.

MM: Were you surprised at Jerez [2010] when Pedrosa fought back when Lorenzo passed him?

JB: When did Dani fight back? With two laps to go, and he didn't even get close enough to try to come back. Dani has never been a fighter in races, he's a lovely kid, don't get me wrong, but you can see that Lorenzo, having Pedrosa in front of him, it was never going to be the way he was going to finish that race. He was going to finish on the ground or he was going to finish in front of Pedrosa. That's the sort of race that we want, we had that with Biaggi and Valentino, and from history with Schwantz and Rainey. All the good riders have always had somebody they have had to put the target on the back of. It was Doohan and Gardner, and Doohan won that battle hands down, and I think Jorge Lorenzo's going to win this battle [with Pedrosa] hands down.

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Total votes: 88

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Comments

Interesting perspective. Dedicated MotoGP fans tend to be hardware geeks, focusing on the minutia of set-up and bike changes, a viewpoint perpetuated perhaps by the riders themselves, who can be quick to blame the above for their lack of pace. I've always thought that if a rider is quick on brand X, then it's likely that they'll be quick on brand Y, unless of course the machinery is so foreign to their riding style or so fatally flawed that it saps the rider's confidence, as we have seen time after distressing time at Ducati.

Total votes: 207

Leave it to a grizzled Aussie to write off Dani Pedrosa. After what we witnessed last round, it's quite obvious that this particular Aussie is full of baloney... JB should stick to spinning wrenches. Fun read, though. Thanks David.

Total votes: 209

Well, I think JB was correct in his assessment at the time... I definitely see Dani in a new light after Sachsenring 2011. I'd bet it made an impression on JB too.

Total votes: 220

I agree his verbiage was a bit over the top IMO but no doubt Dani has become a better racer/scrapper since his first few MotoGP years. His attitude seems to have changed as well.

On Laguna being a shitty little track, again not the words I would use. Compact, tight, exhausting, technical, difficult, slow- I think those are better terms. Clearly 250hp is a bit overkill but apart from Sepang, Mugello and a few tracks no longer on the schedule, there really aren't that many tracks where the power isn't wasted.

Glad JB is back with the team this weekend. It will be interest to see which bike Nick and Valentino use in the race.

Total votes: 228

I think JB's summary of Dani at the time was pretty accurate based on what we all saw but I imagine if you spoke to him now he would have a very different view of things. Dani has come on in leaps and bounds (aside from injuries) and a telling thing is the statistic on recent wins vs Jorge. Mind you, Casey has aslo been responsible for Jorge's drought recently.

To my mind Dani's hardening up is a bit like when Casey won his world championship. The change for Casey from the previous year was so dramatic it was as though someone had got inside his head and flicked a switch that triggered the "stay on the bike and win" part of his brain (it got turned off for a while later). I suspect the switch in this case has been the presence of Casey and a hungry Dovi in the Repsol team ..... a big motivator if you want one of the best seats in the show.

Speaking of Dovi .... what odds would you give of him winning the Championship? I think I might have a quiet fiver on him. He has slowly but surely been creeping up on the leaders and we have seen how just one race incident can rob contenders of their chance.

Total votes: 219

Dovi is having a very Hayden'06 like year. Anything can happen (well, apart from Ducati winning races that is).

I too give alot of credit to the competitivness within the HRC garage this year. The bike is no doubt very strong, but when Casey went out there on his first ride and went quickest you can guarantee that it lit a fire under Pedrosa and Dovi's behinds and has pushed all three of them into a new direction.

Hopefully Dani stays upright and gives Lorenzo and Stoner plenty of competition for the rest of the year. The HRC pecking order alone creates plenty of drama to unfold yet.

Total votes: 206

Casey hopping on that HRC has definitely lit a fire under both Dovi and Pedrosa. Pedrosa I always felt had the speed, but it looks like Repsol is bringing up someone they think can possibly deliver better, (Marquez), and replace Pedrosa. That is still a couple of years off as far as factory HRC. But if Pedrosa does not keep delivering like he does. I think he will be replaced.

Pedrosa has had a bike that HRC has tried to make right for him for years now. Casey coming in and has immediately hooked up. And Honda is famous for being more of the mindset that it is not the bike, it is you. Casey coming in with all his talent, is bound to cause some stress to other Honda riders. But, it is good for the racing!

Total votes: 199

David perhaps you or some of the other readers may be able to clear this up. I have long since wondered whether the pass on Casey was legal, my understanding is that if both wheels of the motorcycle leaves the track (in this case cut across the white line) that the rider may not gain from doing so.

Total votes: 190

This is what Paul Butler had to say on the Rossi pass on Casey at Laguna Seca in 08 "Okay, the rules say you have to ride on the track and that the track is defined by its edges, but we don’t have tramlines down the track"

There may be rules, but in the interest of good racing, race direction will bend those rules.

Total votes: 229

The image isn't hard to find...

http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/photogallerys/Rossi_Stoner_corkscrew.jpg

Anyway, the "dirt" inside of the rumble strip is actually paved and berms up to the inside of the strip. However that pavement is generally covered with debris, dirt and gravel... but the camber gain actually makes it a "decent" place to pass if you can get away with it.

Total votes: 227

Butler stood up a nice straw man, 'well, we don't have tramlines in this sport'. The question was was the pass legal, not do we have tramlines on the track. I lost a lot of respect for Butler reading that hemming and hawing. When did it become so hard to admit that a mistake was made? I mean not only did he run off the track but he nearly pushed Stoner off when he re-entered it. Rossi was behind Stoner coming into the turn and ahead of him at the exit after running off the track. That is clearly against the rules. What do tramlines have to do with anything? There was a great pic of the 'pass' that clearly showed both of Rossi's tires in the dirt. I think Laguna wanted to make a poster out of it but all of a sudden the image disappeared. Go figure.

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

Total votes: 218

What an amazing race that is 3 years latter and we are still talking about it. Just to make sure this controversy never dies: Rossi passed Casey in the left hand turn before the turn where he went off track. He did not pass Casey by cutting the corner as a matter of fact because he went into the dirt Casey almost got him at the end of the corkscrew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfPM77TsGaA

Total votes: 214

of what is acceptable to race direction. Personally I don't think the corkscrew pass was such a big deal and on the whole Rossi rode a brilliant race. Rossi didn't intentionally leave the track (it's not real fast in the dirt), it was his sheer racing bloody mindedness that found him there. As he wasn't in complete control I don't think you can call that pass malicious at all. However the brake check that saw Stoner run off and fall down is another kettle of fish altogether......Champions play rough though.

JB is really rather a condescending bore though isn't he. Calling Pedrosa a kid and being extremely dismissive of a three time world champ. It's that hard nosed win at all costs mentality that often typifies Aussies at the top. Just look at Rupert Murdoch....oops.... bad example.

As for plan A, plan B - what a crock of....Yes Casey would've liked to have scarpered from the off (plan A.....), but the mere fact he so thrillingly engaged with Rossi (plan B.....) shows that motorcycle racing is not a theoretical game - but one in which the terms of engagement are made on the hoof. At times it's a thrust and parry sport (as Laguna '08 was), or watch and learn from behind - clinical incision at the death (i.e Spies last weekend). These guys are extremely quick witted and can sum a situation up in the blink of an eye.

Finally given that JB thinks it's all about experience at Laguna and knowing how to muscle a bike around there rather than set-up we should see the real (?) Rossi back this weekend?

Total votes: 215

Yes, it was on the limit for Rossi. For any other rider it would be a penalty.

What does Rossi's intentions have to do with whether he broke the rule or not? 'I did overcook the entrance, ran off line, ran off the track, and almost knocked another rider off the track when I re-entered............but it was not intentional so everything is fine even though I gained a place.' What kind of logic is that? At this point of the track the dirt line is faster than the pavement line. It is straighter than the official pavement line so after you overcook the entrance you don't have to turn, just go straight over the dirt.

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

Total votes: 239

with the precedent that has been set by race direction, then I would assume all riders would take said line as the optimum one with which to post the fastest possible time. Do they.......?

Total votes: 210

If you are Rossi and fighting a relatively unpopular rider for the win you can do nearly anything you like including running off the track. Or running him off the track, eg Sete. Or pass under a waving yellow, eg PI. See a trend?

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

Total votes: 220

I am not Rossi's biggest supporter (probably nearer the other end of the spectrum), but I find it difficult to blame the man himself for the splinelessness of race direction.

Then again - to play devils advocate - is race direction at Dorna's direction, who's at Uncle Carmelo's direction, who's ultimately at Rossi's direction...?

Total votes: 174

my feelings on it. Well said! I also always thought "well gee, if it's no big deal, why doesn't everyone just take the beeline through every chicane without consequence."

Total votes: 215

First post so go easy on me guys.
Just something to consider: When Race direction decide, perhaps they consider intention and not just strict liability, strict liability being the attitude that the bike has left the track ergo the rider must incur a penalty.

If their approach is supposed to be strict liability then it is difficult to argue that Rossi should not have had any penalty, but if the approach, and in my opinion the better approach, is that there must be some kind of mens rea, that is to say a mindset at the time from the rider intending to benefit from the action then it is much easier to understand the decision.

Rossi could not possibly have intended to cut the chicane and risk binning the bike so that he could gain position. I can't see how having dirty tyres, mounting and dismounting the curb and trying to find the right line on reentry would help.

Also, at the end of the day it's racing and limits are always being pushed, both with the bikes and with the rules, be they engine specification rules and fuel limits, or be they hard passing flirting with the line of acceptability. What's crucial in Race Directions approach is consistency - if they employ strict liability for one rider they can't take an intention based approach for another.

Total votes: 218

Welcome to the site.

Why do you think a rider's intention matters when determining a rule is broken? Isn't breaking the rule enough of a fact to determine that the rule was broken? Nearly every mistake made by riders is unintentional. That's why they call them mistakes. I find that looking at video replays of any given incident is much more repeatable and reliable than trying to determine what a rider's intentions are. As far as I am aware we are not able to read people's thoughts.

You are trying to create a grey area where there is none. I'm sure Simonchelli didn't purposely knock Pedrosa down yet he got a penalty. When Toseland got a ride through for a starting line infraction I don't think he moved on purpose. Yet Rossi breaks a rule and all of a sudden people are wondering what his intentions were. His intention, like every other racer on the track, was to make a pass. In the process he ran off the track and reentered improperly. A ride through penalty would have been suitable. Maybe a 10 sec penalty like the one he got at PI where he then made a 15 sec gap and won.

>>Rossi could not possibly have intended to cut the chicane and risk binning the
bike so that he could gain position. I can't see how having dirty tyres, mounting and
dismounting the curb and trying to find the right line on reentry would help.

But he did cut it and it was a benefit, funny how that happens.

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

Total votes: 211

Hi Chris, first off just wanted to say I have been following this site for several years and have noted several of your opinions which I often agree with, and respect. I recently created a username and pass to log in and participate in the often highly intelligent debate here, as I feel of late there have been new participants who have been less than respectful and in the spirit of this forum.

Now to address your points: From what I understand (and forgive me if I have misinterpreted) pointing at Toseland you are highlighting that race direction in that instance had taken a strict liability approach and punished him. I agree that seems to be the case, and there are many who thought it very harsh but still if race direction had been consistent and always taken that approach there would be no cause for complaint as people would simply say the rules are the rules. I agree that there is inconsistency from race direction and this needs to be addressed.

It is not my intention to create a grey area, and if you think that I am partisan then you are mistaken. What I would like to see is a consistent approach from Race Direction where either a strict liability approach is always taken, or other factors are considered. What is clear is that consistency is vital. Moreover, if other factors will come in to play (thus creating this grey area) it needs to be clear to everyone what those other factors are. Clearly other factors came in to play with that pass, and some of the more cynical would say it was Rossi's superstardom, whilst some would argue as I did that there was no intent.

A lot of arguments about the pass are clouded by 'Rossi this' and 'Stoner that' but perhaps what needs revising is not the pass by Rossi ad infinitum, but rather the rule book. The reason people are looking at what Rainey said about it, or what Schwantz had to say, or what has been said on this site, is because there seems to be minimal direction from Race Direction on what is and isnt acceptable.

If passes are considered on a case by case basis, arguably in the interest of keeping racing exciting, which is something we all want, then the factors at play need to be made clear. Hopefully that will settle some of the debate and help everyone understand decisions in the future regardless of which riders they involve.

I hope that makes sense, and thank you for taking the time to read this

Raif

Total votes: 199

It must be quite a circuit to ride and makes for spectacular viewing from the armchair, but I'm one who concurs with JB's views on Laguna as a MotoGP circuit. It fits in the same mould as Le Mans,the current Misano and to a lesser degree Sachsenring, Ricardo Tormo and Motegi (touchy subject right now).
The second half of the season throws up some great GP circuits.
One I particularly like is Aragon. It would be great to see them use the entire length of that back straight as they did in SBK this year.
Back to LS 2008, it was a great duel and result depending on which side of the fence you were on. As a full length GP spectacle it failed miserably like 2005,06,07,09. A snorefest after 20 laps or whatever. Mind you, no one will forget those first 20 of 2008 in a hurry.
A repeat of last Sunday's Sachsenring battles all race long will suit me just fine.
That was then and this is now. I guess JB may see Dani in a different light now, but not by much. I concur with his view of George vs Dani. George is just too much dog.

Total votes: 224

Snorefest??? we are talking about 2008 right? Even after Casey threw it into the kitty litter, the rest of the race I was trying to catch my breath after one of the best duels I have ever witnessed. It is still the best race at Laguna.. And I have been too 05-10, and will be there again this year. Maybe you only watch the US round of MotoGP racing... but pretty much ever round has been snorefests. So what are you watching?

Total votes: 205

That little kitty litter thing looked like a brake check to me. The finish might have been different if Casey didn't have to avoid ramming Rossi.

Total votes: 199

Interesting observation, because if I remember correctly there was an article I read in the Philip island 2008 guide with Casey which asked him about Laguna and the corkscrew move, and his answer was basically that he didn't think there was much wrong with the corkscrew move but that his post race comments to Rossi were more about sustained brake checking throughout the race that he believed was to dangerous for MotoGP.

Given how much car drivers tend to bitch about brake checking i'm not surprised that bike riders would consider it even worse.

Total votes: 223

I don't think I've ever come across brake checking in motogp before or since LS08 which makes you wonder at the validity of the claim.. Matt Roberts called it brake checking in parc ferme right after the race and if you watch the interview Casey looks surprised by the comment.
I suspect Rossi altered corner entry and exit every single corner and lap especially coming on to the main straight as it was the ducatis strongest point at the time. I suspect Casey was also well aware of it after 17 or so laps. ..
Cars have brake lights which completely alters the dynamics of the brake checking theory.

Total votes: 210

"He was going to finish on the ground or he was going to finish in front of Pedrosa. That's the sort of race that we want,"
Couldn’t agree more. That’s why I have a lot of respect for Casey’s win it or bin it approach to the Duc, where some simply say ‘he crashed too often’. It still seems the only way to win on the beast.
I also agree it sometimes looks like Stoner doesn't have a plan B.

Total votes: 199

said the mistake Ducati made was to believe when Casey won it was due to the bike and when he crashed it was a riders error. He felt it was the other way around: Casey won because he took the bike to the absolute limit, it was his skill as a rider to be able to take some victories with such a difficult bike.

Total votes: 217

Did he say that before or after his comment about having an easy fix for the Ducati, or rather before or after miserably failing to implement that fix when Rossi started riding it?

Total votes: 217

He said it after. It was a TV interview done in Australia recently. JB said that Casey was an "amazing" rider and that Ducati really didn't listen to him in terms of what the bike needed over the last few years. He said that when Casey was successful and won they took it as a sign that everything was fine with the bike, when in reality Casey was just prepared to put hit nuts on the line to win. He also said that Valentino was not prepared to ride that hard and that they needed to make the bike more rideable in order for him to be competitive on it.

I think JB's opinion of Stoner has changed significantly after spending 9 months trying to tame the Ducati with Vale. He seems to have a new respect for him.

Total votes: 229

JB always had respect for Stoner, although that has undoubtedly increased in the last few months. But I do recall that JB said that Honda needed to hire Stoner if they wanted to win the world championship.

But JB's comments about Pedrosa are over the top. I think Pedrosa could have won the world championship this year, even against Stoner, if it wasn't for the Simoncelli incident. After all Pedrosa should have had a significant advantage over Stoner because he has been on the 800 Honda since 2007, so it is reasonable to expect he would have the bike dialed in better than Stoner at most tracks, enough the make the tenth or two difference per lap that he needed over a race distance.

Total votes: 199

I think it would be quite crazy if a racer (actually any MotoGP) racer didn't have a plan B. The problem is, that plan B doesn't usually yield results anywhere close to plan A, thus people think you don't have one. That's how close racer and bikes are these days hence not much overtaking. Overtaking mostly only happens if someone is riding plan B (because his tire is shot, braking issues etc.)

Simple as that ... to me anyways.

Total votes: 196

David,

This was a bit of a softball interview. You didn't even mention the most controversial pass for the last 10 years! I would be interested to hear how JB would try to spin the sanctioning body bending the rulebook for Rossi in the name of 'good racing'.

I think with hindsight we can see that Rossi didn't force Stoner into a mistake, Stoner couldn't go fast enough to keep the tires in the operating range so fell prey to the Duc's main weakness. I guess Stoner's mistake was letting Rossi in front.

JB's lap time complaints don't stand up to the record. Rossi had progressed at least 1 sec from Fri to Sun every year at Laguna, it is all on motogp.com. Unusual of him to make mistakes with data. As far as shitty little track goes the riders seem to like it.

It seems like he is holding a grudge against the track for some reason. His comment on it favoring local heroes is common sense for the first year or 2 as we saw, but since then there have been no local heroes winning. In fact Dani Pedrosa is about the exact opposite of a local hero and he won in 2009. And when has it ever been the case of slagging tracks that emphasize rider skill? Isn't that what this whole circus is about?

Jerez 2010 is a bad example to use as a critique for Pedrosa's racecraft. At that point of the season he was still having arm numbness issues and went in for surgery right after the Jerez race. His post race quote was that he was surprised and happy to be on the podium at all with a bum collarbone.

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

Total votes: 213

I was commissioned to write a story about the bikes, and why they won at Laguna. I was lucky enough to get more from Burgess, but that pass - one which, incidentally, I have never regarded as controversial, mainly because it wasn't a pass - was not a subject that was discussed. There was a bunch of stuff I didn't ask, because I had limited time and it wasn't part of the original remit.

Total votes: 194

Is 'Jeremy Burgess On Laguna 2008 - How Valentino Rossi Beat Casey Stoner' and that pass was a key part of it.

Why do you not think it was not a pass and not controversial? Passes sometimes take 2-3 turns to complete.

Stoner passed Rossi on the brakes at the top of the hill. Rossi repassed on the entrance to the corkscrew but on a line/speed that took him completely off the track and into the dirt. The rulebook (1.21.3) states:

If a rider accidentally leaves the track then he may rejoin it at the place indicated by the officials or at a place which does not provide an advantage to him.

By all rider accounts and video footage Rossi left the track and did it accidentally. Immediately reentering the track and pushing Stoner wide (nearly off the track) and forcing him to roll off gave Rossi an immediate 1 sec gap which some people would call an advantage.

Maybe through some contorted interpretation it can, similar to Rossi's yellow flag passing incident at PI where he was judged to have given the place back then repassed again 10 feet later so he passed under a yellow and gave the place up, then took it back, all in 20 feet, all at race pace, all by the rulebook, shredded though it is. The problem is that it was a right-left turn complex and he did not really give back the position it was merely a consequence of the line he took which he was able to take because he passed under a waving yellow. The funnier part is that Rossi said he never saw the waving yellow so if he never saw it why would he give the position back? Justification after the fact with questionable facts to back it up.

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

Total votes: 200

I would have thought by now you would have noticed that I'm pretty terrible at headlines...

Total votes: 200

Get your facts straight: Stoner passed Rossi on the straight up to the corkscrew (pushing Rossi to balance with the knee on a straight, on purpose or not this was clearly the dirtiest and the most dangerous move of the race, funny how no one is whining about that). Rossi didn't have a gap of 1 second, Stoner was all over him in the next corner for goodness sakes.

3 years and still the same false and bitter statements pollute this place. What's funny is that I've asked the same question about Stoner's move on the Rahal straight about 10 times here, and always gotten no answer from the whinees.

Total votes: 204

Really? You must watch different races to the rest of us. You're the first person I've ever heard suggest Stoner was making dirty moves in that race. In fact I can't remember that accusation ever being levelled at him at any time.

Total votes: 218

That's because he lost. The fact you don't remember the incident tells a lot about your knowledge on what happened and what you focused on. Media just rode on the story of pissed off Stoner giving Roberts the interview and everything else was forgotten, of course anti-Rossi's won't remember anything else.

I'm sure you can find the footage on the interweb if you want.

Total votes: 207

I respect your opinions but there is a lot of anti this, whinees that and bashers there in your comments. Really not neccessary.

Total votes: 183

"And when has it ever been the case of slagging tracks that emphasize rider skill?"

I have heard JB himself say that the engineers prefer to make it all about the bike. On the one hand I can understand that, but when you see them on TV getting all excited in the box when a rider makes a brilliant pass you have to wonder how sincere that comment was.

Total votes: 179

As the man famously quoted as saying "...the rider is 80%... and the bike is 20%...", even he would acknowledge the poles have shifted drastically since then.  Surely, he meant, in part, that the riders' "80%" is as much about communicating with the mechanics and techs as much the actual riding.

But, with no Ducati likely to be on the Podium this weekend (though piloted by winners of 3 of the 6 races in the MotoGP era), and theoretically minimal intrusions from the fuel restrictions (you'd think JB wouldn't mind that .2km every lap), we are still forced to face the reality that the bike (and how it can be made to partner with BridgeStone's tires) will be the deciding factor.

In fact, the plague has spread to Moto2, where it certainly seems to be more about the bike than the rider, as well - which is exactly the opposite of how it was sold.

At least the man isn't afraid to face a little "local scrutiny", eh...?

Total votes: 192

If any other rider in the world would brake late and run completely off at a chicane and almost run the rider he was racing off the track upon reentering he would be penalized. Casey passed Rossi coming up the hill. Rossi repassed Casey on the inside of the quick left before the big righthand downhill at a speed such that he couldn't make enough of a left turn to keep him on the track so he ran off. When a rider leaves the track he loses possession of the racing line yet Rossi comes back on and would have crashed into Stoner if Casey didn't roll off and take evasive action.

Is your point by posting the video that his move was within the rulebook? Can we now pull the same move at any chicane? Brake late, blow the first corner and cut the second out by riding over the grass then ride right back onto the racing line forcing someone to roll off? Let's see how that works at Mizano or Mugello. It was a crap move but it was a Rossi crap move which means it is OK. I'd like Rossi a lot more as a rider if he was not given such blatant favoritism by the people supposed to be equally enforcing the rules. Maybe it is not totally his fault but he is not an actor on camera for our benefit.

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

Total votes: 214

lack of reaction from race direction is one thing ;
but - just look at speed of both guys in Corkscrew - you really think that any of them had enough time to even slightly correct line - according to rules ?
VR is fighting to stay on wheels , and CS was on his own line , with already established tempo .
saying that anything was deliberately in those moments is .... just say naive ; anyone who ever was in trouble riding a motorcycle knows what you can do and what not , at speed .
you can blame race direction for lack of reaction , but you can't blame VR for anything in Corkscrew , except for usual fighting to be in front .

Total votes: 190

I am not saying Rossi should have magically corrected his line mid-corner or making any judgment calls about his intentions. I am saying that he ran off the track and reentered improperly without any penalty from race control. They would not have made the same call for anyone else. All the riders mention from time to time in subtle and not so subtle comments about how they are not Rossi so the rules apply differently.

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

Total votes: 210

You are starting to come over as a typical Rossi hater..

Rossi was in front going in and was in front coming out..so where is the advantage?
This was not defining in terms of the race. How many times did Stoner overtake Rossi afterwards, only to be pegged back again?

Look at it as part of his education..though whether he learnt anything positive from it is debatable. His race tactics shows it still weighs heavily and it's probably scarred him for life.

Total votes: 221

This entire discussion has revolved around race direction's bad call (IMO) and how they seem to favor Rossi. How does that translate to a Rossi hater? From your perspective I guess if you are not all Rossi all the time you are a hater. So be it.

Oh, and your description of what happened seems to have left out the minor detail of Rossi running off track. Minor oversight, I'm sure.

>>This was not defining in terms of the race. How many times did Stoner
>>overtake Rossi afterwards, only to be pegged back again?

Oh, he got repassed a lot so we can ignore this one? How exactly would we write that into the rulebook?

All I am asking for is consistent application of the rules. What other rider pushes the limit so much without even a reprimand? Cutting a chicane? When was the last time you saw a rider push someone off the track? Pass under a waving yellow on camera and not get a penalty? Yes, it's only happened a few times, but that is a few times more than any other rider. I always hated the statement that Rossi was bigger than the sport. Unfortunately, it is true and there is nothing worse for the ethics of a sport than to be overshadowed by one if its participants.

Yes this all comes across as a bit whiney on the internet, but to me so do your replies that are based on not much more than pure fanboism. 'Look at it as part of his education'? 'Scarred for life'? Please. If Casey wins the title this year he will be the most successful rider in the 800cc era. Even if he does not win the title he will have the most 800cc victories. Doesn't sound to me like a rider scarred for life.

Chris
Official Typical Rossi Hater
http://moto2-usa.blogspot.com/

Total votes: 212

and nine times out of ten yours are worth reading, but you are banging the drum on this one.

It was a great battle and if we get more of the same this weekend most fans will be delighted after a rather insipid first half, last weekend aside. Rossi is not on the radar at present..hopefully this will enable you to relax and enjoy the racing.

Total votes: 206

Chris is right and pointing out the rule that you can't gain an advantage by leaving the track, and the fact that Rossi did, doesn't make him a Rossi hater.

Re: the 'pass' at the corkscrew...to those saying it wasn't a pass because Rossi was already ahead of Casey, he was only ahead because he made a pass on the inside of Casey on the way into the left hander of the corkscrew. To make that pass stick he would have to stay on the track and make the right hand part of the corkscrew and he didn't. He left the circuit (defined by the white lines that were in place) and went onto the dirt. When he rejoined the track, he kept the place he gained by leaving the track.

The thing you need to remember is this; if Rossi had slowed enough to stay ON the circuit and pulled it back to the left far enough to make the right, Casey would have breezed past him and kept his place. But Rossi didn't slow it enough to make it, left the circuit and gained an advantage. This is why it shouldn't have been allowed to stand.

In any event, it was three years ago so we should all move on...

Total votes: 216

Chris maybe right in terms of the letter..but is missing the point.

How many of us have bemoaned the rules and their negative influence?
LS08 was great entertainment and a cracking race, while it lasted. The fact that it didn't was all down to Stoner and his mistake.

Let's say, like Chris, Rossi gained an advantage of a second at the corkscrew. What do you propose as a fair penalty considering how early the incident took place in the race and that Rossi won by 13 secs? A stop/go or ride through perhaps? maybe just a straight black flag eh?

Total votes: 200

To me, Stoner prevented Rossi from a penalty. He just managed to avoid a collision with Rossi and then staying on track. Would he have gone down, the move would be seen in a very different perspective.

Total votes: 211

Maybe a 5 or 10 second penalty would have been sufficient. Rossi would still have won. The rules are there for everyone to know but it seems they're applied inconsistently.

I don't think Chris is missing the point at all. The rules provide a level playing field for all riders and manufacturers and this premise of a level playing field is in ruins if one rider is allowed to break them. I don't agree that any rider should gain advantage by breaking the rules, especially in the name of 'good racing'. Whilst I agree that some rules have a negative influence and some could be changed to make for better racing, I don't think the rule about not being able to gain an advantage by leaving the racetrack is one of them.

Total votes: 212

+1 we get you think Rossi should have be disqualified.(.it is no coincidence that that would have given Casey an undeserved win). It is reminiscent of a football team blaming one missed freekick for a 3 nil drubbing..

Total votes: 211

Who said anything about disqualification? You've jumped to a few incorrect assumptions there.

Total votes: 198

He doesn't go too badly for a scarred and damaged young man.

I think Rossi's ego is the one left scarred and damaged after he first threw a leg over the Ducati and realised what he was getting himself into (and what Stoner had been riding to beat him plenty of times in the past).

I know who's looking the most broken at the moment, and it's certainly not Stoner.

Total votes: 202

I thought this was about LS08?..Some of you guys get so tetchy when Stoner is criticised..

Casey losing his cool is nothing new, and unfortunately for him Laguna is the place synonymous with where it all started to go wrong. That is down to Rossis performance in that race, which some of you struggle to acknowledge. His confidence took a kicking from which he is only just starting to emerge now he's on the Honda.

2007, he won it by a country mile. Since then he has been out of contention at the pointy end of every season, allowing him to ride with a freedom others have not had because they've been focussed on points and the big prize. This is also when he has won most of his races. Stoner is in an unfamiliar place. He is a talent and probably the fastest man on the planet at the moment..but before the season is out he'll have to prove his credentials as a 'racer' who can deal with the pressure, if he wants the title.

Total votes: 215

Okay, everyone just wants to remember 2010 where Stoner caught fire in the last 6 races. In both 2008 & 2009 half of Stoner's win came in the first half of the schedule - 3 of 6 in 2008, 2 of 4 in 2009. Wherever his inconsistency came from I'm pretty sure he didn't suddenly find a few seconds once the pressure was off (and besides, the Ducati provides a far more plausible explanation for erratic results than any amateur psych).

Total votes: 209

PRE LS08: RACES: 28 - WINS: 14 - WIN%: 50 - DNF: 0 - FINISH%: 100

POST LS08: RACES: 40 - WINS: 9 - WIN%: 22.5 - DNF: 8 - FINISH%: 80%

On the CF bike in 09/10 he won 7 races..5 of which were when it was already game over for him, no pressure.
Things will be different for him this year. He's NEVER been in this position before, having to defend a shrinking championship lead in the second half of the season.

Let's see how he goes. I think he'll choke, but I'm happy to be proved wrong. If he does win it under a sustained assault, it will be the making of him.

Total votes: 195

If you think Stoner was scarred for life you obviously didn't watch the race at Phillip Island just a few months later. Or the several other times since LS08 that Stoner has beaten Rossi (including Mugello). And he beat Rossi riding a Ducati, despite the fact that Rossi was riding the M1 Yamaha that both Lawson and Rainey called "the best MotoGP bike ever built". And this year, Rossi on the Ducati is nowhere to be seen...

Total votes: 202

Lessee: Lap 4 of a 32-lap race, a move that doesn't change the complexion of the race at all (Stoner not losing places/time) and is generally extremely exciting.

Put any riders on Rossi's and Stoner's position and that isn't a penalty in today's MotoGP (in F1 that maybe would be).

Total votes: 199

Stoner has never complained about the pass at the TOP of the Corkscrew - and it wasn't a pass, Rossi WAS ahead on entry. The one that miffed Stoner is the one shown at secs. 55-62 or so in that video, on the right-hander, where Stoner was himself on the line and Rossi clearly cuts through on the inside, raising dirt from inside the rumble strip - nearly two feet inside the line!.

Stoner could have held his exit line and speed and run Rossi off the outside of the track on exit from that corner and the whole history of that event (and quite probably the '08 championship, for that matter!) would have been different. He didn't do that, we were treated to a magnificent race and both of those guys deserve credit for what they achieved in equal damn measure. Personally, while I think Butler is a toad, he did the right thing by the racing with the decision to not intervene and enforce the rules on that occasion.

Total votes: 194

JB is entitled to his opinion but I think he should stick to what he does best.
Your timing is impeccable is Mr Emmett.

Total votes: 189

Thanks David it's always good to read interviews with the legends in the paddock, though unfortunately they are only credited with real insight when they tell you what you want to hear, and to be reminded of what was a great battle and incredible performance by both riders. The power of that victory is still felt strongly even today.. . Loved the description of LS and makes it more special, the technicians can do nothing the riders just have to ride, Brilliant, cannot wait for what promises to be a great weekend.
ps never since or before have I heard of going on the gravel as an advantage in motopg nor any mention of brake checking.. Did Rossi pass on the corkscrew or the grassy knoll.. it is what legends are made of.
I fancy Dani may prove you wrong JB.

Total votes: 214

- you chose a great time to revisit the grave that contains so much unburied bitterness!

The racing legend that is Wayne Rainey saw only one dubious pass -- and that was when Casey made contact with Valentino!

Lawson, Doohan, Schwantz, Rainey, Gardner et al found no problems so why do so many others want to go back in time to complain??
Marty McFly and Dr. Emmett Brown should be placed on stand-by for a re-visit!

I didn't like the way Phil Read screwed Bill Ivy in the 1967 TT --
-- should we go into deep conversation about that??

Great article - it backs up a lot of what I understand -- Thanks!

Total votes: 209

"The racing legend that is Wayne Rainey saw only one dubious pass -- and that was when Casey made contact with Valentino!"

T H I S ! ! !

How people either fail, or refuse to see this is astonishing.

Find yourself the lap 4 of that race to see the move: Stoner was 1/2 bike lengths ahead of Rossi on the Rahal straight on the outside after Rossi had botched the exit (I still think Rossi had a HS moment on the exit we didn't see) and he starts to lean on Rossi forcing the Italian to balance himself with his knee. This at 230-250 km/h!

I don't want to believe this was deliberate, but rather poor racecraft/awareness from Stoner.

Total votes: 207

You are such a troll David! :o)

Total votes: 208

Stoner himself said that he didn't have a problem with the corkscrew, because he didn't leave rossi enough room to go anywhere else.
I'm posting with my mobile phone, so i can't look for a link atm.
Does anybody else remember this?

Total votes: 195

"It's a shitty little race track" Funny, I've never heard anyone else come close to describing Laguna Seca that way. In fact, quite the opposite. "It favors local heros"? Don't all tracks? But now that we know, according to you, that it isn't all about set up here, can we expect to see Vale in the winners circle this week end? And speaking about plans A and B, do you and Vale have a plan C? That would be what you plan to do now that you've discovered that you cannot fix the Ducati in 80 seconds and that your rider is incapable or unwilling to ride the Ducati at the edge like Casey did in order to get the winning results. And tell me, how does it feel to have a 'Shockingly Poor Racer" like Dani Pedrosa beat your man by 27 seconds? Ouch!

Total votes: 223

Regarding the "brake check" conspiracy. Mamola called it live during the race. Rossi gained a small advantage accelerating out of the the last corner onto the start finish straight lap after lap. Stoner could only pass him over the start/finish line if he was close enough getting out of the final corner. Casey admitted that the fall was down to his own mistake for gawd's sake!

People see that as a brake check only because it looked like Stoner almost ran into the back of Rossi. Has it ever occured to anyone that Stoner realised he had to stay as close to Rossi as possible coming out of that final corner and simply outbraked himself going into it? Again, Mamola called it, Stoner admitted it and yet still people say Rossi brake tested him???

Both guys gave an amazing display that day of racers on the limit, but I think ultimately Rossi won it in terms of how to fry your opponent's brain and wreck their race rhythm. I think the corkscrew move was pretty irrelavent...

Total votes: 201

Thank you. Another thing people have failed to see in 3 years (surprise surprise) is that Stoner had went wide on turn 11 3 or 4 laps before the tumble (and lost about .5), no doubt trying to optimise his exit into the straight considering that was his best chance to get past.

" Again, Mamola called it, Stoner admitted it and yet still people say Rossi brake tested him???"

This is what this is all about IMO. People can't see past their own biases. When that kind of evidence isn't enough what's the point?

Total votes: 208

You can't please everyone all the time, and only half the people some of the time........

Everytime this comes up it's like the IQ Level in here drops to that of a Blonde listening to "Breath in, Breath Out" on her headphones.

JB's been around a long time, won more championships than I care to remember, seen more riders, tracks and bikes, so I'm guessing he knows what he's talking about.

I'm not sure that being Australian has anything to do with it, I think maybe some people are to used to "PR" speak.

Moving on.........

Total votes: 216

Exacty. I award you one internets.

Long live JB and his ability to see straight and even more so his ability to talk straight in an age of corp double talk. The man has done his time and his record speaks for itself. He doesn't have to hand out kittens to armchair critics.

On the same note; bring back Kenny Roberts. He'd race in japan and probably do a few laps around the nukes for laughs.

Total votes: 203

That interview was from years ago and there have been significant changes since.
Still, it was a good read.

Total votes: 179

Based on his reputation I used to have a pretty high opinion of Mr Burgess but the more I hear him speak the more I question my initial assesment. With his 2010 comments about Dani (totally wrong as proven yet again last week) and the "80 second fix", his stock has gone down, down, down.

PS: I agree with thecosman. Vale is a great racer, one of the greatest, but he does get special consideration when it comes to rules interpretation. The 2008 Laguna race was a great one but Vale should have been penalized for the corkscrew off track incident. I couldn't have laid it out any better, or plainer, than thecosman did. You can't really hold it against Vale - but Mr Butler, he knows better - but just won't admit it.

Total votes: 218

Both Burgess and Rossi had some rather arrogant and smart-arse things to say about various riders, particularly Stoner at Ducati, and now both of them are being forced to eat humble pie every race weekend.

But as for penalties against Rossi, he has gotten away with far worse than LS08. His punting of Gibernau off the track on the last corner at Jerez in 2005 was a disgrace, but nothing was done about it. Hopefully these days no-one would get away with that kind of move.

Total votes: 191

My opinion. Rossi braked extra early in the last corner and drifted wide blocking the entire track and Casey, setting up another valiant, yet futile, pass attempt down the main "straight", baled to avoid him and binned it. I think that year the Ducati handled pretty well so the bike can't be blamed unlike the ealier or later versions of Prezioso's macabre imagination. Personally, I'd have run right into him, bermed him into the Laguna dust, and taken the lead for good but that would mean I would have been guilty of racing like Rossi. Stoner, however, seems to prefer the cleaner, survivable, professional type race. Not sure that that is a weakness considering he's won more races than anyone else for quite some time and more this year than the returning local heroes have ever won in their entire careers combined. Okay, I'm pretty sure it's not a weakness.

Regardless, the two will never meet in the same circumstances ever again so get therapy or anger management or maybe yank the old rosary out of the top drawer and get the hell over it. It's history.

This weekend we have the top 3 riders, Stoner, Lorenzo & Pedrosa fighting for the top step and that will be phenomenal enough.

Total votes: 212

I personally did not see much wrong with the race. If Stoner had Mladin's attitude then I am certain that Rossi would have been on the floor and possibly Mladin as well. Then again Rossi would probably not try such moves on such an opponent. I once pushed a racer off the track during practice, he was my friend, and he stayed there in the dirt, completely pinned, all the way to the next corner. I had to either let him back on the track, or be the cause of his serious injury. It is not golf, the moves you make have to take into account who you are making them on. Such a pity that Stoner made that mistake because they would have battled to the last second. If 'Rossi had got into Stoner's head' as some people believe then Stoner would have eased off at that point. It never happened.

Total votes: 216

Everyone points to this race as an example of how Casey would fold under the legendary 'Rossi pressure'. But somehow I doubt we'll be seeing a repeat performance by Rossi now he is on the Ducati and Stoner is not. Its now clear what an amazing feat it was from Stoner to even be battling for the lead, let alone be pre race favourite.

Total votes: 209

+1

I remember watching this race & thinking Casey had a "big" bike advantage over Rossi (Yamaha). Now that the situation has changed & Rossi is riding the Ducati, it's more apparent that the advantage was merely Casey & not the bike.

Rossi did "race" extremely well at Laguna '08, however, Casey probably did an even better job at putting the Duke up front (that race & all year).

Total votes: 195

...with other riders involved. Let's imagine for the sake of an argument, it was Simoncelli doing the same maneuver to Dani Pedrosa. I'm positive Simo would be penalized. I also feel rules are applied differently and Valentino got away with it. However I don't think Casey lost the race at the corkscrew, he did it afterwards trying to catch Valentino. He still had the pace to stay with him, and trying to overtake later. I think that race smashed Casey's self confidence and was a big reason why he lost the 2008 season. I believe he struggles to find his mojo back when he experiences setbacks. He must change this to avoid other riders to exploit this weakness. Winning LS 2011 would be great for his cause. I hope he does.

Total votes: 214

Here's one for you... lets take the Laguna 08 race, with Rossi and Casey racing hard and neck and neck with each other.

Then we stop after 12 laps, and make them swap bikes and continue.

I'm guessing Stoner would have won by 15 seconds.

Regardless of all the arguments about fair racing or not, what everyone forgets is that the supposed "bike advantage" that Casey had was all just publicity. Truth was the bike was a bag of arse and he made it look good. The fact that he could ride the recalcitrant Duc that didn't want to turn and even race with Rossi on the much more nimble Yamaha was quite amazing.

It's only this year that we are finally seeing evidence of the two rider's abilities. Rossi cannot ride the bike Casey was able to win races on. Stoner can, apparently, ride pretty much anything and win. Argue all you like, but that is indisputable. Anyone who tries to justify Rossi's performance this year as anything but a failure is kidding themselves. And before you start, I'm a Rossi fan. I reckon he's great. He's just not quite as good as the marketing would have us believe.

Even in 2007 when Stoner won the title the bike didn't want to turn. It amazes me that people keep saying Ducati need to go back to the steel frame, because that 2007 bike pushed the front as well. Have a look at some of the races. It was a rocket in a straight line, but wanted to run wide all the time and didn't like changing direction.

Short memories...

Total votes: 202

Stoner and GP7/8/9 was a match made in heaven, as this season (even with things going pretty much perfectly for him) has showed. I have no problem saying Stoner wouldve won had all riders been on those bikes.

And no, you're not a Rossi fan. The 78 bashing posts towards Rossi you've made in the recent months kinda give you away.

Total votes: 216

I see few of my posts have been deleted, even though in not one of those did I attack the poster I responded but just offered my opinion on their views.

Quite interesting.

Total votes: 193

You made 6 posts which all said the same thing. I've deleted a surprisingly (or perhaps unsurprisingly) large number of posts from this thread. It doesn't mean anything, other than that I am trying to keep the situation under control.

Total votes: 197

I feel a little responsible for the posts being deleted..the "knitting" comment was meant as a friendly jibe and I'm glad you responded, quite reasonably I might add.

With regard to MotoGP NOT being a contact sport..have you read the Noyes interview with Paul Butler? I'll attach the links.

I thought the Rossi move on Sete was hard but fair and, is what as fans we pay our hard earned to see. There was a big gap, it was the last corner and they were battling for the win. You can't blame Rossi for attempting it. Yet another great battle including The Doctor.

http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-noyes-notebook-roadracing-...

http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-noyes-notebook-butler-road...

http://moto-racing.speedtv.com/article/motogp-noyes-notebook-butler-road...

http://www.highrevs.net/motogp_gallery/rossi_gibernau_jerez_100405.jpg

Total votes: 186

There is nothing fair about crashing into another rider and pushing him off the track in order to win a race, and it ought to earn a penalty. It was true for Rossi on Gibernau in 2005, the same as it was true when Capirossi crashed into his team mate to win the 250 world championship. We have already seen such a penalty in 125's this year, and such action was long overdue. A bit of faring bashing is fair enough, but MotoGP is not rugby.

Total votes: 204

I think Butler doesn't know what the term 'contact sport' means. It describes sports like US football, rugby, hockey, etc. where you are expected to tackle or knock down your opponent as a routine part of the game. Non-contact sports like baseball, soccer, basketball, tolerate limited physical contact but have many rules prohibiting any of the behaviors seen on a US football field.

If racing was a contact sport why was Simonchelli penalized for a little contact? Why, as we hear from all current and retired riders, is it important to leave someone an escape route when overtaking? Why? Because this is not a contact sport and we care if competitors are knocked down. We don't mind a few paint chips being traded in a heated exchange but when it goes beyond that and riders get knocked down a line has been crossed. That is what differentiates contact from non-contact sports.

I'm not surprised you are not against Rossi's use of Sete as a berm. It was a hugely risky move that was on a knife edge and only pulled off because of Rossi's prodigious talent. Unfortunately it was also over the line for anyone but Rossi.

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

Total votes: 203

I said it was hard but I stand by that it was fair enough given the the above mentioned circumstances..

The whole idea is to win..as Max said "It's not ballroom dancing."
Nobody wants to see that taken to extremes and riders getting hurt, but at the same time riders do get hurt. It's part and parcel. They are expected to fight, and fight hard by their sponsors, teams and fans. I don't want to watch a procession do you?

Putting the boot on the other foot..would you be taking the same attitude if Rossi had been on the receiving end of a move from Stoner? or would it be Karma?

Total votes: 192

If Rossi was on the receiving end of such a move by Stoner then Stoner should be penalized. Why is that so difficult for you to understand? Zarco was rightly penalized for a similar move on Terol at Barcelona this year. Simoncelli also in France. It has nothing whatever to do with who the protagonists are. And that is exactly the point. Rossi should be treated the same as everyone else. If Tiger Woods in golf or Roger Federer in tennis were given special treatment by bending the rules just for them there would be outrage. The excuse that Rossi has done so much for MotoGP is irrelevant and facetious. The same could be said of Woods or Federer. This is supposed to be a sporting contest, same rules for everyone. Whatever it is that Rossi has allegedly done for the sport doesn't begin to justify special treatment by bending the rules for his benefit.

The whole idea is to win? No, the whole idea is to win within the rules. And pushing someone off the track to win is great in rugby, but illegal in MotoGP.

Look at Hamilton in F1. A prodigious talent, the first black guy in F1, and someone who undoubtedly has done an enormous amount for the popularity of F1. But when he is overly aggressive and runs into another driver he is penalized, and that's exactly how it should be. Same for Rossi. It's a question of fair application of the rules to all contestants.

Total votes: 205

"If racing was a contact sport why was Simonchelli penalized for a little contact?"

Because Dani crashed, and was visibly injured bc of the incident and Simo had a history before that race and bc Lorenzo and other riders had complained about his riding JUST before that race.....

For the record, in hindsight I'm not at all sure if he should've been given a penalty from that, but just after it had happened I thought it was the right thing to do bc of the aforementioned things (except the Lorenzo part).

"I'm not surprised you are not against Rossi's use of Sete as a berm. It was a hugely risky move that was on a knife edge and only pulled off because of Rossi's prodigious talent. Unfortunately it was also over the line for anyone but Rossi."

That contact happened purely bc Sete let his emotions and his want to beat Rossi take over his racecraft. Everyone, and I mean everyone knew that from that position Rossi would throw it on the inside on the last corner, so had Sete done the simplest thing and taken the wide line and let Rossi go wide underneath him he would've won. Of course he could've also defended from the inside, but now he did neither, took a middle line and sorta, kinda, defended a bit late and they touched.

The move that Rossi did happens incredibly often, just take Hayden at the last race against Bautista. That could've had the same outcome, but didn't, bc the guy in the lead played the situation correctly and won.

Total votes: 201

The contact occurred because Rossi ran in too hot and had nowhere to go except into Gibernau.

Was it deliberate contact by Rossi? Rossi's animosity towards Gibernau after the Qatar starting grid cleaning incident is well known, and I personally think that Rossi was prepared to do absolutely anything to stop Gibernau winning any race. And that included crashing into Gibernau.

Total votes: 212

NO, the contact happened because Gibernau made the wrong decision to defend the corner too late. Again, you'll find enormous amount of similar incidents if you want, which I'm sure you don't.

Total votes: 200

Funny to see how much this (fantastic) race still make people talk ... and well im part of it :)

In my opinion:
1/ when was the last time a controversial pass WITHOUT any crash (and without clearly intentional dirty move like Zarco or Biaggi elbow stuff ) implied a penalty ?

2/ it wasn't a pass, he was in front before that

3/ what would have been the race with Rossi in drive throught ? more controversial and moreover less unforgivable (this move was only in the beginning of the race)

About JB talks, for me, it just looks a little bit arrogant (Pedrosa as a little kindly kid, Stoner with his only plan A stuff).... but history is always easier to comment after the storm

Hope will be a great race to morrow (today) !

Total votes: 211

deserves to get into three figure so..

Some fans need to take a look at themselves..Laguna 08 and Jerez 05 were two of the most exciting GP we've witnessed, yet some can only find fault. Why is this?
Could it be a certain yellow riders involvement in both and the fact he won be clouding judgement, skewing opinion and genuinely spoiling it for them?
More than sad if true..

Whatever you think of Rossi, there is little doubt the sport has been richer for his involvement.

Total votes: 208