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Passing the Torch: Who Will Be The Next King of MotoGP? -MD Reader Responses

A few days ago, I asked our readers the question “Who will be the next king of MotoGP, if Valentino Rossi leaves to race Formula 1 in 2007?”. Here are some of our readers’ opinions:

  • Nicky Hayden, Dani Pedrosa, and when Suzuki makes a motor that can compete Chris Vermeulen will be fighting 1,2 and 3 every race.
  • I sincerely hope that if Rossi leaves, that there will not be one dominant rider. I’d love to see Nicky do it, but for the love of the sport, I’d really like to see a scrap for the lead every race; down to the last race of the season to find out who is going to be wearing the #1 plate the following year. I find the best racing often is for second or mid-pack when Rossi is dominating, making for less than stellar racing. Just a thought.
  • after watching jerez spain i would have to say dani pedrosa is the man to take the torch when and if valentino decides 8 championships is enough. Valentino got robbed and will have 8-9 victories again this year and i hope LAGUNA SECA this time. I would also like to see casey stoner and chris vermuilen be the ones in the race when valentino leaves. john hopkins would be a good candidate as a dark horse. if he could ever get a bike under him he could be scarry and what about nicky. precious little nicky…well if Jerez was any indication Nicky is in for a hell of a time. imagine if he was on a suzuki or kawasaki…would nicky even been mentioned> or podium. NO.
    over rated rider. melandri would be better suited to respol.

  • I expect Dani Pedrosa will be the next king of MotoGP. He has the resume and so far he looks like the real deal, attitude and all! His brashness and he has the works bike opportunity and Dani seems to be making the best of it!

    I wish it was Nicky Hayden as he is good but he seems to have plateaued at #3 or so. He needs to step up to the top rung and be there consistently but I have doubts that he can get there and stay there.

    I also wish I can say Hopper was going to be the next king but, he stayed with Suzuki and I just don’t thnk they can get him there. Now he is stuck in a rut!

    Come on Nicky and Hopper, proove me wrong! PULLEEESSSSE!
    God how I miss, the Lawson – Rainey – Schwantz era!

  • A question to ask is who would replace Rossi on the Yamaha team? Possibly Nicky would move over as he hasn’t lived up to the Honda expectations. He might “shine” at Yamaha.
    I look for a free-for-all with Pedrosa and Melandri leading the charge, and Nicky winning on occasion. As for Sete and Loris, don’t count them out, although they’ve have been around for awhile and time is running out for both of them.

  • I hate to say it but the new 800cc formula will probably favor Dani Pedrosa.
    But don’t forget about Casey Stoner who was very competitive with Pedrosa
    although on an Aprilia 250cc instead of Pedrosa’s Honda 250cc. I’d like to
    see a really fierce long term rivalry develop between these two. It would
    be even better if Stoner jumped over to Yamaha.

  • Don’t you wish it was going to be Nicky Hayden? I sure do, but I don’t think so. If you had asked me prior to the beginning of the season, I think I would have said Marco Melandi, for a lot of reasons, some of which have to do with the peculiar political realities of MotoGP. But after Dani Pedrosa’s performance in the his first MotoGP, I’m reconsidering. If Pedrosa can podium again, say in the next couple races, then I’m going to put my hard-earned greenbacks on him.

    Wish I could say it was Nicky Hayden…

  • 2007 Dani Pedrosa, then 2008 Casey Stoner
    You heard it here first!

  • have heard a rumour that Jerry Burgess wants Casey Stoner for Rossi’s replacement. If this is the case I believe Stoner has the attitude and commitment to go to the top. If you add in Rossi’s team (Burgess included) we could see another era of Doohan style dominance.
  • Unfortunately, I have to cast my vote for someone other than my favorite Motogp star Nicky Hayden. Dani Pedrosa has had only one Motogp race, but his performance in the inaugural race of 06 was phenomenal. With his racing pedigree and quick adaptation to the big bikes, he looks like the heir apparent.
  • Don’t know who will dominate next season after rossi
    But I have this feeling that rossi won’t take the championship this season.

  • Casey Stoner
  • Dani Pedrosa
  • Dani Pedrosa, the jury is still out on him but to do a 2nd in his frist motogp is great and who knows what to come. Niki, gosh I’m pulling for him but he’s just not quite getting up there for the wins (cept in California). Colin, I think he’s too hot and cold to ever do the top sad to say. I hope it’s a New Winner Ever Week and we’ll see as they get the bikes sorted out. Marco and Loris, we will have to wait and see how they run in the next few races as Marco was the big push on The Doctor last season. It’s going to be exciting for sure.
  • Marco Melandri
  • Dani Pedrosa will be the king, no doubt about it. Just take a look at his career so far.
  • I’ll go with the obvious, if the season’s opener was any indicationm we’ll be seeing alot more of Mr Pedrosa.
  • After watching the opening round of the MotoGP season I would have to say that the early pretender to the throne is….Dani Pedrosa! I know that’s no big wise, shot in the dark prediction, but, that little boy can ride. He showed incredible control and wisdom beyond his years. Inside of pulling some banzai move towards the end of the race and possibly throwing a podium spot away, he cooly decided to save second and get to the finish. He noted that the tires were off, at this phase of the race, and his maturity guided him to take it down a notch for the result. Watch the tape, again, and notice how his bike performs in the corners verus Nicky Hayden. Hayden is sliding in his usual spectator pleasing style and Dani’s bike looks like it is glued to the track. Maybe that is the way to go.
    The true test will be Pedrosa vs. Rossi. Let’s bring it on!!

  • No matter what two-wheeled road racing series it is, I’ll always be pulling for a Hayden. And that’s relatively easy to do being that Nicky’s on a Honda. But it is my opinion that the bike itself makes more of a difference in Moto GP than any other motorcycle roadracing series. For instance….put Rossi on an ‘05 Suzuki and let’s watch the field go by him like they did at turn one of Jerez a couple of weeks ago. I think last year the RC211V was probably the best bike on the track, but it’s how the rider tests, develops, and conveys to the engineers what needs to be done to make the bike faster that makes the difference. So for ’06, obviously Nicky Hayden can be on the podium in any given race. But now Dani Pedrosa’s in the mix with more overall track experience on a world-circuit and possibly more development experience (at the GP level) after stomping the competition in the 250’s for the last few years. But what really surprises me is the Ducati GP6. Here you may have a new reigning king for ’06. Combine that with Loris Capriossi’s experience, and Bridgestone’s newfound magic, and I think you have your new champion. Dominant in every race? Probably not (at least not like Rossi), but Ducati’s ’06 package seems to be just that good.
  • When and if Rossi moves on from MotoGP, there will not be a dominant rider, unless someone new emerges, or young arises. No one has shown himself to be “second-dominant” for lack of a better term (always second to Rossi, and also significantly faster than the rest of the riders). The seasoned veterans have been in the series for some time and have not displayed the ability to separate themselves from the rest of the pack, and it would really be something odd for them to have been pushed this hard by chasing Rossi, and then show something extra to separate themselves from the rest of the riders after Rossi leaves. So that rules out the seasoned veterans. There is always the possibility that a new or young rider will develop into something better than the rest of the competition. Danny Pedrosa had a great first weekend showing, Nicky Hayden is getting better and more consistent, and we’ve yet to determine what someone like Chris Vermeulen will do. There’s hope for a new dominant face, but I believe it will have to come from the young.
  • I believe that the top dog to fill the vacuum is likely to be Dani Pedrosa. He has shown superb talent in the 250 class, and his debut with the big guns of MotoGP was nothing short of amazing. If he can keep up that level of intensity, the other riders have a lot to worry about. All he needs is a fast, reliable bike and a solid engineer. As long as Honda doesn’t drop the ball in the displacement change, Pedrosa is in good shape.
  • The only riders that I can see as possibly stepping into the position of dominator are Melandri and Pedrosa. Both adapted to the “big” bikes easily and seem to have their heads on straight. Maybe it is that fact that I live in the home country of Hayden and therefore see more of his interaction with the media, but to me he has a brand of cockiness that I have never seen find success. There is also the issue of what I would call the “dynamic eureka moment”. Freddie Spencer had it one day in New Hampshire (I believe) and became truly dominant. Rossi’s ability to just drop a second when needed indicates that he understands something that few to none of the others do. If any of these guys has this “moment” it will be obvious with in a few races. Watch Pedrosa, was his seemingly “effortless” second and incredibly wise decision that second was a good enough debut, a fluke or an indication of things to come.
  • One might well ask, with whom will Jeremy Burgess be working after Rossi departs.
  • Whom will be the new King of MotoGP? That is an excellent question.
    In my opinion, flip a coin. Almost anyone in the series is capable to win at
    any given time. Everyone thus far has been 1 step behind Rossi. Hayden,
    Edwards, Capiriossi, Gibernau. All capable. All fast. All excellent racers.
    What the teams need to do it to find out what the combo of Burgess and Rossi
    are doing to achieve their success. Rossi is an amazing rider. His success
    will most likely be touted as the best ever. But, he is only the rider.
    History has shown that you need more than an amazing rider to win. The team
    that shows the ability to work to their level will be the new King.

  • If Rossi’s departure from MotoGP turns out to be true, it appears that
    no one
    rider will dominate this premier class of racing. If you look at the all
    of the podium
    finishers from 2000 to present, there is a mix of riders that have
    shared this spot
    with The Doctor. Sete Gibernau, Loris Caprirossi, Marco Melandi and Nicky
    Hayden are the current crop of active riders that have shared this
    disctinction. Throw
    in new comer Danny Pedrosa and there you have a group of riders where any
    possibile outcome could take place on race day. Outside of Pedrosa, I don’t
    believe that one of the other riders I mentioned could dominate in the
    way of a Rossi,
    Mladin or Carmichael have done. Pedrosa has the potential but has only
    one MotoGP
    race under his belt so it’s way too soon to tell if he will be the
    dominant force in
    MotoGP. As a MotoGP race fan, I’d much rather see 5 to 8 riders with a
    at the top podium spot as opposed to seeing one person dominate this
    sport. If
    I was a betting man and had to choose one of these riders as being the
    next dominant
    rider, Perdrosa would have to get my vote.

  • Thanks for the opportunity to offer my input pertaining to MotoGP. I believe Dani Pedrosa will be hard to beat, although I would like to see an American dominate. If I had to bet on an American it would probably be a toss-up between Colin or Nicky if they both were on Hondas.
  • With the switch to 800cc bikes, we may see a situation like 2002, where one manufacturer has a package better than the rest. If that’s the case, we could see Hayden, Melandri, Pedrosa, and Stoner racing for wins each weekend, but all on the same brand of bike.
  • Until someone consistently runs 2nd to Rossi or trades wins with him, we won’t ever know. I am sure that with Rossi out of the way, mind-sets will change and you will see quite a few step up and try to be the next “dominator” of the series. Right now you hear folks talk about getting to the podium and Rossi only talks about winning.

    It was Sete; he is fast and it will just depend on whether his head ever comes back to the point of feeling unbeatable or not. The others need to change their mind-set and feel like they can beat Rossi or at least run with him and make him work.

  • Well, I don’t think there will be another King like Rossi anytime soon. He’s
    a rare talent that we may not see the likes of again in this decade, or even
    the next. The NBA is still looking for the next Michael Jordan, and it took
    twenty years before Tiger Woods became the next Jack Nicklaus of golf.

    More likely is that a number of young riders will battle for the crown on a
    regular basis. The change to 800 CC bikes will even the playing field even
    more next year. I like Honda’s chances this year with Hayden and Pedrosa. I
    think if Hayden could learn to slide the bike less and conserve his tires,
    he has a chance to win it all this year (what with Rossi’s crash at Jerez)
    and in terms of popularity, he has the charisma to potentially replace Rossi
    as the face of MotoGP. Either way, it’s going to be interesting.

  • I hope it is Nicky Hayden. I doubt that Colin Edwards will be racing long
    enough to accomplish the championship and Hopper and Kenny (once is enough)
    Roberts Jr. don’t seem able to make it happen.

    All this is making me think about winning. Winning is a tough thing to
    accomplish. Why do certain individuals win while others who can ride fast
    never find their way to the top step of the podium? They are all great
    riders. Is it that some are just willing to take that risk a little
    further? They are the ones that the record books remember for having won.
    But are any of the guys who line up at the start of a MotoGP race any less
    a racer than the winner in terms of guts. I think not. I guess we’ll see
    how much is the man when Rossi jumps ship and goes to F1. I hope he does
    well. Because then as motorcyclist we’ll be looked on with huge respect
    from the car guys (even though we already know we’re more superior when it
    comes to handling vehicles since having had bike experience).

    My pick is Nicky for the next World Champion after Vale leaves. We need to
    have an American show the world how serious we are when it comes to winning
    the most important form of motorcycle roadracing in the world. Besides, I
    want to see how big his grin gets when he wins the world championship. He
    showed it to us in Virginia when he won the Superbike championship in ’02
    and again in ’05 at Laguna Seca for winning his first MotoGP race. But I
    think he’ll break the “Biggest Grin on the Podium” record if he wins the
    MotoGP World Championship.

  • Of course being an American I would prefer to see one of the USA boys at the
    front. To me it would be a toss-up between Nicky and Colin, kinda like the
    Bayliss and Edwards duel in WSBK. I don’t have the confidence that the US
    will show up consistantly as No.1 through the annual series. Both Colin
    and Nicky come from a basic dirt background and they don’t seem to carry
    the corner speed necessary, but rather like to sqaure off the corner and
    depend on a burst of horsepower on exit which produses traction loss.
    Pedrosa appears to have the talent, but Melandri has an edge as far as
    experience, so my vote is for Melandri. It will be fun to watch with the
    reduced CC’s in future MotoGP competition.

  • My hope is that the races become more competitive if Rossi leaves.
    Much as I respect Rossi’s (and Mladin’s) abilities and enjoy watching
    them race, it is much more interesting if several people are in
    contention for the number one ranking. Hayden is talented, but I
    think Marco Melandri and Dani Pedrosa are likely to be the top
    contenders for that title if Rossi leaves. Seems like the guys that
    come up from 250s are still the most competitive in MotoGP. I also
    think Vermeulen will be a strong contender once he leaves Suzuki (a
    company that seems to develop great superbikes, but can’t seem to get
    the hang of the four stroke MotoGP format). I don’t think Vermeulen
    is such a “dark horse” he’s just on an uncompetitive machine. I think
    Casey Stoner will do well too.

  • The rider with the best chance of assuming Rossi’s role atop the
    standings would be Dani Pedrosa. He’s young, he’s a past 250s
    champion so he knows the tracks well, and he’s on the same factory
    team that started Rossi’s top class career. Pedrosa may be
    physically smaller and personally less exuberant and charismatic than
    Rossi, but in most ways that count he is clearly following the same
    path as ‘The Doctor’.

  • I don’t see 1 guy emerging as a dominator. As of right now it’s obvious that Melandri, Pedrosa and Hayden are the future. I think they will be the next champs, leading to great racing like we got to watch when Rainey, Schwants and Doohan went at it every weekend. Capirossi is strong but getting old and within the next couple years will be replaced by younger more promising racers. Other contenders in my opinion are Edwards, Gibernau (if he can start believing in himself but he’s got the prowess), Nakano and DePuniet, and the Suzuki riders if team Suzuki can get their act together.
    So the next champ, if I had to pick one, as of right now would be Melandri, but Pedrosa won’t need long to assimilate the proper riding technique of a 4 stroke motogp and show everybody what power to weight ratio means. And Hayden by his consistency will always be a front runner at the end of the season.

  • Personally I feel that it would be great for the sport and class if no one rider dominates MotoGP. I have been an avid motorcycle fan for years and I think that the best races and championships to watch are the close races. It is best when you have a number of Riders and Manufactures challenging for the top of the box week in and week out forcing a run for the title right to the end of the season. I follow all the series you mentioned and feel that a good close battle like we are currently seeing in the Supercross Series with Carmichael, Reed and Stewart keep me tuned in and chained to my TV or at the track to see them live. My 2cents.
  • I believe the most important variable when Rossi leaves is who Jeremy
    Burgess and his team will be crewing for. Clearly Burgess is a king
    maker with Gardner, Doohan and Rossi on his resume. I don’t know if he
    will retire or not, but if he doesn’t he will certainly have his pick of
    riders and manufacturers (I don’t get the feeling he has burned any
    bridges with Honda). Hopefully, he’ll choose Hayden.
    Having said that, I think the rider to watch out for is Toni Elias. His
    run from last to third in Jerez got almost no media coverage, but it was

  • Looking at the first GP in Jerez, the 5 pilots u named (Hayden, Capirossi, Sete, Pedrosa and Edwards) I do tend to agree that IF there is a followup for rossi, it will be one of these.

    Sete Gibernau has the experience but for some weird reason he always f***s up in a race, wether it is a technical malfunction or just crashing, he always end up in the pit before the race is over so I don’t think it will be him.

    Edwards on the other hand showed extremely well his capabilities on Laguna Seca last year (as did Nicky). But he has been in GP for quite some time now and I never saw him do anything extraordinary on a regular bases.

    Dani Pedrosa, now this is the guy that I estime with the highest chances. Jerez GP ’06, first race, first season, 2nd place. Says enough doesn’t it? Even his exploits in 250 were more then adequate to warn the other GP pilots of the growing spanish danger.

    Loris Capirossi, this man has it all. Loads of experience, knowledge of the tracks and a Duc with a renewed engine. Although he did show some difficulties against pedrosa, his chances are still high. (Pedrosa was racing at home).

    Nicky Hayden, my alltime favourite, been following him around since AMA. He has the possibility, he proved it over time. But it seems that nicky has a few problems adapting to the precise racing style of GP. Ama, SBK and SuperSport all are great, but they lack the finesse that is present in GP. But looking at his learning process, I do feel confident that he will pose a decent threat, even to Rossi (not on all tracks of course).

    Well, u asked an opinion, there u have it 🙂

  • 1. Pedrosa
    2. Melandri
    3. Capirossi
    4 .Hayden

    Hopkins is hopeless
    Edwards is hopeless.
    Roberts is hopeless

    IF rossi gets knocked off again and gets really way behind in the points, then I think
    that he would want to race again next year rather than go to Ferrari. I think he
    would want to leave MotoGP as champion.

  • I have a very strong feeling about Dani Pedrosa. I don’t think it’s a
    coincidence that he’s up to speed so quickly in the MotoGP class – I
    think he has the potential to dominate, even if it doesn’t happen this

  • I think Dani Pedrosa is the man to watch!!!
  • If Rossi does actually leave (I don’t think he will) then Dani
    Pedrosa or Nicky Hayden will step up. Pedrosa was absolutely amazing
    in the opening round this year. Can’t wait to see what happens. Great
    website guys. Keep it up.

  • Hi, just read your article on the next king of MotoGP.

    Assuming Rossi does in fact leave next season, I expect the
    championship will be hotly contested by Melandri, Hayden, Pedrosa,
    and possibly Casey Stoner. I don’t think one overwhelming talent of
    Rossi’s caliber will emerge.

    However, there’s another variable to consider: the move to 800cc
    engines. Who knows which manufacturer is going to prove dominant. For
    that matter, who knows if other manufacturers might not step up to
    the challenge as well? Maybe Aprilia or KTM will decide to have a go
    at the new class. At any rate, I think it’s probably a pretty safe
    assumption that the manufacturers won’t simply use sleeved-down
    versions of their current engines. And I already read somewhere that
    Honda has come right out and said that their 800cc bike will be very
    small and designed for riders who are small in stature (like
    Pedrosa). Obviously this could have a major impact on Nicky Hayden’s
    chances, for instance, since he’s a relatively big guy in comparison.

    (Personally, I think that instead of moving to 800cc, they should
    split the class in two — 800cc and 1200cc. Sure, it’s impractical,
    but can you imagine how insane a 1200cc MotoGP bike would be?)

  • The next king of GP will be which ever racer gets Jeremy Burgess as his crew chief. I’d love to see him move across the garage and work with Colin.
  • This is an excellent question and one that I have been
    thinking about. My views are as follows and my
    reasoning is based upon past performances in addition
    to a few other factors such as rider health.

    When we think of Valentino Rossi leaving MotoGP, of
    course we now need to think of who the next champion
    will be. Over the past few years several riders have
    mounted campaigns to remove Rossi from the seat of the
    “king of motogp” so who?

    In no particular order here are my thoughts:

    Sete Gibernau – He no doubt has the talent to beat
    anyone else in MotoGP as he has continually posted up
    the most pole positions and shown us on occasion that
    he can match if not beat Rossi. Last year, he was
    hampered by bad luck and so far this year started off
    nearly as bad as Rossi. If Rossi should leave, I
    think it would renew his energy and we would see Sete
    claim his first world title. He does have the
    consistency, maturity, and talent to win a

    Marco Melandri – I think a lot of people were so
    focused on Sete VS Rossi from 2004 that Marco was
    over-shadowed by this and has built upon his success
    to become consistent and take the runner-up spot in
    2005. He has the talent although, the consistency is
    still not there 100% so he is a possible winner in due

    Dani Pedrosa – No doubt taking second place in the his
    debut race has got to impress anyone who knows
    anything about this sport. His greatest weakness at
    this point is physical conditioning but that is
    something that he will gain through the season and I
    really feel he will no doubt win a championship
    because he does have the experience and talent to not
    only win one but perhaps several championships if he
    remains healthy.

    Nicy Hayden – His maturity over the past several
    seasons has proved that he can be a contender, he
    earned and fought for his third place finish last year
    and if he continues on his current path, he may just
    have what it takes to win. His consistency and talent
    is still not 100% proven since he only has one win
    however, he has gained confidence and could become a

    Chris Vermeulen – He will not win with a Suzuki, sadly
    their program has been falling short although with the
    new rules coming in next year, it’s anyone’s game but
    as we all have seen…Yamaha and Honda do their
    homework so I suspect they will fall short in the
    800cc class. Now, Chris has an enourmous amount of
    talent and maturity which in time I feel will lead to
    a championship if he leaves Suzuki. Otherwise, his
    talent will be relegated to nothing more than being
    able to ride the Suzuki to it’s limits which is not
    enough to win in MotoGP.

    All of the riders in MotoGP are amazing and to deny
    anyone’s talent would be foolish, I only point these
    riders out because they have provem themselves over
    the years and from my observations…there are several
    people who could step up and it would not be much of a

    Until Rossi steps down…we won’t see another king!

    All hail 46! 🙂

  • I believe in the Moto GP arena there have always been two races. 1) How far ahead Rossi can get from the rest of the field by end of the race. 2) Everyone else against one-another like a “normal race. As for the future, look at #2 above, and that’s what it’ll be.
  • In order to spot the ‘next’ dominant rider in MotoGP, just look for one thing. Follow Jeremy Burgess. He’s in a spot in his career where he’ll be in such demand that he can dictate which rider he’ll work with. If he picks a rider to work with, that will be the new ‘dominator’ in the class. There haven’t been many championships won without him in the last decade.
  • If history is our only tool for predictions I would think you would have to give it to Sete or Loris, strong seasoned riders who have proven themselves second only to the doctor. But how much more fun would the free-for-all be?! I know Moto GP is all about smoothness and carrying speed, but I want to see some good, elbows-a-flyin, dog fights!!! Bring it on, Boys!

    And since I’m dreaming, let’s bring Aprilia back into the mix, too.

  • Last year I thought Melandri, I’m a Edwards and Nicky fan of course, but reality is what it is. After watching the first race, I’m putting my money on Pedrosa. Nicky only wishes he had that good of a first race.
  • If Rossi departs, it will be interesting to see who steps up.
    All the choices given in your article are excellent, but let’s not keep the Kentucky Kid out of the running.
    He’s had his taste of victory & definitely wants more.
    You’re sure to see much more of Nicky on the podium this year.

  • No body is going to replace Rossi. IF Rossi leaves for F1, everyone will just move up a slot. Although Rossi is arguably the main draw for MotoGP right now, like Mick Doohan, he’ll be forgotten in a couple of years. Motorcycle racing is watched by people who ride motorcycles. Unlike NASCRAP and the rest of motor racing in general, motorcyclist will watch motorcycle racing whether there is a God like Rossi on the track, or some hack who scraped up enough money to buy tires for the weekend.
  • I am a Nicky Hayden fan but the new kid Dani Pedrosa seems to have what it takes. MotoGP should be exciting the next few years… if Rossi moves to Formula 1! Stay tuned!
  • I think you are asking the wrong question. Rossi is great because his talent makes up for the bike’s shortcomings. Just look at what other talented (but merely mortal) riders have done on the Yamaha – Edwards was stomping people in WSBK, but can barely get on the podium with the same bike as Rossi’s. Jury is still out on Pedrosa. Obviously the kids got talent, but he is riding the factory Honda (lets not beat around the bush, everyone knows its the best bike in the paddock). I think John Hopkins has as much talent and potential as Pedrosa. But we’ll never know because he’s on a Suzuki. The real question is this: Now that Rossi’s ability to lift a bike beyond its capabilities is leaving us, which manufacturer will be able to take advantage of it? If we were betting on this, my money would be on Honda. Anyone on a Honda will have the edge, and the Respol Honda guys will have a slightly further edge.
  • If Rossi does depart for F1, which to be honest I think is unlikely, WRC is
    more likely, it really will become a free for all, with six or eight guys
    capable of winning on any given weekend. The shinning stars will be the Mr
    Consistency’s, Loris and Danny. Mind you, this message is finally getting
    thru to Casey Stoner, so you never know.

  • Past history has shown that most of the truly great champions were winners right away.The Europeans winning races their first season because of familiarity of the tracks and the American champions taking a season to get used to Europe.Having said that,I am and have been a Nicky Hayden fan but this kid,Dani Pederosa looked very impressive in his first premier class race and I have a funny feeling this was no fluke.He is young,fast and looks ready to perhaps challenge Rossi straight up this year.I would like to see Nicky become champion as I think he has what it takes but I feel Dani Pederosa is something special.
  • Hayden next moto GP champ
  • I’m Italian and my opinion is – Pedrosa. He’s in the same league as Rossi and
    Rossi will have to watch out for him.

  • If Honda had been righteous in it’s dealings I believe Colin would have been one hard S.O.B. to beat in Motogp, but they screwed him and he is were he is. Nicky seems to be very very consistant and with development tuned to him I think that is the step he needs. Pedrosa is to small he will have to put on more muscle mass to stay the course. Sete is Sete need I say more? Caprex is the cloud that will not go away and he is a shark in a timid tank. If Ducati puts in what they have in SBK Caprex will bee the future King. With Nicky Snapping at his heels and keeping him honest. Sete will have to chase the demons if he is to put himself on the top step. Everyone seems to think that the 800cc will better suit Pedrosa because it will be a lighter machine. But as you and others have noted it will probably be a revving beast, will highsides and it off-spring. Controlling it will take strength which Dani lacks. I am a American to the core and want Nicky to take the top step, but until !
    Honda pushes the envelop more than it has nicky will only enjoy a “possibly” slight advantage. Ducati will trump them every chance they are allowed.

  • I think Rossi leaving for F1 would be a good thing. I enjoy watching his skill as much as anyone but believe the racing will be tighter once he moves on. I also don’t believe any of the current riders will be as dominant as Rossi is or was. Each weeks race will keep us on the edge to see who wins!
  • Dani Pedrosa Stunned me personally at Jerez this year with a strong second place run first time out. I thought for sure he would pass Capirossi. Frankly, I think any opinion is about as good as another. You’ve got a number of top riders that have the talent. It may come down to who has the best tires? Also, I don’t buy into Jeremy Burgess’ 80 percent rider / 20 percent bike theory – Spoken like a true crew chief. It’s a fifty fifty deal I believe. The bike has to be good. It has to handle and it needs the right tires. I doubt Rossi would win much on the suzuki or kawasaki GP bikes. But if you pinned me down for an opinion, I would say if Rossi leaves Moto GP then I doubt any one rider will be as dominant as Rossi.
  • Hello to all at MC 1st want to say thanks for all the fine reading material that you all give us motorcyclist.

    I believe that will be hard to really pin point who will be the next Moto GP king. Some riders like Nicky can do it but just seem to fall short due what ever may be holding them from taking that next step in achieving that level. Then you have Loris (who I met at the airport in San Jose last year the day after the US GP nice guy) a very talinted rider who can probably stay on top with the right machine underneath him.

    New to the Moto GP scene Dani Pedrosa will surely rise to the top in the next couple of years with the proper support and track time of learning all the GP tracks. Marco could do the same in the hands of the right team. Sete is just cursed and will probably never win the championship. For the rest it’s going to be hard play to rise to the top as long as some have been there if they haven’t come close then it won’t happen for them.

    If I was to go all in on one hand I would bet that Dani will become the next Doctor. Again keep up the good work there at MC.

  • Nobody will dominate with the same intensity as Rossi has, at least until Jorge Lorenzo (the next Kevin Schwantz) currently in 250, steps up to Moto GP.
  • The next king of MotoGP will come down to two riders; Dani Pedrosa or Casey Stoner. These two rookies will be the ones to watch as they have already proved after only one race. This is unfortunate for me because I’d like to see Nicky or John on top next.
    Dani Pedrosa already a 3 time champion is with the best team riding for the most powerful factory has so much going for him. He is Spanish and has three home races every year which I believe has to be an advantage. He is very small (5’02” 105lbs.). His size gives him a 30 to 50lb. weight advantage over many other riders that reduces tire wear and should make any bike a fraction of a second faster. Pedrosa’s style is so precise he rarely makes mistakes and that’s key to staying up front and out of the kitty litter. I believe others even Rossi will have trouble defeating him in the near future.
    How could Casey Stoner defeat Dani Pedrosa? Team up with Jeremy Burgess. I think if you want to see who the next dominant rider will be you need to see where Jeremy Burgess is turning wrenches. Burgess has twelve championships; five with Rossi, five with Doohan and one each with Spencer and Gardner. That’s insane! He is the king he just doesn’t ride the bikes! Burgess will be key in getting the most out of the new 800’s and I believe when Rossi leaves he would most like to work with fellow Aussie Casey Stoner. The question is will Honda take him back. Stoner is signed on with LCR Honda through 2007. I personally thing Honda would be nuts to shut out Burgess and should welcome him home with open arms.
    So Pedrosa, Stoner and hey lets make it interesting “Kentuky Colonel” Roger Lee Hayden 2009!

  • After Jerez, it’s difficult not to pick young Dani P
  • I think if Matt Mladin was on the world scene, he would have a real good chance of being the best, but his mouth got him in so much trouble with AGO back in his GP days, he will never ride on the world scene ever again, as AGO told him. That’s why he is still in the AMA superbike scene. Anyone with his talent would be on the world circuit. AGO still has a lot of pull. I bet Mat now regrets telling AGO to “go and fu.. himself ” now. silly boy Mat………………………….
  • Women say that men can only do one thing at a time. Well, this might be true for some of us, but not for Dani Pedrosa. He’s capable of doing two “dangerous” activities (especially when done together) at the same time: play “chess” while riding a motorcycle to its limits. World Championship is not only all about being the fast rider, but also the smartest rider. Neither you can win a MotoGP Championship going sideways, but riding smooth. Pedrosa has it all: he’s fast, smart, smooth and the most important thing is that he is a gentleman on the track and out of it.
    One 125 GP and two 250 GP World Championships endorse the curriculum of this excellent rider and better person. If enjuries respect him in the future, we’ll have the opportunity of watching the consolidation of one of the best riders ever.

  • No doubt it will be a fight between Melandri and Pedrosa. No one else will come close!
  • If Rossi does indeed leave Moto GP to compete in Formula 1, I do not feel
    that we will see “one rider” step up to feel his spot. Last year, several
    different riders filled the #2 and #3 spots on the podium. I believe that’s
    what you would see in the #1 spot in 2007. The top 5 or 6 riders battling
    for win every weekend. It should make for some very close racing…. I

  • Daniel Pedrosa left a smaller class as a champion and am sure he will not settle for nothing else. He will most likely fill that void.
  • First: I dout we’ll see ANY replacement display the same dominance as Rossi.

    Second: Before the 06 season began, my fellow GP enthusiasts were already hearing me use the phrase: “My Little Dani Boy”. He was always great in ‘Little’ GP and I thrilled at the new of his ascending to ‘Big’ GP. He has not disappointed, even out pacing Nicky in the opener.

    If this little 100 lb man doesn’t run out of steam or front rubber, I think he’ll be a real force to reckon with.

  • I’d like to think Nicky Hayden or Marco Melandri could pull it together… The only issues with those riders are incosistency. Nicky doesn’t appear to be a great tester and with the limited setup possibilities of the RC211V, he’s never really appeared to be comfrotable on it… never riding it they way he rode the 600, FX, and Superbike the way he did in AMA. Marco has his days, but on others he’s behind, perhaps with similar incompatibilities with the Honda. Another thing to look at is the evolution of Michelin’s tire, which seems to hinder proper development of Honda at times.

    Pedrosa seems to me like the second coming of Rossi. He can ride the bike for the win even when things aren’t perfect. I feel that when/if he gets comfortable on the front end and his conditioning is up to the task, he’ll dominate in a similar fashion to Rossi.

    As for Rossi leaving, I feel that if Pedrosa has many more stunning performances this season, it’ll be an incentive for him to stay to prove his domination in the 800cc class and beat anything that Honda can put under Pedrosa.

    After watching Jerez, I feel that we are in for many more surprises this season.

  • If Rossi moves to F1 (and I’d love to see him battling Alonso on cars or bikes)
    there probably won’t be a dominant rider like Rossi and Doohan. At least not
    for a year to two. The obvious front runners, Capirossi, Hayden, Pedrosa, and
    Melandri are pretty evenly matched. The thing that makes MotoGP different from
    motocross and superbike is that technical improvements can give on team
    dominance for awhile without having a dominant rider. Kevin Schwantz was quoted
    in Cycle World as saying it’s 90% bike and 10% rider now, but when the formula
    goes to 800cc it may become 25% rider because they’ll have a sharper power band
    and be harder to ride. That’s probably true in the long run; but in the short
    term they’ll be big difference in the bikes until they complete their
    development which will wash out rider differences. Remember when Suzuki was a
    top 500cc bike. But they got it wrong on the switch to 4-strokes in MotoGP.

    It’s ironic that you mention Carmichael as a dominant rider. But now he’s far
    from dominant. Bubba beats him every time he doesn’t crash. Rossi may well
    find himself in the same position, not because he’s any less good or anyone else
    is better, but just because Ducati or Honda has improved more than Yamaha.

  • The void will be the same as the void that Ago, Roberts, Spencer,
    Lawson, Rainey, Schwantz and Doohan left and will no doubt be filled in
    once again by a rising or yet unknown rider to come. Rossi’s departure
    may be the best thing for MotoGP fans and the MotoGP series itself.
    Don’t forget it was not that long ago that people were saying that the
    GP series was getting dull because no one could compete against Doohan.
    Just sorry that we never saw Doohan vs Rossi cause that could have been
    some real serious racing!!

  • It’s gotta be Dani Pedrosa. He’s young, already a champion, and has already shown Nicky Hayden and the rest of the field minus Capirossi the back of his helmet. My money is definitely on him.
  • If Rossi exits, and possibly even if he does not, I think Pedrosa is the
    next guy to watch.
    He’s fast, he learns and adapts well and has shown good judgement in the
    first race.
    He could have tried to catch and pass Capirossi in the final moments of
    the opening round, but showed a very mature and calculated move to take
    second rather than toss the bike in an all or nothing attempt.

  • As much as I would like to see Nicky Haden take the mantle from Rossi, I suspect that Dani Pedrosa will be the heir apparent. MotoGP bikes seem to favor riders coming up through the 250 rnaks and Pedrosa’s 40-60 lbs weight advantage cannot be ignored. I do think that consistency will be a real key in determining future champions, since only Rossi has had the clear dominance to overcome the occasional (and rare) DNF.
  • I know I may be crazy for sticking with Nicky but… let me elucidate my

    1) Nicky has shown many times that he has raw riding talent, perhaps even
    on the level of a Roberts (Sr.), Lawson, or Schwantz

    2) Nicky has the work ethic, but not the experience as a development
    rider, this season may be pivotal for Nick in his learning and
    development curve. This is a vastly different series now than when KR
    (Sr.) brought his aggressive US dirt track style to road racing in the
    early 80’s.

    3) There is evidence that he is finding the rhythm and knowledge that he
    needs, he has finished on the podium for the last six races.

    4) He is not a foolish rider who rides above his ability or good
    judgement. He seems to pay attention to his own conditioning and
    machinery. He understands that he needs consistent speed and that he
    needs to stay on two wheels.

    5) Honda has the resources and desire to make sure the machines are

    6) While there are many excellent riders, Capriossi, Melandri, Gibernau,
    Pederosa, Hopkins, Nakano, Edwards are probably his main rivals. I
    believe his total package brings more experience, balance, and potential
    new speed than any of these others.

    7) All of the above is contingent on Michelin keeping up with the fast
    developing Bridgestone!

    BTW ~ My own list of greats: John Surtees, Mike Hailwood, Calvin Rayborn,
    Jarno Saarinen, Kenny Roberts (Sr.), Renzo Passolini, Mick Doohan, Kevin
    Schwantz, Valentino Rossi, Eddie Lawson, Carrol Resweber (This is my very
    short list, and not necessarily in a particular order!)

  • It will be fought out between the new charges –

    Melandri, Pedrosa, Elias & Stoner & possibly Vermuelen if he gets a
    competitive bike. Gibernau and Capirossi will be thereabouts but they both
    need more consistency.

  • I actually think a shark will cut right through the pack of riders mentioned……. perhaps Casey Stoner!
  • I don’t think there will be a king, I think many will be able to win. Who ever ends up with JB will be looking good however. Pedrosa is starting off well, Melandri did well last season, I think Gibernau and Capirossi will be winning. It may be easier to point out the losers. The Suzuki guys probably wont win, not for lack of talent just lack of bike. Nankano might actually snag a win, the Kawasaki continues to improve. Hayden although he’s the American media darling needs to get off the factory Honda and go elsewhere, as far as I’m concerned he has squandered his many year chance, put someone good in that seat.
  • I wish I could respond honestly with Hayden as my choice but, so far, he
    hasn’t demonstrated the consistent speed necessary to assume that role
    despite the strength of his Factory Honda team.

    I don’t expect any of the veterans will assume a dominant role as none
    have shown such a tendency. My early money would be either on Pedrosa
    or Melandri. If the opening round was representative, I might choose

  • Hey Alex,dominant rider. I think a number of riders will be competing for podium
    wins. Also, with the bikes becoming more and more competitive (like Ducati
    has done this year) we’ll be in store for and exiting Moto GP series.
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