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rsheidler 02-28-2003 05:05 AM

Re: Meanwhile in the Official IRTA Tests....
Thanks. The info comes from a bunch of different web sites, but largely from and, as well as several italian sites that a friend helps translate.

My Ducati reference is to the World Superbike event (aka Ducati Cup), where Ducati are the only factory team this year (other than the Foggy Petronas effort). If anyone else cracks the top 10, it will be quite an accomplishment!

In MotoGP, my money is on Barros, but Rossi is still the one to beat.

If I have a chance, I'll try get some more information togather on the M1 prototype. Looks like they are trying to break new ground in tuned chassis flex. This is being tested in parallel to the regular M1 that Barros, Checa etc will be racing. Abe has been hired specifically to work with this test program. Maybe by this weekend I can post something on this.



blademan 02-28-2003 05:56 AM

Re: Hayden within 0.2sec of Rossi @ PI
I think some of you are in "la la land" considering Nicky. He is a great and talented rider but his skill does not match Capirossi, Barros, Biaatchi, Rossi, nor Mr. Edwards. He won't be winning any podiums this year. If he will be great, it won't be for a few years.

rsheidler 02-28-2003 02:19 PM

2003 Roadrace Season Starts This Weekend
The 2003 roadracing season starts for real this weekend with the opening round of the World Superbike series at Valencia. For those who get SpeedTV, both rounds are televised this Sunday (check your local times).

While some may argue that the WSB will be but a shadow of its former self, with only Ducati and Petronas fielding factory teams, with no competitive Japanese bikes, and with the biggest star riders from last year having bailed (Colin Edwards and Troy Bayliss, as well as Nori Haga to MotoGP and Ben Bostrom returning to the AMA). However, in spite of being largely a Ducati parade, there should be some great racing.

Ruben Xaus should provide some of the drama that Nitro Nori did last year, and if he can avoid too many crashes, should be a leading contender this year. Troy Corser has already been impressive with the new Foggy Petronas, and should become more competitive as the season progresses.

There are several 1000cc 4s (Suzuki and Yamaha), at least one Honda RC-51 and an Italian squad of Kawasaki 750s competing this weekend. More Japanese 4s are rumored for later in the season. None of these are expected to seriously challenge the factory and semi-factory Ducatis, but should provide some useful information for the expected 2004 return of the Japanese factories.

In any case, it beats Hell out of anything else on TV this time of year.

For more, check this out

cyclesteve 02-28-2003 04:47 PM

Re: Hayden within 0.2sec of Rossi @ PI
I don't believe he will be champ this yr, but he will be the champion before long. He will though make a podium this year. It will be at the second half of the season. He needs time to learn the bike and his competitors.

BEN_1 03-01-2003 04:22 AM

Re: Hayden within 0.2sec of Rossi @ PI
DREAMERS...All you people are DREAMERS. I thank Nicky is a great rider. BUT he is not even in the top 15 or 20 in talent. Bladman is right.It will be YEARS for him to get in the top 10 if ever. Honda screwed up on the EDWARDS deal and thay will pay for it BIG........ Dont forget the BEN BOSTROM deal . Boy I do love my 954

rsheidler 03-01-2003 06:40 AM

Re: Hayden within 0.2sec of Rossi @ PI

I guess I am somewhere in between your position and that of some of the others here.

If you are talking pure, inate talent, it is possible that there are 15 or 20 riders better than Nicky. There ARE a lot of very talented riders out there, between 125, 250 and MotoGP, WSB and the various national superbike series (eg AMA, BSB etc). However, many of these extremely talented riders will not, or at least have not yet, proven their ability to translate that potential into significant race wins.

Success also depends on psychological and other personal factors. It depends a great deal on strategic thinking, good decision-making, self confidence and extreme concentration. Look at all the young hotshots that come on the scene with great lap times, only to crash and burn (often literally) under pressure. Look at all the times that Rossi was 3rd or 4th in qualifying, sat back in 2nd or 3rd for much of the race, until the leaders eventually cracked under the pressure and made a big mistake, "handing" Rossi the win. That is not Rossi's luck, that is his mental toughness, and the relative lack of same on the part of most of his competitors.

For a couple of examples of very talented riders who fall down (literally and figuratively) in this dimension, I would cite Checa. Very fast, very exciting to watch, but has not yet proven his ability to win consistantly. In WSB, Rueben Xaus seems to fall into that catagory.

Until this past year, I would have put Alex Barros there as well. However, he seems to have reached deep down and found some toughness, and finally after years as an also-ran, is argueably best in MotoGP today.

This is where Biaggi falls down, in my opinion. He probably is at least as talented as Rossi, but somehow Rossi has found the way to mind-f#ck him, both on and off the track. Until Max figures how to deal with that, he is destined to be beaten on the track.

I ink this is where Colin and Troy will really shake up MotoGP this year. It is not only because of their raw talent, but also because, in my opinion, their guts, determination and racecraft are much better than that of most of the very talented MotoGP regulars. Rossi will not be able to mind-f#ck them like he does Max. If Aprilia and Ducati can deliver bikes that are even CLOSE to the Hondas and Yamahas, they will be fighting and clawing for the podium.

Nicky seems to have the kind of personality to not let himself get beaten up mentally. He certainly has worked his ass off in all the trials. It actually may work to his advantage for everyone to now have lower short-term ns of him. That will give him the opportunity to learn the tracks, learn his competitors, learn about life on the international scene.

My guess is that Nicky will not get on the podium this year, and that he will generally be back around 10th place, more or less where Hopper was last year, but at the same time, it doesn't seem like too much of a stretch to see him up there later in the season.



rsheidler 03-01-2003 06:52 AM

Re: 2003 Roadrace Season Starts This Weekend
Also check out This and This

I am trying to figure how to insert hyperlinks, so in case this does not work, the links are:

rsheidler 03-01-2003 07:07 AM

Re: 2003 Roadrace Season Starts This Weekend
This is an experiment -- trying to link to the Google translation of an Italian site. Click Here The Google translations are sometimes amusing, but still allow you to figure what they are saying.

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