Thursday, April 19, 2007

MotoGP Turkey Preview

How long has it been since the last MotoGP race? About 37 years, I think. At least that's how it feels. During the long absence, we've been able to console ourselves with some jaw-droppingly brilliant racing from WSBK and BSB, but there was still that lack of 800cc prototypes gnawing away at our hearts.
Well, at last they're back.
This one is going to be impossible to call, but that's not going to stop me trying.
There are a couple of reasons why it will be so difficult to predict the outcome of the Istanbul race on Sunday. Firstly, this is the first time that the new 800cc bikes will visit Turkey. Nicky Hayden has already said in an interview that he thinks the track's terrifying high-speed right hander might be an easy-flat corner on the high-corner speed 800's. I hope it's still terrifying.
Secondly, the tyre rules. There are a strictly limited number of tyres available to each rider, and nobody has ever tested an 800 in Istanbul, so there will be some educated guesswork needed. Of course, the Dunlop boys have unlimited tyres, so I will be hoping for great things from Guintoli. Not Tamada though, he seems to have lost it altogether.
Thirdly, Valentino Rossi did not win last years race. Can The Doctor do better this time? Will he win, or will Istanbul turn into a bogey track for the Italian? The Yamaha's lack of top speed doesn't bode well.
Ducati are sure to be near the front on such a high-speed track. By Ducati I mean Casey Stoner, as Little Loris Capirossi is having a nightmare adapting to the new Duke.
Teeny-tiny HRC rider Dani Pedrosa will surely be there or thereabouts, as always. Dani might be as dull as Lewis Hamilton, but he is also damn quick.
Suzuki just might have a good race. They have promised a lot this year, and not really delivered, although John Hopkins' hop-off at Jerez was from 4th place. The light blue bikes aren't too bad on top speed, and were certainly better than the Yamahas at Losail. It could be a good day for Hopper and Vermeulen.
To sum up, who knows? I'll go out on a limb and say Stoner will win from Pedrosa then Rossi.


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

I would say Rossi, Pedrosa, Melandri ...I agree that the track will highlight Ducati top speed, but if Yamaha and Honda have closed a bit the speed gap, I believe that they could hold the position in the draft. Also, if you recall last year dicing between Melandri and Stoner, the Italian let Casey to lead on the final straight to pass him on inside before the very last series of turns where it was too late to recover. If Vale has more speed there is hope for nobody. On the other end last year even Pedrosa was very fast until he lost the front end. He had passed a lot of riders on the inside of downhill turns abusing the front tire. Last year the little Spaniard rode this Gp like he had a 250cc, Sunday with the sharper 800cc and more experience he could really make the difference in the Instabul circuit.

Jimmy said...

Yes, it was a surprise when Pedrosa hopped off last year. He doesn't make a lot of mistakes.
Melandri seems to have such trouble with consistency this year that he might be brilliant or he might destroy his tyres like at Jerez. Hopefully the wider track will be easier to pass on, so Marco will not get held up.
It's a great track, the race should be a lot more exciting than the last one.

Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

You were right about Melandri's difficulties ...after the first day of practice he is only 10th behind Pedrosa and with a couple of light crashes during the day.

Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

Surprise: Yamaha and Honda in front of Ducati!!!! I was almost expecting Valentino's p.p. (im my blog I had stated that if Yamaha had given more speed for Valentino, sunday he is going to crash the competition), but I am very surprised with Edwards, in second position: when the bike is right even the Texas Tornado can fly!!!

Jimmy said...

Edwards is usually pretty quick when the bike is right, but the bike has to be absolutely perfect. The Yamaha looks like the sweetest handling bike. Finally Edwards is showing the kind of form he has promised for many years!