Wednesday, November 14, 2007

MotoGP: 2009 Silly Season Starts Early

Valentino Rossi is in such a huff with his unimpressive Yamaha motorcycle that he has decided to start the 2009 Silly Season in 2007, which you have to admit is pretty silly.

Vale is threatening to leave Yamaha at the end of 2008 and move to Ducati if the Yam doesn't get a whole lot quicker and more reliable. This is interesting, as Ducati already have World Champ Casey Stoner and hard as nails Italian Marco Melandri signed up for 2009. Something very, very strange would have to happen before there was an opening for Rossi on the Duke, especially since he flirted with the red team before signing for Yamaha in the first place.

The reasons why Rossi rejected a move to Ducati at the time seem to be that he thought they placed the bike above the rider, which was too much like Honda, and that they asked for too many sponsorship commitments. I reckon there may also have been a sticking point that Ducati said Valentino's right-hand man Uccio wasn't gorgeous enough to hang around the garage, unlike Ingrid Capirossi and Adriana Stoner.

However, Rossi now seems bored of trying to win on second-rate machinery. His hints of a move to Ducati are reasonably blatant attempts to cajole the Yamaha factory into making a half-decent bike for him next year. He will be on the same tyres as Stoner, so he just needs the machine to be there or thereabouts, and the Rossi magic will do the rest.


Rob said...

I think he'll stick with Yamaha. What happens to his ego if he goes to Ducati and Stoner beats him? At least he can blame second-rate machinery next year - he's got his excuses lined up already.
My earliest detection of the start of the Rossi 2009 silly season was back in July.

Jimmy said...

Yep, good pick-up on the silly season there!
Hmmm. I'm not sure Stoner would beat Rossi on equal equipment. Not right now. It's hard to say what would happen a year in the future, though. Marco Melandri might kick Stoner's backside. Jorge Lorenzo might kick Rossi's. Anyway, Ducati don't need Rossi, although from a marketing viewpoint it would be dynamite.
Honda wouldn't want him either. Been there, done that, got the replacement. The Stoner fans who claim Casey deliberately lost to Pedrosa in the last race are clearly delusional, Dani's a decent bet for next year's title.
So Yamaha it is then!

Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

Casey Stoner "... deliberately lost to Pedrosa?" During the 2007 the World Champion Casey Stoner was able to counter-attack only Rossi at the beginning of the season while enjoying a much faster bike than his competitors. The rest of the victories were locked because of a clear supremacy over a struggling field. In the last race I was hoping to see some passionate reaction elbow to elbow with Pedrosa but we ended up with ... another boring race. Other riders like Elias, Melandri, Hayden, Rossi, are more tenacious and spectacular when it comes to similar situations.

Desmo said...

As far as Stoner losing to Pedrosa. He basically had everything to lose nothing to gain in pushing past the limit for a win. Also, Pedrosa clearly was extremely motivated and quick so I don't think that Pedrosa would have been denied

Jimmy said...

Absolutely. Pedrosa wasn't hanging around.