Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grand Prix Ceske Republiky:The Doctor’s winning therapy.

Today, at the end of the MotoGp, Rossi compared Stoner’s crash to Biaggi’s one in 2001 at the same track. It could be a pure coincidence or a planned analogy but, regardless, the result doesn’t change since the Doctor’s medicine for his adversaries it is the same inside and outside the track: building a steady mounting pressure. In the last couple of years Yamaha and especially Michelin didn’t support his game, but now the Doctor is back with a competitive bike and tires as good as his competitors. With 5 wins and 50 points over Stoner, only Rossi can loose his 8th World Title. Stoner seems to have lost momentum with two questionable performances right when we was asked to prove his real talent, his ability to “outperform” under pressure. If in Laguna Seca he let Rossi to suck him in a fight where he lost the victory and, I would add his confidence, today in Brno he gave away the championship on a silver plate. If in Laguna Stoner almost searched the dice with Rossi, today he played his most obvious card, the solo ride from the start to the finish. Strong of 6 consecutive poles, he thought that by building a buffer zone he could have avoided the Italian pressure. He went down with a stupid low-side, maybe over a little bump that must have suddenly challenged the grip of his crazy-glue Bridgestone. Most likely it wasn’t his fault and this is what he wants to hear now, but the reality is that he took that line, released the front brake and hit that apex. After taking off like a missile at the green light, the Aussie wasn’t able to disappear because Rossi after a couple of laps seemed capable to stabilize the gap with a very efficient ride of his Yamaha in the twisty sections of the track. Stoner’s time board must have appeared like a mirror filled by Rossi’s contour and, if I recall it properly, the Ducati rider rode his fasted lap right before crashing.
At this point it’s totally normal to question the assumption that Ducati had found a talent able to obliterate, in a few seasons, Rossi, the greatest rider of the modern history. I don’t want to elaborate too much this topic because there are still six races to watch where Stoner will do his best not only to win but to help everybody to forget the past two MotoGps. Anyhow Ducati shouldn’t be too disappointed since today after Rossi and Stoner there is nobody, particularly now that Pedrosa is injured. Another issue about which everybody agrees is that Ducati is not for every rider, as Capirossi and Melandri have proved. They need someone fearless, able to take the red bull by the horns, like a real matador, maybe someone like Elias. Yes, Elias was the real surprise of the day, the only rider able to add some salt on a race that was quite boring. I don’t want to forget to mention Capirossi’s podium, but his result was announced in the first day of practice in dry conditions. On the other end Elias’s performance was totally unexpected and made even more special by the rumors that his presence in MotoGp had recenlty been questioned.
I wonder if today Elias has somehow mixed the cards on the table for the Ducati Team. We know that Hayden would love to be in red and Gibernau would definitely come back and I speculate for considerable amount of money, but what about Elias? His second place was only the result of a lucky day, the outcome of a providential bike set-up that he wouldn’t be able to replicate in the future, or the simple dividend of his hard work on a bike that it’s evidently difficult to understand? Misano will answer.

Photo source| via YouTube


johng said...

Yes Alex! Elias and Ducati would make a very interesting, if not very good, combination. However, I tend to think that Nick Hayden has a lock on it. I do hope so as I think he is another rider that may be able to handle the wild red bike. I think the passionate family atmosphere at Ducati would suit him well, rather than the corporate Honda style.

Good to see PMP again!


Alessandro Matteucci aka Alex 555 said...

Ciao John, yes PMP is back. The combination a new job and road racing bicycle has not left too much time for commenting on the blog, but I am committed to squeeze some time to keep PMP somehow up to date. Have you been riding?

johng said...

Alex, in July I did 2 events at Pocono with TPM; New Jersey Motorsports Park with Absolute and Beaverun with Absolute. New Jersey is a very nice facility, but I really enjoyed the track layout at Beaverun-fast and flowing. I felt quite comfortable. Naim and Stephen Lombardi told me you have been involved with bicycle racing. Hope it is going well. I would like to try some bicycling to help with fitness.
In September I will try to do Beaverun again with Absolute and Pocono with TPM.
Ciao Alex-hope to see you at the track if possible.

Steve Madden said...

This is a great read! I agree with johng. I do think Nick Hayden has got a lot more to offer

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