Thursday, March 08, 2007

MotoGP: 2007 Preview Rant

It's the time of year when everybody's writing a preview of this year's racing, and they're all virtually identical. To spice things up a little, I've decided to do my preview in the form of a rant.
Who are the potential champions?
Rossi, Rossi and Rossi.
Alright, Pedrosa and Hayden both have some chance of winning the 2007 title, but The Doctor has to be the odds-on favourite.
Valentino Rossi lost the 2006 title for one major reason: the 2006 Yamaha was an ill-handling bucket of bolts. The early races of the season showed that Yamaha had dropped a real stinker. The bike had hideous amounts of chatter, and therefore had an aversion to going round corners quickly.
Eventually, workers were forced to sneak out of the Yamaha factory in the middle of the night and chuck the 2006 frame into a nearby canal, then dust off the 2005 frame that they'd turned into a coffee table. It still didn't handle well, leading to the most surprising moment of 2006: Rossi's identically-dressed chum Uccio actually doing something useful. At the Turkish GP, he pointed out that the bike had eaten its front Michelin, not the rear. Of course, nobody listened because, well, he's just Uccio. After that, the bike had all sorts of engine trouble for the rest of the year.
There was another reason why Rossi didn't do well in 2006: he was still messing around with Formula One. Luckily he has realized the truth about F1. The racing isn't worthy of the name, the drivers are boring idiots, the team bosses are boring idiots, the fans... Well, you know the rest. The F1 journalists are such snobs that they faint whenever Kimi Raikkonen passes out drunk in the street or whips out his little general in a strip club. Yawn. Rossi would've died of boredom in F1.
Unlike the 2006 bike, his year's Yamaha M1 is a missile. We know this because Edwards is quick on it. The Texan Tornado is famous for his inability to ride a chattering bike, so last year's machine was a nightmare for the easy-going Yank. This year, he looks brilliant, which means that Rossi looks unstoppable.
Dani Pedrosa had a stunning debut year in MotoGP, proving that he is every bit as good as the people who could be bothered watching 250GP said he was. (Well, 250 just doesn't have the unbeatable teenage insanity of the 125's, does it?)
Unfortunately we also discovered that the pocket-sized Spaniard has a personality to suit his physical presence: if it was any smaller it wouldn't exist at all. The debate rages on: is Dani a genetically modified mutant grown in an HRC test tube, or simply an advanced robot? Do they debrief him after a race, or just plug a USB cable into his earhole and download the data to a laptop?
Dani's main problem seems to be that he doesn't like real racing, which is all knees, elbows, and tyre marks on the leathers. At Brno, he complained that Rossi was too tough on him. Oh, boo hoo! Ross didn't rack up those top-class titles by prancing around like a ballerina. He won them by scraping fairings with racers like Max Biaggi and Sete Gibernau. Pedrosa will have to grow a pair if he is going to win the title without a serious machinery advantage, and the 2007 Honda's just not quick enough for that. I can't see the expressionless little baby winning this year's title unless something goes horribly wrong for Rossi.
Nicky Hayden has an outside chance of winning the title, but no more than that. Bear in mind that Hayden took the lead of the championship fairly early in the season last year, and was always trying to safeguard his points lead. The only time that The Kentucky Kid went hell for leather was at his home race at Laguna Seca.
Hayden is certainly under-rated by many people, mainly starry-eyed Rossi fans. Another thing that has emerged to prove that Hayden is better than many think is the performance of the 2007 Honda.
It's crap.
And Hayden's 2006 bike was an unnatural hybrid of 2006 and 2007 parts. It turns out that the 2007 parts came out of a dog's backside, and Hayden wasted hours of practise time trying to make them work. Yet he still won the title.
Nicky has the balls to retain his #1 plate, and battle with Rossi or anybody else. The best thing for him will be if he has a slowish start to the season, and thinks "Screw it, Dude! I'm Number One! Let's just win or crash!" I believe that he is capable of taking several wins this year, if he taps into the speed he always shows at Laguna without returning to his early MotoGP performances, which involved crashing with 5 laps to go at nearly every single race.
So there you have it. Vale, Dani or Nicky? I reckon The Doctor will win the title, but with potential racewinners realistically including Rossi, Pedrosa, Hayden, Edwards, Capirossi, Stoner, Melandri, Hopkins and Vermeulen, this should be an outstanding year!


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I think that Pedrosa will be up to the game. I think that he was used to pass and disappear while here he is going to shuffle back and forth position depending on how fast his horse is going to be. Either way I believe that his ... are bigger than we think

Jimmy said...

Well, there's only one way to find out. We'll just have to wait and see how he reacts when Rossi barges past next time.

Anonymous said...

Rossi was so slow down the straight today as he was towing that European Car of the Year!!!
No not the one he stood on at Jerez but the F1 AT......

When is Edwards gonna get his race face on as WSB beckons??

Jimmy said...

Yes, the Ilmor was quicker than the Yamaha on the straight!
Edwards is a strange rider, I don't understand how he can qualify so quick then race so slow.
He has an excuse for every occasion, though!