[img]/wwwthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] It appears the majority here feels the manufacturer and their budgets win races. I wouldn't exactly agree with that, but I do think it paves a smoother road to success. I take it you guys have extensive motorcycling experience. We all know "the fastest motorcycle doesn't automatically win races, the fast rider on a fast motorcycle win races."
Rossi was not the only rider on an RC211V this year. And if you think for one minute Honda's success was purely due the production and fielding of the RC211V in MotoGP was its sole reason for winning, you're totally of the mark. Those wins aren't just "Honda wins" those wins are also "Rossi wins". I don't think you can put any of the other honda riders in positions Rossi found himself in this year and get and the same results. He was able the recover from mistakes and mishaps like no other rider I've seen in the field. How many riders have you seen fall from 2nd or 3rd position to 10th position with 10 laps left and still fininsh on the podium? Or be accessesed a 10 sec stop and go penalty, only to pick up the pace even more and win the race by a margin of 15 sec or more and secure the victory.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not riding Rossi #$%*, but the man deserves the respect. He's earned it. Although we all may not agree with Honda's decision not allowing Rossi to begin testing the M1 early, we must respect it. Some may view the decision as Honda telling Yamaha, "RESPECT THE CONTRACT. " But I see Honda paying homage to Rossi. Honda may still be flexing muscles during the off-season, but they realize they have "2" adversaries in "1" to defeat now,"YAMAHA AND ROSSI." Many don't want to admit it, but the M1 is not at all far from where it needs to be. You see, Yamaha needs a rider like Rossi at this point. The bike wasn't progressing forward for 2 simple reasons.
1) Biaggi was too busy focusing on his personal challenges with Rossi.
2) Carlos Checa is too inconsistent and lacks pose on the M1 machine.
All Yamaha was receiving from their "riders", was a "rider". I see Yamaha and Ducati having serious impact on GP next year.