Friday, February 02, 2007

MotoGP: Valentino Sticks Around Until 2008

Valentino Rossi has revealed that he will stay in MotoGP with Yamaha until the end of 2008.
This is fantastic news for MotoGP. One of the biggest personalities in sport, and possibly the best motorcycle racer of all time, will grace our screens for another 2 seasons.
The dark days when Rossi looked set for a move to F1 are long gone. He would never have fit in with the mind numbing world of Formula One anyway. Boring drivers who must always spout the team's words instead of speaking their minds, boring races where hideously expensive cars trundle around in circles, never overtaking. F1 goes against everything that Vale stands for.
More worrying was Valentino's flirtation with the World Rally Championship. OK, there's no overtaking, but the cars are always hugely spectacular, seemingly just milliseconds from a huge crash at all times. Rally drivers are also well known for speaking their mind and being just a little bit crazy. Reigning WRC champion Sebastian Loeb is a former gymnast. Petter Solberg is a former Norwegian disco dancing champion. Gilles Panizzi once stopped in the middle of a timed rally stage to do a donut in front of a huge group of fans. Rossi would slide into the world of WRC without batting an eyelid, and many people thought he would move to rallying at the end of 2007.
MotoGP is looking interesting, though. The 800cc rules, forced through by Honda on spurious safety grounds, are not resulting in the HRC domination that we all predicted. The Hondas are down on power, and although they have produced some great times on qualifying rubber, they are struggling to put in fast times on race tyres. In contrast, the Yamaha looks very fast. The best sign of this is the fact that Colin Edwards has been putting in some impressive laps. Edwards is a decent, if inconsistent, rider who struggles when a bike is poorly set up. If the Texan Tornado laps quickly, you can assume that the Yamaha bike and Michelin tyres are working well together.
Honda are flailing around like an injured seal, and Rossi scents blood. Unless Honda produce some amazing improvements in the next couple of months, Rossi will be the hot favourite for the title. The 7-times world champion will be relishing the thought of putting little Dani Pedrosa in his place. Rossi has never been scared of a good fight, so the pace of the Suzuki will also have caught his attention.
With Biaggi and Gibernau gone, The Doctor has a new generation of riders to beat, and he has given himself 2 years to do it.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I think that the new rumored sponsor Fiat must be behind his two year commitment... I am sure that Fiat has to come out with some serious donuts that maybe will jeopardize the stock dividend of the Italian company (LOL). They want to consolidate the image VALE=FIAT and that it could take more than 12 months. Also I speculate that Valentino could start the rally career right with Fiat when finished with the bikes. I just dream to see him racing with a Ducati Fiat bike in the last year of his MotoGp experience.

Jimmy said...

Well, Mr 555, I think you may be onto something!
Fiat are a pretty big company. They would surely sell a lot of cinquecentos in Italy with Vale wearing their logo.