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Le Mans MotoGP Results

051715top-i

Yamaha’s Jorge Lorenzo took his second victory in a row earlier today at Le Mans, holding off teammate and MotoGP championship points leader Valentino Rossi, who came home second. Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso took another podium for the Italian squad with his third place finish.

None of the factory Hondas seemed to work well during the Le Mans race, with Dani Pedrosa, Cal Crutchlow and Scott Redding all crashing, primarily due to front grip issues. Marc Marquez reported similar issues on his Honda, but managed to stay upright and finish in fourth position.

Bradley Smith (Yamaha) is certainly a rider to watch as the championship progresses. He seems to be evolving into a podium contender. He finished in 6th position today, but right in the mix with Marc Marquez and Andrea Iannone (Ducati), and once again well in front of his teammate Pol Espargaro.

Rossi continues to lead the championship points.  For additional details, results and points, visit the official MotoGP site.

Pos. Num. Rider Team Bike Time/Gap
1 99 Jorge LORENZO Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha 43’44.143
2 46 Valentino ROSSI Movistar Yamaha MotoGP Yamaha +3.820
3 4 Andrea DOVIZIOSO Ducati Team Ducati +12.380
4 93 Marc MARQUEZ Repsol Honda Team Honda +19.890
5 29 Andrea IANNONE Ducati Team Ducati +20.237
6 38 Bradley SMITH Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +21.145
7 44 Pol ESPARGARO Monster Yamaha Tech 3 Yamaha +35.493
8 68 Yonny HERNANDEZ Pramac Racing Ducati +39.601
9 25 Maverick VIÑALES Team SUZUKI ECSTAR Suzuki +41.571
10 9 Danilo PETRUCCI Pramac Racing Ducati +42.789
11 69 Nicky HAYDEN Aspar MotoGP Team Honda +53.636
12 76 Loris BAZ Athinà Forward Racing Yamaha Forward +1’00.617
13 8 Hector BARBERA Avintia Racing Ducati +1’04.272
14 50 Eugene LAVERTY Aspar MotoGP Team Honda +1’05.259
15 19 Alvaro BAUTISTA Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia +1’05.515
16 26 Dani PEDROSA Repsol Honda Team Honda +1’20.907
17 15 Alex DE ANGELIS Octo IodaRacing Team ART +1’21.663
18 33 Marco MELANDRI Aprilia Racing Team Gresini Aprilia 1 Lap

75 Comments

  1. Lee 113 says:

    A graduated pyramid hierarchy system for moving riders up the chain would seem to alleviate the political piece of all the racing organizations. Start at the national series (MotoAmerica, British Superbike, etc.)… Take the top 3-5 riders at that level and move them to World Superbike. Turn WSBK into a true “world” event. Move the best 3-5 riders from WSBK and add them to MotoGP. It’s almost the same relegation strategy that takes place in international soccer. Move the non-competitive riders down and the uber-competitive riders up.

    This would take a lot of effort from sanctioning bodies like Dorna, however, this type of organization would allow more international attendance and maybe begin to bring roadracing attention to the US.

    Just my 2 cents…

    • VLJ says:

      When they already have things all their way, why would a Spanish organizing body and a Spanish corporate sponsor agree to this?

  2. Trpldog says:

    Gonna be interesting if Pedrosa’s arm pump issues aren’t resolved – maybe an open seat at Honda? Hummmmm

  3. VLJ says:

    In the leadup to Qatar, who here would have guessed that after five rounds Honda would have only one win?

  4. Vrooom says:

    It’s nice to see Rossi and Lorenzo appearing collegial together rather than when they shared the Yamaha garage prior to Rossi’s Ducati sojourn when bad feeling were easy to detect.

    • VLJ says:

      Easy to understand, human nature being what it is. Between then and now both riders were forced to scarf down many a large helping of humble pie, and this is the natural result.

  5. Tommy D says:

    The race for 4th place with Marquez and Iannone was intense. I thought Bradley Smith was going to inherit 4th after one of those passes went sour. Marquez seemed to be throwing his bike inside like he was rolling dice. Taking chances and getting the payoff.

    • Gary says:

      I was sure either Ianone or Marquez was gonna crash.

      • Curly says:

        I thought both of them would get the scooter ride back to their pit. MM93’s bike was all over the place and must have been giving him three or four heart stoppers per lap. Fun to for us to watch though.

    • Francois says:

      MM is a reckless little brat. He is endangering his live and the bikers around him just because he has not learned to lose with grace. I do not support him at the moment at all.
      You might be good, but sonny, you are going to kill somebody if not yourself soon.

  6. Krisd says:

    Common’ Honda- bring back Stoner! That would really spice things up.

  7. Jeremy in TX says:

    I need to start watching the MotoGP races BEFORE the Mortal Combat races, I mean, Moto3 races: MotoGP is almost a buzz-kill in comparison.

    Good one for Lorenzo. We have a real fight for the championship, now. Great spat between Marquez and Ianonne.

  8. Bart says:

    Yup. This kinda stuff is what makes it good, keeps us mortal kinda riders interested in this stuff.

    Go Rossi! Go Lorenzo!

  9. Gary says:

    Finally, MotoGP is interesting again. The only thing that could make it better is for Suzuki to start competing for the podium.

  10. Provologna says:

    How does MM win pole by .5s then finish 4th @ -20s? Qualifying vs. race tires?

    In 2014 MM breaks the record for single season race wins. Then in 2015 after five races he’s in 4th place with 69 points vs. the leader with 102 points and about 40% older.

    Who cares? Race fans rejoice! MotoGP is a race series again! Who’da thunk?

    • Pacer says:

      I think today’s reason is new sqingarm. Beyond that we have to see how he deals with adversity. True champions figure it out.

      • Dave says:

        Commentary was that Honda were having front grip issues. Both Dani and Cal went down after losing the front.

    • John A. Kuzmenko says:

      Higher track temperature for the race vs. cooler track temperature the previous two days of FP and QP.
      Bridgestone is constantly changing (with the goal of improving) the tires.
      That means a different feel for the rider, and that feel may not be a better one.
      This way, even the mega-buck HRC factory team can be caught by surprise.

  11. mickey says:

    Lorenzo did what Lorenzo does best..disappears on a clear track. Rossi did what Rossi does best, passes people with skill and determination. The battle between Marquez and Iannone was epic and a good lesson for Bradly Smith who had a perfect seat to watch from. Dovisioso is finally able to showcase the talent he showed on a Honda before going to Ducati. The rest of the race was a crash fest and once again turned back markers into points earners.

  12. Bill says:

    MM payments are due from his deal with the devil

  13. Gng says:

    54 seconds off pace is not exactly fast, is it?

    • Brian says:

      He’s not riding the same bike as the factory or satellite Honda riders. Frankly, I think it’s pretty clear at this point that even Marquez would need to have a very good day to put the Open Honda in the top 10. So yeah, all things considered, I’d say 54 seconds off the race winner is pretty fast.

      • Hot Dog says:

        Jeez, Hayden’s over hill and he’s not getting any top equipment. He’s taking up a seat that a young guy should be learning. I want to see him back in the U.S. racing the Moto America series. He’d be a great promoter of the series and he could also chase a mile dirt track win to complete his grand slam.

        • Brian says:

          What he should do with his career, and his performance on the customer Honda, are two separate discussions.

          It just annoys me that uninformed people see “Honda” and assume that the difference between (for example) Hayden and Marquez is pure rider ability. The more MotoGP I watch, the more I think it’s probably more like 80% machine+team, 20% rider skill.

          • Norm G. says:

            re: “It just annoys me that uninformed people see “Honda” and assume that the difference between (for example) Hayden and Marquez is pure rider ability.”

            pfft, laymen.

            re: “The more MotoGP I watch, the more I think it’s probably more like 80% machine+team, 20% rider skill.”

            and if you’d watched roadracing as long as I have you’d be all done with the “thinking” ’cause you’d have LOOONG shifted over to KNOWING it’s 80% machine/20% rider. yes that and at some point you would’ve been moved to author an ironclad Law known as NATCORK.

            we’re only seeing it play out right before our eyes, but this is all predicated on the assumption one even knows what they’re looking at…? logic dictates Jay and Ross didn’t just suddenly start knowing how to ride, anymore than Marcus has suddenly forgotten…? it’s those bloody $5 million dollar machines their sittin’ on.

          • xLaYN says:

            ” ironclad Law ” lol
            btw I did research and I did not found any entry on google… nor wikipedia for it, but some lingo belongs to a specific area of knowledge e.g. the Free Lunch being a economic idea.
            Can you provide more info on it?, it’s always a good day to learn something new.

        • Dave says:

          Over what hill? He beat several of those young learners and a couple of his own generation today and blew recent wsbk champs into the weeds. He has always performed even with or ahead of his team mate (including Rossi and Dovi) in GP. He is still an excellent rider. If he got a seat on a Repsol Honda, he’d be up front in a couple of races, guaranteed.

          • Hot Dog says:

            If…. It’s over…

          • bikerrandy says:

            I agree, Dave. Ever since he won a GP championship (`06) it seems he’s been given raw deals 1 way or another because he’s not an European rider. There’s a lot of politics/$ involved in this world series. He wins a world title for Honda, then he’s put on a MC made for a midget(Pedrosa). Compare his stats to Rossi’s @ Ducati and he’s as good or better than Rossi. Now he’s on a 2nd rate Honda that no one has any chance of winning a race on, but is able to finish ahead of anyone else on the same bike. Life isn’t fair and he’s proof of it.

          • Dave says:

            Re: “because he’s not an European rider.”

            And there it is. If the US moto-racing market were stronger, he’d still be on a factory bike. Unfortunately, road racing’s popularity in the US is on par with cricket and water-polo.

          • mickey says:

            Here we go again ……..

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            “Here we go again ……..”

            Haha. Indeed Mickey. Hayden fans… not unlike those poor guys waiting for that modern, two-stroke street bike to be introduced into the marketplace. It’s sad, really. I get a little choked up for them.

          • bikerrandy says:

            I’m not a Nicky fan, I’m a any US bike racer in Europe who might be good enough to become a world champion fan. Had high hopes for Ben Spies but it didn’t work out. He seemed to get shafted too. At least he won world Superbike World Champion like Fred Merkel, Doug Polen, Scott Russell, and Colin Edwards before him.

          • mickey says:

            BikerRandy.. You do understand that after Nicky won the World Championship that the rules were changing to smaller 800cc bikes that required carrying lots of corner speeds much like the 250s and that Pedrosa was the two time 250 World Champion and that neither Hayden’s size, nor point and shoot riding style, favored the smaller bikes, and that he would be at a handicap moving forward. You also realize that Pedrosa’s rookie year in the premier class, 2006, he won as many MotoGP races as Hayden did and showed a lot of potential winning rookie of the year that year.

            As a manufacturer wanting to win, it only made sense to go with Pedrosa Although Pedrosa has, as many will point out, never won a Premier class Championship, he has an incredible on Podium percentage that Hayden could never have equalled ( keeping many many points out of the hands of Yamaha riders) and that Hayden had about a zero chance of repeating as World Champion, no matter what motorcycle he was on. In all honesty he should feel very fortunate to have won it at all. It was a strange year in MotoGP and he was the biggest recipient of the weirdness.

            If you take the nationalism out of the equation and look at it from a manufacturers standpoint, it was the right move for Honda to make.

            If America wants another World Champion road racer, that racer is going to have to move to Europe, most likely Spain or Italy when they are young and have to grow up in those nations racing programs. No one from the AMA is going to become a world beater road racer by only racing other Americans.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            Reply to mickey immediately above. Curious comment. Doesn’t address Nicky’s performance against Rossi and Dovisioso on identical machinery, but you’re not the first to ignore that. More interesting is the fact that premier class riders had to learn from Americans and Australians in the 500cc two-stroke era, because they couldn’t ride “point ‘n shoot” style. Hence Kenny Roberts having to school Àlex Crivillé and other Euro-bred riders on the way of the slide. Until Criville won in 1999, US and Australian riders won 16 years in a row, beginning with Freddie Spencer in 1983 and ending with Mick Doohan in 1998. All with dirt track in their blood. Times change, and electronics have perhaps tipped the balance back to the European style emphasizing speed at the apex, rather than turning the bike with the rear brake (on the way in) and the throttle (on the way out of the corner).

          • VLJ says:

            Following Dirck’s reply, mine is also to mickey. You seem to be working under the strange illusion that Hayden couldn’t possibly have adapted to the smaller 800, or that a rider needed to be Smurf-sized to succeed on that bike. Well, Valentino Rossi is taller than Nicky, and he managed just fine on an 800. Nicky managed just fine against Vale (and against Dovi, too) when they were teammates, despite Rossi getting the #1 rider treatment. If memory serves, Super Sic was also rather tall and lanky, and he showed great promise before his untimely demise. Spies did well (until he got hurt), too, and he’s no midget.

            Point being, no, one needn’t be a horse jockey in order to win on any bike. Champions have it within themselves to make it work, regardless. Will matters more than inseam, and talent matters more than the number on a scale.

            You also continue to disparage Nicky’s title, as if he didn’t really deserve it. Dani won an equal number of races? Great. How many total points did he accumulate, compared to Nicky? It’s all ifs and buts and what-could-haves, but had Dani not torpedoed Nicky in Estoril then Nicky wouldn’t have needed Rossi’s crash in Spain to win the championship. Bottom line, a championship is won as a result of accumulating the most points, not winning the most races. A MotoGP season is a marathon, not a sprint, and there are no undeserving champions.

            Being a historian of the sport, you of all people should know and respect this basic fact of world championship racing.

            Otherwise, you also know full well that if Dani wasn’t Spanish he would have lost his Repsol ride a long time ago. Conversely, you know that if Nicky was Spanish he never would have been demoted in 2007 following a world championship-winning season. Not a chance in hell. He would have been given #1 rider status/preferential treatment and, with any sort of results at all, he would have retained that plum ride for at least a few more seasons. Dani is proof of this, if ever any was needed.

            Lastly, no, you do not know that Nicky would have never won another title had he been given his just due at Honda. You weren’t expecting him to win the title he won, and there’s no reason he couldn’t have surprised you again.

          • mickey says:

            Reply to Dirck. Yes things have changed in MotoGP. Let me ask you point blank Do you think Nicky Hayden is as good a rider as Valentino Rossi which you have alluded to? (IMO all three Rossi, Dovi and Hayden were able to get all they could out of the Ducati which wasn’t very much.)
            Let me ask you another question point blank..MCDaily is sponsoring 1 bike for MotoGP at great expense to the website. Do you give Nicky Hayden that ride? let me ask you ANOTHER question point blank. Why do YOU think Honda went with Pedrosa rather than Hayden?

            Look, I like Nicky and so does everyone else. great guy, very upbeat, good for the sport, good for the fans, but no way is he in the same class of road racer Rossi, Marquez, Lorenzo, Pedrosa etc. If he were he would have had better rides since 2006. The manufacturers are not ignoring him because he is an American. They don’t care the nationality of someone who can climb on their bikes and win. otherwise Stoner, an Aussie would not have had a ride, or Crutchlow and Smith Brits would not have decent rides. As Americans once dominated ( like you said for nearly 2 decades) right now the best riders in the world happen to come from Spain and Italy.

            I have been following MotoGp before it was MotoGp.since the 125, 250, 350 500 days. I’ve been a full blown fan since 1973. I love watching MotoGp. I like to think I am somewhat knowledgable about what goes on in the sport.and I don’t believe my observations are too far off.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            Nicky is not as great a rider as Valentino, in my opinion. Valentino, deservedly, is considered one of the all time greats. My point was not to equate Nicky with Valentino or anyone else, but to point out that Nicky raced both Valentino and Andrea Dovisioso on identical machinery without giving ground to either rider. To me, this means something. I did a comparison of the Nicky/Valentino results here: http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/07/rossi-vs-hayden-at-ducati-what-the-numbers-tell-us/. Those Ducati’s were developed for the preferences declared by Valentino and his crew chief, Jeremy Burgess, not for Nicky. What Nicky hasn’t had the opportunity to show is his performance on a competitive bike, of late. We will probably never know how he would do, because he may well retire before he gets one beneath him.

            I am not disparaging your comments. You are a knowledgeable observer of the sport, we just disagree to some extent. Just pointing out what racers always say themselves, which is the greatest test is often beating your teammate on identical machinery. If you follow F1, this same type of drama between teammates is playing out right now with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

          • mickey says:

            VLJ, so let me get this straight .. You think Hayden is as good as Rossi, and the only reason Japanese corporate sponsor Honda let him go was because he wasn’t Spanish ( even though they hired an Aussie) and that even though you don’t think his size is an issue you constantly say the 800cc Honda was built for a midget. Why didn’t he just adapt?

            We all know that Nicky is well liked and well respected. There must be another reason why he is not getting the great rides, and I think it’s preposterous to think it’s because he is an American.

          • mickey says:

            And in the next breath you mention Ben Spies. How did that American happen to get a ride since he wasn’t Spanish?

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, no, of course I don’t think Nicky is as good as Rossi, who’s probably the GOAT. Strawman, much? (I don’t think Dani is, either, not by a long shot.) However, in 2006 Nicky was better than Dani, and there can be no disputing this. I also think there is no way on earth a Spanish rider who just won the world title ever gets demoted the very next season, as Nicky was by Repsol. Lastly, and there is no way you can disagree here with a straight face, we both know that if their passports were reversed Dani would not still have his ride in 2015, and Nicky the reigning champion would never have received such blatant short-shrift.

          • VLJ says:

            Ben Spies received his ride because he was the reigning champion in the world’s second most prestigious racing series, and his meteoric rise through the AMA and WSB series pegged him as everyone’s obvious Next Big Thing.

            In this current era Americans can still land rides. The difference is, Spanish riders (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Italian riders) get to keep them, long after an American with the same results would be sacked.

            The roll call of long-tenured Spanish and Italian riders with mixed results is lengthy indeed, in recent years. American riders? Not so much. Anymore, never mind the golden spoon of being Spanish or Italian, it’s better to be British or Australian than American, if one wants an international ride.

            And that’s entirely our fault.

          • Dave says:

            Re: ” Japanese corporate sponsor Honda let him go was because he wasn’t Spanish..”

            Maybe not Honda, but Spanish sponsor Repsol (you may have noticed “Repsol” comes before “Honda” in the team’s name)? The ownership and management of MotoGP is also Spanish.

            It was Repsol, not Honda, that pulled strings & got Dorna to change the rules to allow Marc Marquez (where’s he from again?) onto the full factory bike in his rookie season.

            Like I mentioned before, American road racing is in the toilet. We’re not a customer in their eyes and the Spanks & Italians are their biggest customers. All part of the show…

          • mickey says:

            Dave so explain Repsol and Dorna allowing Honda to hire Stoner. How does that work since HE is not Spanish or Italian?

          • mickey says:

            “Ben Spies received his ride because he was the reigning champion in the world’s second most prestigious racing series, and his meteoric rise through the AMA and WSB series pegged him as everyone’s obvious Next Big Thing.”

            So an American can get a ride if they are good enough..is that what you are saying?

            If I am not mistaken there are riders from Czech, France, Germany, Ireland, GB, Australia, Portugal? (Not sure about that last one) and yes the USA. It’s not the all Spanish/Italian series. They just happen to have the best trained riders at this time.

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, yes, I said that an American who is good enough can land a ride. Nicky was clearly good enough, and he proved it by winning a world championship. What you conveniently failed to address is the part where I said that an American in this modern Dorna/Repsol era of MotoGP cannot retain his ride anywhere near as long as a Spanish or Italian rider will with identical middling results. You always avoid my point that Nicky would never have been allowed to keep his Repsol seat for a full decade without winning a title, or even coming close, the way Dani Pedrosa has. Only a Spaniard would be afforded that luxury. Additionally, you have never addressed the equally obvious point that there is no chance Repsol would have rewarded Dani Pedrosa for a world title-winning season by demoting him the following year and offering him a very short leash thereafter. Repsol would never do that to a Spanish world champion.

          • mickey says:

            Dirck, VLJ…Just so you know, I am enjoying the discussion and don’t mind if someone disagrees with me. Convince me I’m wrong, but you must convince me with facts and not conspiracy theories.

            So, let me continue and see if I can answer your questions (at least as artfully as you and Dirck have dodged mine lol)

            I can’t say whether someone would or should retain a seat,(Hayden retained the seat for 2 years after winning the Championship) I can only surmise why someone might get or lose a seat. When confronted with ponderable circumstances one must ask WHY? Why did Hayden lose his Honda seat at the end of the 2008 season?

            In 2007 he was still on the Repsol Honda and asked that the electronics be turned off. He was (admittedly on his part) not adapting well to the size, complexity or riding style of the new machinery (0 wins 3 podiums 8th in the championship while Dani got 2 wins 8 podiums and finished 2nd in the championship).

            In 2008 on the factory Honda Nicky got the only pneumatic valve engine at the start of the year and again failed to do well, finishing 6th in the championship with 0 wins and 2 podiums (Dani finished 3rd with 2 wins and 11 podiums)

            As we all know in 2009 he left Honda and went to Ducati. Was that his decision? Honda’s decision? or a mutual decision? Reading old interviews it appeared Hayden was not happy with his situation and wanted to move on. So did he lose his seat or give it up?

            Or, was Honda looking down the road? Did they want a younger more adaptable pilot used to a riding style conducive to the new machine or did they want one who refused to adapt and who wasn’t getting along with the new machine? Did Nicky think he could do better on the factory Ducati? Why would Yamaha or Suzuki not look at the American former World Champion? These are things as students of the sport we are left to ponder. You can come to your own conclusions.

            As far as Pedrosa goes, you say “he retained his seat even though he has never come close to winning the title”… when in fact he has been one of the most successful riders of MotoGP machines in the modern era. 153 starts 94 podiums. In the last 9 years, since he moved up to the premier class, he has finished the season in 2nd three times, 3rd three times, 4th twice and was 5th his rookie year. He is nearly always in contention to win the title. Don’t know if that record is bad enough to lose your ride over. Who would you put in that seat that could have done better? I think at this point he will never win a championship, but Honda is using him defensively to keep points out of Yamaha riders hands and therefore helping Marquez win titles. If something should happen to Marquez, Dani is always within striking distance of the title. I don’t think he can win it all if Marquez is there, but could if Marquez wasn’t. Just a ponderable thought on my part.

            In 2009 Hayden joined Stoner on the Ducati squad. Hayden never produced, never finishing better than 7th in the championship, and as low as 13th in the championship, yet retained that factory ride for 5 years. During that 5 years he had 0 wins and 3 podiums. *Note during the 2 year period Valentino and Hayden were teammates on the Ducati squad, Valentino was also on the podium 3 times so Hayden did in fact ride that particular bike as well as Valentino did…and neither of them rode it very well.

            When you say he out performed or equally performed Rossi on equal equipment you are inferring that he is as good of a rider. But in truth it was only on that particular Ducati. No one was able to ride the GP11, GP12, GP13 Ducati’s well. Not Rossi, not Dovi, not Crutchlow, not Hayden. Only Stoner was mildly successful and that was on the GP 7,8,9 and 10 Ducati’s. Hayden never rode the 2009 GP9 Ducati (0 wins 1 podium) as well as Stoner who had 4 wins and 8 podiums or the 2010 GP 10 Ducati..0 wins 1 podium for Hayden, 3 wins 9 podiums for Stoner).

            Whether Nicky has gotten raw deals or made bad decisions with his career it’s hard to say. Other than 2006 he has certainly not had a distinguished MotoGP career. I know I hate seeing him ride around in the back of the pack just as I hated seeing Colin Edwards riding around in the back of the pack. I want Americans to do well.

          • Dirck Edge says:

            To Mickey – You make some good points. I guess in the end I think equipment is the key for riders at this skill level. Nicky’s performance against talented teammates tells me he’s still got it in him, but noncompetitive equipment (and possibly the problems with his wrist) mean he struggles to finish in the top 10 these days. But so does young Scott Redding on a full factory Honda. The competition is incredibly fierce in MotoGP these days. Stoner’s skill is a cut above everyone else … even Valentino agrees with this.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Interesting thread!

            I am not nearly as knowledgeable about the sport as many here, but I’ll throw my .02 in.

            I do think nationality plays a part in rider selection but only as a distant 2nd to winning ability. In other words, if Repsol had the choice between an equally talented American and Spaniard, the Spaniard would get the nod just because it makes sense with their mission to make their brand appeal to the audience most likely to impact Repsol’s business.

            I don’t think similar performance on the same machine is necessarily an indication of one’s talent compared to a teammate. I know that sounds ridiculous, but the special sauce of one’s talent can’t come to light when the bike has such a limiting effect. Norm G. might say that “recalcitrant kit” is the great equalizer. Every one of those GP riders is one of the greatest in the world, all capable of pushing a cooperative machine consistently to 100%. The aliens consistently get 101% out of the machine. When a bike like the previous Ducati only allows for 97% of a rider’s talent to be implemented, it is impossible to determine if one rider really has that extra 1% over the other. Besides, if riding comparably to one’s teammate is the meter, that would mean Hayden wouldn’t have done much better than Aoyama on the Respol, right?

            Does Nikky Hayden have that extra 1%? The truth is we will likely never get the chance to know as his chances of landing a competitive ride are somewhere near zero. Watching the old races though, I’m not convinced he would see the podium that often.

          • Dave says:

            Re: “Dave so explain Repsol and Dorna allowing Honda to hire Stoner”

            Sometimes you just go for the fastest horse but it probably didn’t hurt that Oz had a stronger moto market and Repsol has mineral rights there.

            http://www.repsol.com/es_en/corporacion/conocer-repsol/repsol-en-el-mundo/australia.aspx

          • mickey says:

            Drives me nuts that I have had a response in moderation for 4 hours now lol

          • mickey says:

            Hey finally my response showed up!

            Anyhow Dave said
            Re: “Dave so explain Repsol and Dorna allowing Honda to hire Stoner”

            “Sometimes you just go for the fastest horse”

            and there it is, as Norm would say. For mfgs in the racing business, who want to sell motorcycles on Monday thru Saturday, that is usually the bottom line.

          • jacksonk says:

            I’m extremely curious that in all this discussion about Dani, Nicky, Honda and Repsol Alberto Puig’s name did not come up. Wasn’t he an extremely influential character @ Repsol Honda after they signed Dani? And wasn’t he an obsessive Nicky-basher? I would bet a small pile of money that he was part of the reason that Nicky left Honda – regardless of whether it was Honda or Nicky’s choice. Puig was just a douchebag who was convinced that Dani was godlike in his ability. Like a spoiled little league parent. My 2 cents…..

          • mickey says:

            I’m not sure how much influence Puig actually had with Honda, but he was a Pedrosa fan. BTW he also discovered and gave his first big break to Casey Stoner. It is my understanding he gave Stoner the number 27 and Pedrosa the number 23 which both riders have displayed throughout their careers.

          • mickey says:

            Interesting read from MCDaily in 2013

            http://www.motorcycledaily.com/2013/11/dani-pedrosa-distances-himself-from-alberto-puig/

            I particularly like the point made about 1/2 down by some clown named Mickey that said Rossi didn’t have it in him anymore to beat Marquez, Lorenzo or Pedrosa..DOH brilliant foresight Mickey lol

            Hey when I’m wrong, glad to admit it

          • VLJ says:

            mickey, to answer your points, Ducati isn’t Spanish. Repsol is. Ducati was trying to grow their brand in America. Repsol isn’t. So, apples and asparagus. The second point, regarding Nicky’s lack of success since 2006? Well, what would you expect? Repsol developed the 2007 entirely for Dani, and by 2008 Honda had literally erected a wall in the garage to keep Nicky’s team from having access to Dani’s info. In addition, Dani alone had Bridgestone tires. All Repsol’s efforts went into their favored Spanish son, and Nicky got scraps.

            Same deal again for him, at Ducati.

            As for Dani’s record of podiums, well, BFD. He was on the dominant bike. Only Dani could have ridden that thing for as long as he has, without winning a title. A very skilled rider, to be sure, but he has the heart of a mouse. The guy never met a runner-up finish he didn’t embrace. Stick any of the other major contenders on that Honda and they win a title at some point. Even…Nicky! LOL!

          • in regard to some of the debates about nicky, valentino, and all these racers…
            years ago, before i even heard the term “crowdfunding,” i had an idea for a race, sponsored by the people, to settle this.
            http://theamericachallengetovalentino.com/
            at the time marc marquez wasn’t even on the radar. today, most of my dream line-up has retired…

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Heck, Took, I’d just like to see all those guys do a special event at the Superpresitigio.

          • jacksonk says:

            I have to agree with everything VLJ said 3 posts above. And Puig was behind a lot of the acrimony between the two pits in the Repsol Honda camp. I also believe Dani never brings more than a knife to a gun fight. The only aggressive move I have ever seen from him ended up with Nicky in the kitty litter. Nicky knew in 2007 he was persona non grata at Honda and went in search of a better situation – unfortunately he didn’t find it at Ducati. And during the time he spent there the window probably closed for him ever getting another Factory ride.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Jacksonk, I’d have to agree with you that the torment he experienced trying to pilot the Ducati probably ended his chances of ever getting back to the factory level.

          • took throntorn says:

            yo jeremy. yeah, that sounds cool. i really don’t know much at all about the superprestigio but it seems sweet. rear wheel slidin sweet. thatd be awesome. still, man, i would have loved to see valentino vs hayden and the american boys at daytona. asphalt. banking. same exact bikes. not sure, but i think he (rossi) would have bitten some dust.

        • Norm G. says:

          re: “He’d be a great promoter of the series”

          just got a text from Edwards asking to the effect…

          “what am I…? chopped liver…?”

          at the end he placed the animated “shoulder shrug” emoji.

  14. xLaYN says:

    This is turning itself interesting…
    MM 4th, Rossi 1st and a Duc in the first three.

  15. VLJ says:

    Not going to beat Lorenzo if you let him get away early. By the time you work your way through traffic to find clear sailing, he’s long gone. Gotta be with him right from the very beginning, applying constant pressure. He’s just too strong as a frontrunner.

    Qualifying matters, Valentino. It really does. These second- and third-row starts are going to kill your championship.

  16. Dave says:

    Nicky Hayden on the 2nd fastest Honda on the day. Betcha’ didn’t see that coming.