Sepang To Be Rossi's Last Race With Yamaha?

The brutal last-lap battle between Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo - two riders who are reportedly teammates for the Fiat Yamaha squad - may end up having far-reaching consequences. Lorenzo complained about Rossi's riding after the race, and Yamaha management spoke to Rossi about the incident, pointing out that having two teammates take each other out while one of them is so close to wrapping up a world championship for the factory is not a desirable state of affairs. 

Yamaha's reprimand may be the penultimate chapter in the long history between Rossi and the Japanese factory. The ever well-informed Mela Chercoles of Spanish sports daily AS.com quotes "sources close to Valentino Rossi" as saying that the Malaysian MotoGP round at Sepang will be the nine-time world champion's last race on a Yamaha, and that he will return to Italy for surgery on his injured shoulder immediately after the race.

According to AS.com's sources, the reprimand issued by Yamaha was the final straw that convinced Rossi that Yamaha will not allow him to test the Ducati at Valencia after the final MotoGP race of the year. Yamaha have been deliberately vague over whether they would allow Rossi to test the Ducati at Valencia, Yamaha Racing boss Lin Jarvis telling MotoMatters.com at Brno that it was "too early to make a decision." It was widely believed that Yamaha's policy of not announcing whether they would allow Rossi to test was the only leverage the factory still had over the Italian, and the only way of ensuring he refrained from public criticism of the factory until the end of the season.

Rossi had hinted that he may not finish the season after Aragon, telling the press that he was considering surgery after the Phillip Island round of MotoGP, and skipping the last two races of the year. The warning he received after Motegi appears to have hastened that decision. With little chance of testing the Ducati, Rossi may believe his best option is to have surgery as soon as possible, to allow himself the maximum recovery time to be fit for the next series of MotoGP tests at Sepang in February.

Those tests - and the tests earlier this year - are the only reason the Italian will be racing in Malaysia. Speaking at Aragon in mid-September, Rossi emphasized the importance of comparing data from riding with his injured shoulder to the data from the tests from February this year, when the Italian was incredibly fast. Comparing that data will allow Rossi and his crew - who will be joining him at Ducati - to see how his shoulder injury has affected his riding, and to find ways to get around it. This data will also be crucial for February 2011, when the Italian returns to Sepang to test the Ducati for the first time.

Though the warning given to Rossi by Yamaha has been met with general dismay by MotoGP fans, who were thrilled by the spectacle of some of the best racing in the class since Rossi and Lorenzo's last clash, at Barcelona in 2009, it is entirely unsurprising from Yamaha's perspective. For Yamaha, it was crucial that Lorenzo wrapped up the title as soon as possible, especially while his main rival was out with an injured collarbone. The one thing Yamaha did not need was for their two riders to run each other off the track, potentially injuring the man who has his name already penciled on the 2010 MotoGP trophy. Rossi's decision to engage Lorenzo so forcefully was most likely made on the spur of the moment, driven in part by his anger at having been displaced from Yamaha by Lorenzo, and in part as a lesson to Lorenzo for next year. If Rossi believes that lesson - reminiscent of the ones dished out to Casey Stoner and Sete Gibernau in the past - will have a long-term effect, then he may feel the loss of the Valencia test may be worth it.

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Comments

...at the time HRC seemed to be not that smart ... but compared to Yamaha HRC handled the situation way better for their image.

Yamaha could have played in a gentleman way, they will clinch the title anyway, and right now they are jeopardizing part of their future sales.

Well I hope they really get over with it (and change the testing rule) since what it should really be about is racing. On the track.

Total votes: 230

I didn't see that coming!

I can't imagine all the conversations behind the scenes, but I have to believe at least one of them included a sentence, "Jorge, you just need to finish the races..."

If Rossi is being pushed out early, shame on Yamaha.  If Rossi is tired of the situation, that's his business and he may as well get an early start on rehab.  If he's picking this fight, shame on him, because it doesn't seem necessary, either.

Added:  If Rossi does not show up at Phillip Island (and how could that happen?!), this also forces Yamaha to have to field a replacement rider at least once, correct?

Total votes: 247

Cal Crutchlow should be ready to take Valentino's place. A nice way to start to get used to the new bike.

Total votes: 238

Yamaha made a bad move by publictly taking sides. They should have said something to the effect of: It was an exciting race but we would rather not see our riders race each other that close in the future when the WC is on the line. We will try to convince them to change their approach until the rider, team, and constructor's title are decided.
It's fine for Rossi to leave because of the soulder but it is not ok if he is just pissed at his employer. Very unprofessional if that's the case.

Total votes: 249

"If he's picking this fight, shame on him, because it doesn't seem necessary, either."

Unless Rossi felt the need to send a message: "You're my biggest challenger; I'm healthy enough to beat you on equal equipment, and I'm healthy enough to play rough if I have to."

Total votes: 258

I was referring to the prospect that he might have initiated this conflict with Yamaha, and I was not commenting on the action during the race.  As I stated, I can only imagine bits and pieces of what has been said behind the curtains - and I don't really think Rossi did all this just to grandstand Yamaha - but I put out the possibility that Rossi is overreacting to something said to him before or after the race.

Like most of the rest here, I think someone must have been telling Jorge not to risk binning the bike for a single place on the podium.  Certainly, if the pass can be made cleanly by taking advantage of a mistake, he should go ahead and do it.  But, to carry on side-by-side, from corner to corner, trying to close off entry and exit, just for a couple of points, is not particularly wise.  If he didn't hear anyone say that before the race (which I doubt), someone should have made sure afterwards.

The idea that Yamaha is playing the "wounded ex" card - while appearing to all the world as what Hayden called the "crazy ex-girlfriend" - baffles me.  This is what their statement should have read:

We appreciate the exciting manner in which our boys have shown their enthusiasm for racing against each other.  We have reminded both of them that we really would prefer they not tear up their equipment while there is still a Championship to complete.  We are thankful that there were no crashes or injuries during their racing together, and we strongly admonished them to keep each other's safety as a top priority for the sake of the team. 

Total votes: 265

...do I agree with you, but I'm still dumbstruck that any of this is happening. One man (with TONS of help--yes I know, but you take my meaning) restores the fortunes of a whole company after over a decade of struggle, and they act like THIS because their new golden boy chose to partake in some REAL racing...

I now not only TOTALLY believe in how the MSMA have wrecked the sport, but I now FULLY realise that they DO NOT WANT an improvement to the racing. They have lost sight of the means, and they want only the end. Their interests are NOT the interests of the fans. They don't give two shakes about excitement. They want to build efficient "win-notching tools", and the fans don't even come close to entering their minds. This sterile racing fits their purposes to a "T". The racing is more dangerous to the riders now, yet allows the MSMA to have more control over the risks to the TRULY IMPORTANT THINGS:

1) MEGA-EXPENSIVE ENGINEERING EXERCISES (bikes)
2) COMPANY PRIDE (hubris)

If we think we matter to the MSMA (aside from stroking their egos by buying their bikes and wearing their corporate logos), and if the riders think they hold any further value than just being the trained chimpanzee that sits astride their logo/fairing shape/engineering exercise as it crosses the finish line for the photo-op, then we/they are a bunch of misinformed "gaijin" who need to buy a clue.

I willingly admit that I thought there was some sort of bond between champion and manufacturer, but I was wrong. I also freely say that I absolutely love and adore Japan as a country, and I can't wait to return someday, but this is one "gaijin" who is UN-subscribing to their mailing/newsletter lists.

Total votes: 225

Not surprised really, and don't think Rossi was driven out by Lorenzo... I think he didn't get his own way and just packed his things. Shame that he is pulling the pin early but if he heals well it will mean a better start to the racing for us in 2011. Hopefully we will see Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa and Stoner all fit for the start of the season and maybe there will be some close racing.

Total votes: 234

Now that Crutchlow is done with WSBK, it might be a good idea to get a jumpstart on 2011 by moving Spies to Fiat and and Cal to Tech3 for the last races.

Total votes: 239

I don't think they are allowed to put Spies on Rossi's bike otherwise they would have done it when Rossi snapped his leg. I think the rules say that they have to field a replacement who currently isn't in the series (confirm someone?).

They could legally put Cal on Rossi's bike though.

Total votes: 222

I don't know the exact wording of the rookie rule but I believe Spies is eligible for Fiat at the moment since he has competed in more than 9 races in a season as a contracted rider.

Total votes: 238

Yamaha did worse than Honda. They made Rossi angry in very bad way. The MotoGP is doomed. Dorna must be unhappy and be worried about the ticket sales and TV viewing figures for last three races. In the F1, both drivers and teams are outspoken and say something critical about their fellow drivers. But, not much fuss. They cannot be mad each time someone say something critical. It is part of the game, not so personal. But, Rossi is bigger than the team, corporation, and the MotoGP. They learned hard lesson this time. Do not try to upset Rossi ever.

Total votes: 262

The points you make are all valid, but one day (in two or three years' time) Rossi will retire. That's a huge threat to MotoGP, and they need to find something to replace the pull of Rossi. I think I know what it is, but it's going to take time to put it in place. Until then, Rossi's absence helps by making the series aware of its dependence on the Rossi factor. 

Total votes: 235

But, it is true that the Motogp largely depends on Rossi`s popularity now. If Rossi decided to pull off early because he was criticized by Yamaha, he is forgetting that they are his employer and supply everything he needs to race; the bike, mechanics, engineers, equipment, and tires. They have their interest too rather than Rossi having fun on the track. They are also not like asking for team orders.

Total votes: 234

Yes, it will be terrible when that happens, but unfortunately it has little to do with how to market the events and more to the personality of the riders. Rossi is an exceptional racer doubled with an exciting Rock star aura and a marvelous communicator. Dorna, MSMA and all the FMI people put together can't recreate that effect by rules making...

And it's not with personalities like Lorenzo, a mediocre showman, nor the polarizing qualities/defaults of Stoner and Pedrosa, nor the warm and welcoming skills of Spies or the charming smile of Dovi that will help them.

I think MotoGP will slowly fade away from the spot it has now and get to a more discreet level, it was just a magic era combined with an exceptionnal individual that made it so popular for a while.

Frankly, I'm ok with it.

Total votes: 229

Rossi is also very good at that, even though Lorenzo's side of the camp had no reason to cry after hard and fair racing.

Tyres, engine, injury; there is always something the years Rossi doesn't win. As if everyone else goes through untroubled waters.

But he's still one tough nut to crack and riding in anger never did him any harm. To bad 2011 is so far away for MotoGP.

Total votes: 217

I doubt that Rossi was "riding in anger" but I think he proved again that on the same machine on any given Sunday he can beat Lorenzo - same as he did to Stoner and Gibernau and Biaggi before him - I think all this bodes very well for a great year next year.

That having been said, I say that every year lately "next year will be better when they .... *insert stuff here*" but the last couple of years have been pretty mediocre and Dorna does have cause for concern - their website has been great though - I like plugging the laptop into the TV and watching the full show without commercials and the idiot commentary here in the US.

Total votes: 226

Rossi definitely proved that he could beat Lorenzo on A sunday, just like Lorenzo proved the opposite earlier this season multiple times, even before Rossi had any excuse.
So in my opinion this race proves that they are on equal level, and next year should be interesting for sure.

Total votes: 232

Don't forget, Lorenzo smashed up his hand before the season started, and that didn't heal until after Le Mans. Didn't stop an injured Lorenzo from beating an injured Rossi (and an uninjured Pedrosa) at Jerez.

Total votes: 252

problem at Jerez, which was what allowed Lorenzo to close on him so easily. And the Honda was far from being all sorted out back then.

Not to take anything away from JLo, but Pedrosa's ride that day is criminally underrated, IMHO.

Total votes: 262

That rather illustrates the point: that there are question marks and asterisks over every victory, because there's always some excuse or problem for every rider at each of these races.  

Total votes: 223

I'm curious to see what the ratings will be without Rossi for the last few races. Personally I think this is really stupid, we've all been aching for some real racing and when we finally get it Yamaha put the kibosh on it. Shame on Yamaha. Rossi should just go in for surgery this week and to hell with Yamaha if they are going to play team orders like this.

Total votes: 245

Yamaha are shameful because they told Rossi some his moves were bit over the edge and be careful next time? Winning the constructer and team championship is one of their main interest, so it is natural to tell him their intention as his employer. He should not move to F1. They are more openly critical to drivers.

Total votes: 250

"I'm curious to see what the ratings will be without Rossi for the last few races."

It'll have a significant impact only in Italy, if anywhere. Makes no difference to me -- I'll still watch. In fact, I was more tempted to tune out last year when Stoner was absent.

Total votes: 246

It doesn't matter that it makes no difference to you or I, it made a huge difference world wide earlier when he broke his leg. Some people blamed it on the FIFA world cup, now there will be no competing event and no Rossi I'd like to see if the effect is still the same.

Total votes: 236

"Rossi's decision to engage Lorenzo so forcefully was most likely made on the spur of the moment, driven in part by his anger at having been displaced from Yamaha by Lorenzo..."

I just watched the race again and if anyone is engaging it's Lorenzo. In my opinion Rossi was the one who could have gone to his boss and whined about Lorenzo but of course that would never have happend. Lorenzo looks more and more like a cry baby.

Total votes: 230

...just when I was (luke-)warming up (sic) to JLo, he picked a fight. Got roughed up. And went whimpering to daddy.

I haven't been a fan of Rossi, but am beginning to root for him.

Hope this punishes Yamaha where it hurts. And a vengeful Rossi on a Duc and a Stoner on that Honda are going to be out for blood next year.

Total votes: 246

I'm hell of an upset with these new riders. Watching the old school stuff where no quarter was given/expected, and then seeing these wimps moan about some close(ish) racing is light years apart. Even then, Lorenzo's a hypocrite because the most interesting racing he'd ever done was the wheel bashing in 250. Now he's supposed to be this demi-god in the big bikes he's forgotten how it should be. In my opinion, he hoped onto the wingeing pile with the likes of Stoner. Leaves me with nothing to admire about the bloke. Vale, take a sicky and get yourself right for next year.

ps. get rid of that bloody traction control will you.

end of text. rant over.

Total votes: 227

...was hooting with laughter at end of your post.

For GOOD reasons:

1) REAL racing used to happen often.
2) You bet your bottom they banged some fairings in 250s & 125s.
3) Moto GP should NOT be castrated.

The end of your post sent me from nodding and grinning...into hooting/cackling with laughter.

p.s. I still CANNOT BELIEVE that rider AND manufacturer are whining. It does out the manufacturers being happier with sterile racing, but for a WORLD CHAMPION TO WHINE ABOUT A LITTLE BIT OF RACING? REALLY? I also like JLo before this weekend. I just cannot respect him after that. You DON'T punch someone (make an aggressive pass) then go crying to mommy when the other guy punches (passes) you back, ESPECIALLY IF THAT'S WHAT YOU JOB DESCRIPTION (motorcycle RACER!) READS! I mean, come on...we learned that on the playground by the time we were FIVE! This boring racing era has turned men (the new racers who didn't ride the "real" bikes) into (let's face it) little girls.

p.s. Can you imagine one of these "newbies" on an RC211V, or (let's go BIG on this one) ONE OF THE 500s??? They would be high-siding every other corner. No...make that EVERY SINGLE CORNER.

p.p.s. Let me remind you of something: WE HAVE BEEN BORED OUT OF OUR SKULLS FOR MOST EVERY RACE. SOME GOOD RACING JUST HAPPENED. THE WORLD CHAMPION ELECT PASSED THE PRESENT WORLD CHAMPION. THEN HE HIMSELF WAS PASSED. THEN HE WENT AND WHINED ABOUT IT. HAS THE WHOLE WORLD GONE CRAZY?

Total votes: 245

neither Ducati, Honda, nor Yamaha will drop the ball next year, so that we can enjoy some good racing. We don't want any lack of performance from any manufacturer to spoil the show. That means: Honda fix your handling problems, Ducati sort that front end, Yamaha bring enough power for once, and Suzuki... well I don't know. Cheers

Total votes: 233

I wonder how different some posters would feel if the situation were reversed and Rossi was the one that had his name penciled in on the championship trophy this year instead of Jorge. There would probably be a meltdown of the internet.

This kind of hard riding is what racing is all about. What Vale and Jorge did last Sunday was not too dangerous, it was a bar banging battle. For those that think it was too rough there is always golf to watch.

I will be very dissapointed if Vale gathers his ball and goes home miffed. He should rather try his best to demolish his competition while hampered by injury. That would should show his true metal to all.

Gloves off racing. I love it.

Total votes: 228

I agree with what you say but consider that Rossi is hedging his bets for next year. This may be the only way he can be fully fit. We also don't know what conversations have been going on behind the scenes. Rossi could very well have been treated to some serious nastiness by the Yamaha higher-ups and just decided he didn't need that sort of b.s.
I think Furusawa trying to suppress his smile as the race wound up to that climax was one of the best parts.

Total votes: 240

Furusawa, unable to completely hide his smile, was priceless.
My favorite memory of the race after the Rossi-JLo battle.

Total votes: 252

Watching the race live online with the commentary and the battle then Furusawa-san trying to hold back a grin of admiration... Absolutely priceless!!!

My view of the battle (I am a Rossi fan, but more importantly I am a fan of racing and I admire all racers) was that Rossi had 3rd and Lorenzo wasn't satisfied with 4th. He could have just stayed right with Rossi for the last two laps and certain of the points. He decided to fight for the 3rd position, with all the animosity between these two skilled riders (the talk that Lorenzo is better than Rossi on equal machinery, etc.) Rossi wasn't going to have that #99 take the podium from him. Rossi had nothing to lose and everything to gain in that he is riding injured and not in contention for the title. Of course Rossi would battle like he did.

The only thing that could have been better for Rossi and worse for Yamaha was if Lorenzo made a mistake on his own and crashed out, losing the points and it being his own fault. After hearing about how he whined about Rossi, I would have loved for it to have ended with Lorenzo making some kind of mistake and lose a position or two.

Total votes: 236

I do have to say that aside from being a Rossi fan, I am a Lorenzo fan too. I honestly see their battle as being tough but ultimately fair. I think Jorge's celebrations are obviously Rossi-esque but always hope he finds his own identity a little more. I do think his riding is fantastic and he and Rossi at battle may eclipse Rossi's other big rivals.
As I don't know all the ins and outs of the Yamaha team, I suspect Jorge may have been following the lead of Lin Jarvis and others when he declared Rossi's moves to be over the top. After all he was smiling immediately after entering the garage. Much different body language than after Aragon. In short, some of this controversy may possibly have been ginned up by the higher powers toward more future events. Just saying.

Total votes: 254

And I thought it was just me that saw Jorge Lorenzo doing fake Rossi Celebrations. There was one race in Spain. I believe last year, when the crowd chanted Rossi's name over and over until he waved. Then Lorenzo tried to get the same attention, even ran over to the fence to trying to get the same fervor going for him. The look on his face showed that he wants to be loved like Rossi. But does not quite have the same entertainment value off of the bike.

Total votes: 249

The race where Rossi got the attention that Lorenzo craved was Catalunya 2009, following that last corner pass. I believe Rossi got up on the pit wall to thunderous applause, Lorenzo (Lorentho?) saw it, went and did the same thing, and it wasn't quite the same reaction from the crowd.

Total votes: 263

Furusawa's retirement is actually aged enforced, as has been previously mentioned. He obviously still has the passion of a real racer and maybe finds the internal politics of a team, run by corporate PR slime balls, is too frustrating to endure further.

I'm sure he is seriously impressed with Mr Spies already.

Total votes: 232

Japan has strict retirement rules. I don't know the ins and outs of them but I am pretty sure Furusawa has little choice. Like you said, he obviously still enjoys it.

Total votes: 249

And it certainly takes 2 to tango!! - JL could have backed off (and should have) just as easily as Rossi and should not be engaging in that battle if he's concerned about finishing the season

Expecting Rossi to cower down and cede the podium would never happen regardless of team orders. It's hard to belief that Jorge had a problem with the battle as he was just as engaged as Rossi but had far more to lose.

If you can't stand the heat in the kitchen - go cry to daddy about it?... I bet rossi, for the first time in his life laughed Furusawa when he told him not to race.

Maybe Jorge should retire and take up balroom dancing.... a bit safer for sure.

Total votes: 257

I think that Rossi was annoyed at Lorenzo for dropping back from the Stoner Dovi battle and that was why he made a real fight of it. After qualifying he believed he could race for the victory, but come the race He felt that Lorenzo was just riding safely towards his championship - and in the process making Rossi look bad. I don't blame Rossi at all for deciding things should be otherwise. Once battle had been engaged, Rossi's will to win took over, and we were provided with a fantastic show. Yamaha's reprimand of Rossi is unacceptably strong - and has diminished my respect for them. A parental "boys will be boys" shrug and wearied smile would have been a far better response. Early on, Yamaha should have been generous and agreed to release Rossi to practice after the final race. If he ups and offs for surgery now who could blame him. Lorenzo loses several points for whining, but Yamaha loses the most in my estimation. MotoGP has for the most part been deadly dull this season. Aparently, by their position on Rossi's actions, Yamaha like it that way - not a good corporate image to project when you are selling motorbikes in a globally soft marketplace!

Total votes: 238

Martyr, infant or primadonna, Rossi rides best with a chip on his shoulder and an enemy to aim for. Should be interesting.

Total votes: 244

Too true.

Total votes: 249

I believe Rossi told Italian GQ magazine that Lorenzo and Stoner hate him,but it's okay and this is normal between riders fighting for top spot.I agree.The reverse is,by his own statement,also true.Rossi hates Stoner and Lorenzo.The two riders who have convincingly toppled him.
Whether Rossi goes for the op after Sepang or not is irrelevant to this viewer.
I'll be up for 125,Moto 2 and GP as usual because I love the racing more than the personalities.
Rossi vs Lorenzo animosity enters the stratosphere.Rossi will no doubt be on a mission to anihilate Lorenzo/Yamaha next year,like he did to Max/Sete Honda.
One issue that may turn his aspiration on its head in this regard next year is Ben Spies on the factory bike.Rossi may well find himself in the gravel once engaged in a one on one scrap with Spies.Guaranteed Spies won't be the first to complain about borderline moves.Perhaps this is why Yamaha don't give a hoot about Rossi.They will have two aliens vs Ducati's one next year.

Total votes: 227

Spies was educated early on in dealing with bullies. He won't be fazed by either Lorenzo or Rossi. I also agree with those who think Lorenzo engaged Rossi. He could have simply held back and settled for 4th but instead pushed for the podium. This was is second race in a row off the box, so maybe he felt he had something to prove too.

Total votes: 205

Wow! I hated to see this in writing.Yamaha following Honda in their pursuit of human mis-treatment! And the likes of the whiners be damned. I'm all for 2011 to start anytime now. Mark my words next year you will see sparks FLYIN out of the yammie pits when Mr Spies puts a spanking on Gorgeous Gorge...I'd be willing to say there will be some crackers served with the WINE...jus sayin...

Total votes: 220

What about the Yamaha-Ducati relationship? At some point in time it is possible that Yamaha will want to poach a rider from Ducati's stable. At some point it is possible that Yamaha will want a favor from Ducati in an MSMA technical vote. If Yamaha refuse to release Rossi early in a non-championship year, aren't they harming their ability to do future business with the Bologna factory?

Imo, this is a significant angle that is not being discussed, although, I understand it is probably very difficult to know anything about the relationship between Ducati and Yamaha. The only thing we do know is that Suzuki, Honda, and Ducati all approached WSBK with a rules proposal, but Yamaha was missing. I think I know why Yamaha were not involved in supporting the fuel/rev limit, but it does make you wonder.

Total votes: 223

...EVER thought of that. Interesting point.

Anyone else ever considered it?

Total votes: 220

to be leading the championship by 40+ points with your nearest rival sitting in a hospital, and you engage in a fierce battle for a few extra points against a rider who has nothing to lose?

lorenzo is too proud. he shouldn't be complaining, it makes him look petty. he should take the points, win the championship and then boast later.

Total votes: 254

he is petty?! ;) Rossi said it in his GQ interview: Lorenzo, Stoner, Pedrosa, Spies are just like jungle wild animals smelling blood. They want to hunt down the current alpha male. Rossi recognized that he did the same with Biaggi, that he is fine with it and that it is fun. So I am not surprised by Lorenzo wanting the third position and going for it but I am quite annoyed by the whining when he did not make it. In Rossi's words: "Lorenzo wanted it rough, here it is". And yes, Lorenzo knows better, we all remember him in 250. It is a pity, it was a great battle and I generally like Lorenzo. I think he had a great year, with or without Rossi. I also think that Italians booing him on the Misano podium was appalling. I am just old school I guess.

Total votes: 225

Having never been a Rossi fanboy but holding him in high respect after seeing him ride in person (Indy '08) I'll chime in with my two cents.

PR is bad for Yamaha. They would have scored big points by letting him test the Ducati at the end of the year, especially when compared to Honda. Simple fact, pissing Rossi off will affect their bike sales, world wide.

As for Lorenzo, wining the World Championship in a year when Rossi wasn't a factor though injury is a hollow achievement.

Rossi the Alpha Male will come for blood in 2011, and it will be great for the sport.

If he skips the last few rounds, DORNA will be greatly displeased, knowing the massive fall out in viewership from the rounds he missed earlier in the year.

Total votes: 205

I would disagree that his championship is hollow as he was soundly beating him before the injury.

But I do agree that Rossi is still the Alpha Male. THAT is what the Motegi sparring was all about. Some say it's better to retire at the top, but I think it's fine to end after being dethroned. It's what happens in nature. Agostini raced for 2 year after his last championship. People at the time may have said he should have left while on top, but no one remembers (or at least no one repeats it) that now. His place in history is secured and can lose little for continuing.

Total votes: 218

very interesting point, it's true that all we recall is how many races and championships he won, not how many he lost, and the same goes for any champion.
interesting !

Total votes: 192

Rossi's shoulder injury happened before the broken leg, and it has been said and written many times that it was the more serious injury to have for MotoGP racing.

Total votes: 208

I believe that from what I have read, that collar bone fractures are the most common injury and also the worst injury for a rider. It has been said that this is the most common career-ending injury for motorcycle riders. This is what put Sete Gibernau out from the Catalunya crash in 2006 on the Ducati.

Total votes: 203

It's the most common injury because the collar bone gets broken so easily if you land heavily on your shoulder (my sister broke hers after a heavy tackle, playing football).

However, it's also the least troublesome bone to break for a biker. The collar bone generally isn't a load-bearing bone, and there are few forces going through it under braking on a bike. Though, moving side to side can hurt a touch, as some movement gets transmitted to the bone. I was back on my bike a week after breaking mine in a fall - and not just a fracture: I didn't realise I had a break so I pulled the bone apart by lifting my bike up (that hurt). A week later, I couldn't lift my arm off the bars, had to use my good arm to position the hand of the other, yet riding itself wasn't a problem.

The general medical procedure with broken collar bones is "do nothing", other than give pain killers. For people who really need the fastest recovery, they plate the bone. One surgeon told me that for people who have broken their collar bones too many times, e.g. jockeys, bike racers, they may even just remove the bone altogether.

Total votes: 220

He was soundly beaten by JLo? Wikipedia and my Memory tells different :
The 2010 season began with Rossi topping most of all pre-season testing sessions and took victory in the first race of the season in Qatar, after early leader Casey Stoner crashed out. Rossi injured his shoulder and back while training on a motocross bike after the Japanese Grand Prix was postponed to October due to the disruption to air travel after the second eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland. The following two rounds Rossi was beaten by team-mate Lorenzo with Rossi complaining about shoulder pain. The injury was not taken seriously initially and was expected to cure in a few weeks, but did not turn out as expected and the ligament tear in the shoulder failed to sufficiently heal.

Btw: I had exactly the same injury when I was racing at Hockenheim years ago-It took me a whole year until I did´nt feel it anymore.
About the last race: If I see that scene at MotoGp.com, I see Rossi ahead of JLo , while JLo is closing onto VR until they touch each other...what could have VR done to avoid the contact?Ride at the grass?Inhale himself?
I guess Kevin Schwantz chuckled about it and Wayne Rainey couldnt even muster a smile.JLo has not a single race won in MotoGP without electronical aids! VR is the last 500cc two stroke champ and achieved it in his 2nd season against serious competition, while JLo would never ever muster to top this championship so boldly in his 3rd season now with Rossi uninjured or on a bike he (JLo) had to develope himself.
So please:Stop comparing JLo with a born Champion like Vale...please!Or act like he deserves the same treatment like Vale. This racing series wouldnt be worth a dime without VR and they can not thank him enough that he keeps it interessting due to his change to Ducati, despite their best efforts are to make it more boring whith electronics and smaller engines or fuel efficency!

Total votes: 206

Even if some feel Lorenzo soundly beat Rossi a few times, nobody here is denying Rossi is a living legend. No need to get all emotional.

Total votes: 216

As Rossi has been the man to beat in GP since 2001, any championship won in a season where he is missing from the starting grid habitually is a hallow victory. In my opinion. It's like a World Superbike Title when you didn't have to race Bayliss.

Total votes: 218

I think it would be interesting to see if the tv ratings would go down as much as previously, which I strongly doubt. This would help to evaluate of much of it was down to the world cup of football/soccer.
As far as live audience goes, I don't expect to see a smaller crowd at Valencia for the final explanation of the year between Lorenzo and Pedrosa!

Talking about hollow achievement is so unfair, every time Rossi "loses" a championship, there is a "logical" explanation and the actual world champion is devaluated. Wether it's Hayden, Stoner (who had such superior machinery that others Ducatis were mostly fighting for the last spots) or Lorenzo (who beat Rossi a few times and was leading the championship this year before any injury). Moreover Jorge is the only rider in history to challenge Rossi on the very same bike, which should mean something.

Injuries are part of the sport, who says Rossi winning the championship is a hollow achievement when Lorenzo breaks his ankles or when Stoner rides with a broken scaphoïd or misses races through sickness?

Total votes: 220

All i see is people saying that JLo was beating VR left and right, strongly, and i cant remember the other word that was used, convincingly i think it was. Anyways, what was the result for the first race?????? And when did Vr injured his shoulder? Think about it. All the respect in the world to Nicky(2006), Crashy Casey(2007) and JLo(00000) yet. Think about that too.
FernandoARG

Total votes: 222

Everyone forgets that Jorge started the season injured. Smashed up his hand pretty bad in the preseason, and it wasn't healed until after Le Mans. An injured Lorenzo charged through the field at Qatar to finish 2nd, behind Rossi. An injured Lorenzo *beat* an injured Rossi AND an uninjured Pedrosa at Jerez and Le Mans.

The fact of the matter is, we have not had any races this season where both Rossi and Lorenzo are uninjured and fighting it out. We do not know, and cannot pretend to know, who is better on the same machinery. We can play games and talk about how "a shoulder injury is worse than a hand injury" or "Lorenzo was the favored one in Yamaha this year and Rossi got stiffed by the factory" but the fact of the matter is, this year, Jorge is (just about) won it.

You want to see which out of the two is best on equal machinery, with no injuries, on a dry track that both like, without anyone else interfering? That will never happen. Life is not a videogame. Instead, we get injuries, we get wet races, we get riders taking out other riders by accident. We get imperfection. And that's what matters.

Total votes: 219

Excellent points. Lorenzo was injured early on, Rossi was injured from Qatar, Pedrosa was injured at the start of last season, Stoner was injured at the start of the 2006 season, the list goes on and on. The debate about what would have happened if rider X wasn't injured, or was on a better machine, or whatever, is completely irrelevant, because it didn't happen and it never will. Lorenzo is winning this year because he got everything right, Rossi won last year because he got everything right, Stoner won in 2007 because he got everything right, Hayden won in 2006 because he got everything right (though it would be more correct to say that all of those riders did fewer things wrong compared to their rivals, rather than getting everything right). Getting everything right requires a lot of skill, hard work, dedication, preparation and talent. And a little bit of luck. That's the story of every championship there's ever been.

Total votes: 254

Well, you're doing an awfully good impression of a fanboy...

A hollow achievement? Did you miss all those races BEFORE Rossi got hurt? Lorenzo had the full measure of Rossi, and Rossi was pushing so hard because Lorenzo was faster then him on an identical bike and Lorenzo was able to set it up better, period!

Yamaha are looking towards the future, Ducati are looking for over-rated marketing magic. I'd vote for Rossi being the greatest of all time, and I wouldn't be shocked if he won a championship at Ducati before he's done. But to dismiss Lorenzo's soon to be championship is utter nonsense!

And Yamaha sales will be just fine without Rossi. If all that B.S. were true, then it's truly a miracle Suzuki and Kawasaki sell any bikes at all, yet here in the streets of NYC, I see more Gixr's & Ninja's then you could shake a stick at.

Total votes: 258

If Rossi has the surgery after Sepang, I bet Yamaha will announce that they will allow him to test the Ducati. Yamaha "looks" nice, but they know that Rossi either wont test, or the test will be worthless because of his low fitness level.

Total votes: 244

If he has surgery he won't recover in time for Valencia testing. After that there's a testing ban until January. Shoulder reconstruction, if that's what he's having done, is quite a long recovery. But if the surgery is less drastic then it's possible, but I still wouldn't think it would be a good idea.

Total votes: 220

My point is not about Rossis return to test, its about Yamaha releasing him to test. Yamaha makes themselves look like good guys for releasing him.

Total votes: 244

But that would be a truly hollow gesture. I don't think it would be wise to add insult to injury.

Total votes: 250

and here in the states, the thousands of fans who bought tickets to Laguna only after Rossi was deemed fit? and the sea of yellow seen at every circuit? Rossi has 'it', and will always have that rock star following until he is no longer racing. As mentioned by jihem, none of the other aliens or dovi or spies will fill that void. And like the post-Jordan years of the NBA, things will move on and new personalities will emerge with time. Until then, let them race. This season is all but wraps for JLo. Rossi gave Yamaha everything he had for these past years, missing a few races now on a injured shoulder needing surgery is irrelevant in perspective.

Total votes: 204

Rossi forced Lorenzo to do battle with him? It wasn't Rossi's fault that Jorge chose to battle for the podium when he had the choice to cruise home in 4th without any worries. Tell me again why this is all Rossi's fault. It's not him that controls the steering and throttle on the 99 bike. This isn't rocket science.

Total votes: 203

i wholeheartedly agree with r mutt, yamaha should be reprimanding lorenzo for putting himself in the position in the first place! with a huge lead and no opposition present a safe ride was called for if he couldnt (or wouldnt) race for the win. Rossi had nothing to lose and everthing to gain the polar opposite of jorge (who iirc has been known to go wheel to wheel before (250's)but didnt cry then) it shows his immaturity, he needs to think a little more long term in future and try to remember the fans love close fairing to fairing racing god knows this season has needed more races like this one! I hope vale finishes the season with a flourish and give us one more win for yamaha(valencia would be nice as we know how Ducati loves qatar;)

Total votes: 195

how do you know Yamaha didn't reprimand JL99? but they certainly are not going to publicly do it to the guy they just signed for 2 years and who's about to become the world champion. i don't understand this outcry. it totally makes sense from their point of view. teams/manufacturers don't necessarily want close racing...

I've heard over and over how Rossi doesn't owe Yamaha anything anymore. why doesn't the opposite apply?

Total votes: 182

P.S. David what is it that motogp will need to replace the Rossi pull?

Total votes: 207

Dorna believe they have a trick up their sleeve to produce close racing. But it's going to take a while to perform it. 

Total votes: 198

David,

That's the second time you have referred to Dorna's close-racing secret weapon as if you know it. When can we expect an article on it? I'm on the edge of my seat!

Chris
moto2-usa.blogspot.com

Total votes: 197

Dorna's close racing solution:

prevent pedrosa, stoner, or lorenzo from ever racing again

-or-

suzukis for everyone!

Total votes: 195

...but my spelling momentarily sucks because I am laughing too hard to see tyhe keys on my laptop. I have tears of laughter streaming down my cheeks...

*ding* Funniest post! We have a WINNAH!

Typos are anathema in my world (why I read my news here), but that was too funny to be real.

As for the trick for getting some close racing, the mind fairly reels at the possibilities... I hope it works.

Someone earlier said that the sport may never be this big again, and that may, indeed, be the case. I hope not, but it is VERY possible. Just that much more reason that I'll consider myself blessed to see the next 40-or-so races. I hope there's more. Much more.

In another context: Van Halen without David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar or Michael Anthony, Led Zeppelin without Bonham, Motley Crue without Vince Neil or Tommy Lee...is it still the same? Rush without Neil Peart? Football without Beckham, Rinaldo, or Ronaldinho? Or, how about this: U2 without Bono. Would you still go to the show or buy the new album?

Total votes: 190

Is the plan David is referring to already well known?

In 2012, with the advent of the CRT, we'll have perhaps the "A grade" riders, (the current MotoGP crop) on 800cc factory bikes, battling with the "B Grade" on 1000cc machines.

The Aliens et al battling the Young Turks, who will have a capacity advantage.

Just a thought.

Total votes: 196

There'll be an article either here or in a magazine sometime in November. It's a big, complex argument, though, and is going to take a while to assemble. 

Total votes: 188

Lorenzo did complain but had no business doing so! He only needs to finish one more race to secure the championship. He doesn't need to get involved in scraps to this one is on him. If Yamaha doesn't realize that and manage accordingly then they are idiots.

Personally, I was looking forward to the last 3 races, WHEN Lorenzo has the title secured and the gloves come off. If Rossi's shoulder is good enough to race and they both show up... there will be some fireworks!

Of course I'm equally excited for Rossi to leave early and see Spies take his factory bike quickly. Whoever brought up Spies is right, this sort of racing is old hat to him. He has the skills and race craft to play in this league as he demonstrated last week blasting up through the field after his off track excursion.

I can't wait to see what happens!!

Total votes: 205

Just watched the passes again. JLo should be ashamed of himself for crying about the close racing. In every pass in question JLo was the protagonist. JLo passed at the start with no problems or issues. He then starts riding 'safely' (slower) expecting everyone behind him to do the same? Rossi did not want to ride 'slow' so he passed safely and responsibly on lap 5. JLo trailed VR till two laps from the end. JLo decides to pass VR in turn three, he did not get the drive and VR stayed beside him going into the tunnel. JLo tried to block VR in the tunnel and banged into VR. Two turns later in turn 5 JLo performed the VR/Sete maneuver on VR, he did not get the drive again and VR stayed beside him. JLo almost ran VR off track! VR had to hold his line a little longer to stay on track for turn 6 when JLo turned into him and banged VR again! JLo makes a final pass at turn 2 the following lap, and it was clean. VR simply mirrored JLo's block pass at turn 5 the lap before and caused JLo to sit up. And finished that way. What a hypocrite JLo is! What a crybaby JLo is! What a misguided position by Yamaha! VR has every right to call both of them out! He made the right decision going to Ducati. Yamaha has been castrated! Sorry Ben, your Mum better be a pit bull on politics next year! VR should think of himself only at this point.

Total votes: 192

When has Ben desperately pushed people out when racing with them? I think you'll find that Ben is a nice guy unlike a certian Italian who's quickly becoming the Michael Schumacher of MotoGP.

Hopefully Lorenzo shoves Rossi off the track and gives him a taste of his own medicine.

Total votes: 203

I too wonder what the heck JLo (love that acronym by the way!!) was thinking when he initiated those attempted passes so late in the race. He barely made it by and then expected Rossi to simply back off and let him go? It must be a wonderful place up there in Lorenzoland (his head). To risk the championship for 5 points when his main competitor for the championship is out for who knows how long is idiotic at best.

For those who try to compare Rossi's actions to Pedrosa taking out Hayden back in 2006, examine the scenario more closely. Hayden was floundering late in the season and was in real danger of losing the championship and Pedrosa scuttled him 2 or 3 laps into the race. In the JLo/Rossi scenario, JLo all but has the championship wrapped up so why battle for 5 points and risk it all?

It does illustrate how the daft technical regs have made it impossible for anyone to pass simply by either opening the throttle more and sooner, or hitting the brakes harder and later. It seems that only Rossi, Stoner and Spies are able to actually override the preset results as programmed by Dorna before each race!

Total votes: 200

How is it that people praise Rossi for being a racer and then call out Lorenzo's stupidity when he does the same?

Total votes: 189

>>> "We" can sit here and say Rossi is better than JL, and vice versa, until we are blue in the face. But here are the facts .... it's a question that cannot be measured nor answered by what we have seen up to this point. But here is something that can be measured ... VR accomplishments far exceed that of JL. So to say JL is better than VR this early in JL career is only lying to themselves. And other than this last race, there are no other time this season where VR and JL have gone head to head. And we do know how that turned out.
As far as the passing in question. It's clear to anyone that takes the time to watch it again (assuming you know something about riding a motorcycle), JL clearly was the one that not only started it, but almost ran himself off the track running into Rossi's M1. Poor form on Yamaha, and poor form on JL for crying about it. I can'thelp but to wonder what he expected?
Not that it matters to Yamaha, but as a owner of six R6's (since 1999) and 2 R1's, I have bought my last Yamaha. I was thinking about going for the new BMW, but the Ducati is looking better every second.

Cheers!
Eddie

Total votes: 168

Valentino Rossi, when he first entered MotoGP, did not have Valentino Rossi as a rival. It's widely accepted that Rossi is the GOAT. When he came into MotoGP, he was up against Biaggi--who is certainly good, but not on the level of Stoner/Pedrosa/Lorenzo/Rossi. It's a completely different situation, and a baseless comparison.

The fact is, Rossi didn't ever have someone who could truly challenge him until Pedrosa/Hayden/Stoner came along. And, when all of those guys were first getting onto their MotoGP bikes, they had to fight against Rossi, who was already a multi-World Champion.

Sure, JLo has been whining up a storm after this race, and with no real reason to do so. But, let's not start saying that nobody is better than Rossi because he's had a more successful start to his MotoGP career. When he started, he was the only Alien. It wasn't until 2007 that the other Alien's really arrived.

Total votes: 219

People started blowing the yellow trumpet too early. If Lorenzo, Pedrosa, Stoner and Spies were all born five or so years earlier there is not a chance in hell that Rossi's stats would be any where near as impressive as they are now. Rossi came into Grand Prix during the talent 'drought' - the mid-nineties to the mid-noughties.

Total votes: 190

To not12x. To even suggest that Biaggi is not as good as Pedrosa/Lorenzo/Stoner is absolutely ridiculous and an insult to the Roman Emperor. Please do your research before posting & you might just find out how many multiple world championships Biaggi won with different manufacturers (not including the 2010 WSBK Championship), which neither Pedrosa/Lorenzo/Stoner can even dream about right now!

Total votes: 183

Didn't Rossi have a more powerful updated engine for the race? and didn't JLo opt to use an old one so he could save the more powerful one in case it got down to the wire for the Championship? Knowing that he was underpowered and still trying to barge through seems a bit odd. Rossi was always going to go past him again at some point. Aren't egos wonderful things :-)

Total votes: 205

Rossi's bike had alot more acceleration, Lorenzo could do nothing about it. Rossi probably would've overtaken him on the back straight anyway.

Total votes: 196

That was some fantastic racing!

I'm glad that they were both able to have such a close race. (The contact I'm not so keen on, I wouldn't say "go out and bang elbows" but hey - that's racing...)

Good on Rossi. Team orders...? I have never been a fan of team orders, let them out on track - and let them race!

Total votes: 191

Man, that's a depressing story.
But thanks for posting the link.

Total votes: 216

Dear all,

The standard of comment here has been remarkable, despite this being such a contentious issue. I have only had to remove a couple of comments from this thread, despite the vast number of people wanting to contribute. I would ask people to remain calm, and think twice about posting, perhaps summarizing their responses into a single comment, and refraining from getting too emotional.

In short, there are plenty of comments to be made on this subject, but posts which can be summarized as "Lorenzo's such a whiner/Rossi's such a hypocrite" are likely to be removed.

Thank you all for remaining the most intelligent forum for motorcycle racing debate on the internet.

Total votes: 183

I do not know if any of you ever participated in any competition, you don't go out there and "settle" for 4th place. You want to win, I personally hate to lose. Rossi got Jlo on race craft and I lament the passing of the days of yore. I started watching this sport in the late 70s through the 80s. Back when men were men and tires were scared, on some of the most treacherous tracks in existence.
No one pranced for the camera or acted like a clown,they got down to business. I miss those days.

Total votes: 189

There's an interesting angle being given on this issue in today's gpone. To sum up the story, they say the FIM should make his voice heard but very rarely do so. Gpone goes on saying there are rules being applied to sports like running, for instance, where a runner would be disqualified if he goes into the lane next to his. Or a jumper would see his jump disqualified if on the line. We're talking about sports that are zillions time less dangerous than motorbike racing but where it seems the FIM never voices out, or rarely, and especially when Rossi is about...

Total votes: 212

Rossi is NOT being pushed out early in any sense, from day one he did not want anyone on his team to be treated equally.

Rossi put up the wall and all the rest, his gamesmanship that paid such dividends with all his previous rivals did virtually nothing with Lorenzo. That is why he picked up his toys and went home (Ducati).

The comparisons to his departure from Honda are silly, Honda chose their Motorcycle over Rossi, Yamaha are choosing a YOUNG soon to be champion (excluding the little bikes of course) who can be in their plans for possibly the next decade. This is no poorly calculated move...

And has anyone decided against buying a Honda since 2003 because Rossi left?! That s**t is downright comical...

Total votes: 169

krka1073, Do you really believe that any MotoGP racer wants his teammate to be treated equally? For instance, will Lorenzo want Spies to be treated equally in 2011 and 2012? Remember, you wrote "treated equally" which is much different that treated fairly. Even if MotoGP changes the rules to teammate championships only (no more individual champions - only teammates having a shared championship), I cannot see Jorge wanting Ben treated equally for there would be recognition by fans of the teammate who placed higher in each race as well as throughout the season. Better yet, try Honda's 2011 teammates: Would Casey or Dani want his teammate treated equally? I'll tell you what I think. No - not a chance, if only because salaries are in part performance based. Better yet, I've yet to hear or read of Jorge wanting this equal treatment extended to having his shoulder injured or leg broken as were Vale's - or merely having to miss all the races that Vale's injuries forced him to miss. Of course that is absurd, but no more so than Jorge's expecting equal treatment to Vale, the racer who took Yamaha from being a MotoGP also ran, to the MotoGP championship.

Total votes: 170

What I think is Jorge got the same exact spec. bike with the same level of factory support, and Rossi didn't like it, and would've prevented it if he could have.

I also think Spies will be on the same exact spec. bike as Jorge next year, with the same level of factory support. And I don't think that bothers Jorge one bit.

The rest is semantics.

Total votes: 204

And I don't think that Jorge deserved the same exact spec bike; nor do I believe that Ben deserves the same spec bike as Jorge in 2011. Why? Well, when a racer achieves a goal, I can't see the rewards of his efforts being distributed equally to his teammate. The manufacturer may well see it differently, but to expect the racer to willingly allow the bike that he's developed to be given to another is too much to demand. So, Rossi wants the bike he perfected for himself: Yamaha wants that bike for Jorge too: Tech 3 wants that bike as well, but in this case Yamaha will have none of it. So if it's good to share Rossi's bike, why isn't Yamaha gifting it to Tech 3?

Total votes: 190

Yamaha did not hire Jorge to come in second. He was able to negotiate an "A" spec. bike precisely because Yamaha wanted him. (just as they did not hire Spies to come in second next year) So they hired Jorge to race the best bike they could produce and win, that's why he's on the "factory team." SAME exact job description as Rossi. Rossi did a better job of it last year, Jorge did a better job this year.

And Yamaha is not a fish out of water without Rossi, they didn't listen to the riders input that was eerily similar to Rossi's before he got there, his championship cache helped them listen. I think they learned a lesson there... Lorenzo & Spies wouldn't be multiple champions in various categories if they didn't know how to develop & set-up a bike. The future is bright for Yamaha in that respect. Furusawa's replacement is the bigger question mark....

Every satellite team (including Tech3) is by definition a "B" team in regards to their association to the factory, that's their agreement, and that's what they get.

Total votes: 210

Let's put this into some perspective: Rossi had 24 wins in his first 48 MotoGP races. Lorenzo had 12 wins in his first 48 races. Jorge never won at 125 and only won at 250 after Pedrosa and Stoner moved up to MotoGP. Nine years racing and only this year will Jorge achieve his third title (riding the bike that Vale had developed). Fifteen years racing and already Rossi has won nine titles. At this rate, Jorge will attain his ninth title his 27th year racing (2028). If Yamaha has learned a lesson, IMHO it is the wrong lesson; of course only time will tell. Maybe Jorge has been sandbagging it, and the best is yet to come.

Total votes: 197

Valentino Rossi didn't have Valentino Rossi to beat when he moved up to MotoGP, only Biaggi, Kenny Roberts Jr (on a woefully underdeveloped Suzuki) and Sete Gibernau. Everyone who moved up after 2001 had Rossi to beat.

Total votes: 181

Interesting: neither of them could beat Rossi two years running. Even more interesting: can Jorge?

Total votes: 175

As a pilot, it is not only about getting 'the best bike they could produce', it is about getting Yamaha to produce the best bike for you.

When Rossi moved to Yamaha the deal was that they would have done what Rossi and Burgess asked for, no matter how much it would have costed. So it is mainly about customisation and willing to spend for it. This is why it is so important to be the 'first choice' inside an official team.

Next year Yamaha will take Lorenzo inputs and will try to cut their bike on and for him. I am pretty sure Ben will get the same bike, but not one that has been built specifically for him. Obviously, a real champion is also capable of overcoming a lack of customisation but it makes things much more difficult. To see examples of how difficult it can be, just look at Pedrosa's Honda or Stoner's Ducati.

With the Yamaha 2012 we will understand better whether Lorenzo has been very good at adapting to Rossi's bike and how good he is at helping to develop a new one.

Total votes: 215

All these guys are world champions - to us and in their own minds.

They all feel entitled. They are going to whine. It really shouldn't be used to bash racers. Don't hold it against them or anything.

Colin whines all the time. But he is a master of whining. He knows how to use it and make a joke or two out of it all. It's great. Remember all the crap he was saying about his bike earlier this season? It was amusing to hear.

Stoner is very curt so he's obviously a target for everyone. I like to think of him as the new pirate of the paddock.

And Vale whines, too. He just goes about it in a charming way.

They are all big kids with big toys.

Spies is very professional, though. Would like to see him whine once in awhile...

Total votes: 202

I totally agree with you. Every rider complains once in a while, some just know how to get away with it.

Total votes: 192

For starters Biaggi had a better record than any of the current crop in the lower classes, not a guarantee of success I know but a fair marker.
It is also worth noting the relative ease of riding the current crop of bikes together with the fact that there is relatively little tyre degredation anymore. All 250 riders coming into motogp have had a far easier time of it.
There is also the fact that Rossi has totally dominated the new crop of riders and it has taken(although this is not their problem)two serious injuries to Rossi for any of them to beat him.
Rossi is also in the twilight of his career and they, Stoner, JLo and Dani are all at their peak.
Rossi for me is still the dominant rider, Dp has had a better season, Stoner for all his current dominance has been involved in a championship battle only once since he joined motogp, he's either won easily or been out of it by half way. Jlo looks to be a long way from better than a fit Rossi even though he won this year, he'll win be lucky to win more than one race in the whole second half of the season and is unproven in his current role.
If anything the fact that Rossi has only looked beatable by the new crop since he got injured says it all.

Total votes: 201