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Old 01-29-2003, 05:11 AM   #1
rsheidler
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

Looks like Yamaha could be pretty competitive this year. They are well under the best times from last year, as well under the recent times of all the other teams. Of course, especially this time of year, weather, and particularly track temperatures, can play a big role in lap times so it is hard to jump to firm conclusions when comparing times from different days. I guess that is why they bother to actually run a race series instead of just awarding the championship on off-season test times
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Old 01-29-2003, 05:29 AM   #2
mconlon
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

Hearing good things from Yamaha and Ducati... I hope this season is a little bit more exciting than last year's 1-manufacturer, 1-model GP spec racing...
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

This is going to be the hardest year to predict who will win the championship. Ducati has a bike that is setting the news wire on fire. Yamaha is getting the relatively new, end of 2002 season, chassis ready with more power for next year and a bunch more Honda V5's for everyone. Will Aprilia reach the podium with it's funky three cylinder and F1 pneumatic valve systems?



I think the Italian firms have had great success in being like David against the Goliath budgets of the big 4. Aprilia in the 250gp and Ducati in the WSB.



MotoGP 2003 Bring it on!



I must say I would love to see Edwards win on the Aprilia. That would be justice.
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:21 AM   #4
longride
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

My prediction? Honda will smoke em all again. Why? They have 7 motorcycles contending and are probably spending 5 times the cash. That's 7 chances to get the right setup, and instant changes if they aren't getting it. Plus, I believe Honda is not showing their hand right now. Ducati and Yamaha are running balls out to get to where Honda WAS. I won't be suprised to see Honda's filling the podium again this year. I would like to see Ducati and Aprillia do well, but GP is a different ballgame.
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:31 AM   #5
red-silver
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

That (Honda's quantity) reminds me of Kenny Roberts (Sr.) comment one year when he was competing for the AMA #1 plate. Ken had a much modified 650 (750) Yamaha vertical twin, that was still down on power to the Harleys.

Harley race manager **** O'brien had a large field of potentialy very fast dirt trackers....



Ken's comment to ****...."Yep, it looks like you got a winner there...."
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:35 AM   #6
Holy_Kaw
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

He steps up to the plate, he points to the outfield, he's calling his shot! Max on the Honda! Hope it's a great season, I'll be watching and pulling for Colin, Troy and others but if I had to bet right now...
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Old 01-29-2003, 06:39 AM   #7
Holy_Kaw
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

Agree
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Old 01-30-2003, 05:37 AM   #8
rsheidler
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Default Re: Yamaha Completes Test

If I was to bet serious money, I would have to put it on Honda, and if I were to put it on a specific rider, Rossi. That certainly is the safest bet. However, I think that the chance for one of the others to upset that this year is much stronger than has been the case recently.



Honda clearly do have the deepest roster of top-level riding talent, with at least 4 riders who are capable of winning GPs, or even championships (Rossi, Biaggi, Ukawa and Katoh).



I don't think that the 2003 version of the Honda GP bike will be significantly different -- from what I hear, it will be minor evolutionaly tweaks, with some additional effort focused on weak areas (ie slipper clutch, etc). If there were to be a major redesign (eg the rumored V6, or more recently rumored V3), much of what they have learned in testing ofer the past several months would not be of much benefit. If they DO get beaten,or even seriously challenged this year, all bets are off for 2004, though.



My ranking of probabilities for 2003 success by manufacturer are:



1) Honda

2) Yamaha

3) Ducati

4) Aprilia

5) Suzuki

6) Kawasaki

7) Proton

WCM (R1-based prototype)



Proton is that far down only because their new engine has only first run under its own power about a week ago. The team's past success and experience would otherwise move them ahead of Kawasaki and maybe even Suzuki.



My gut tells me that Barros and the M1 just might take it this year, or at least mount a serious championship fight, and my heart says Ducati or Aprilia.



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