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Will Rossi be able to take down the Spanish Empire of Lorenzo, Marquez, Pedrosa?

 

Marquez is amazing, but I didn't care for his last race guard-dogging of Lorenzo. There I said it, let the haters beat me up.

 

I'd love to see Rossi win one more title, and he sure gave it a shot this last year. Let's see if he has one more year at that level.

 

CF

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Cobie. No hater here. I completely agree with your sentiments about Marquez.

 

I see Rossi stepping up his game and having an amazing season. He does not seem like the type to just give up.

 

One thing's for certain though. I don't see Rossi and Marquez being pals anytime in the near future. I'm not even really a MotoGP fan but I'll be keeping an eye on those two for sure. :)

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I don't understand racing well enough to say whether Marquez was dog-guarding Lorenzo in Valencia or not, but one thing was sure: Rossi was nowhere near close enough to take the points he needed to become the champion. To me, the 3 incidents between Rossi & Marquez was more of Rossi's doing than the opposite.

"Rossi is your best pal until you start beating him" (Marco Melandri).

 

As for MotoGP, I think we're in for another interesting season. There are a couple of reasons for that:

1) Ducati and Suzuki upping their game. I'm hoping that Ducati can take a couple of wins this year, and Suzuki making some podiums.

2) Tires and ECU changes. From the tests so far, it sounds like some teams & riders are struggling harder than others. I'll give it the first 6-9 races before the dust has settled.

 

Title contenders: Lorenzo & Marquez. As much as I would love to have Rossi win that 10th title, I have a hard time seeing it happening. The changes to tires & ECU changes might play into Rossi favour, if the changes could upset the Spanish Duo (but Lorenzo didn't seem phased one bit in Sepang). Dani seems perpeptually unlucky - he'll go into history as the best MotoGP rider who never won a title.

 

Silly season: Lorenzo & Marquez to stay. Unless Dani has a stellar season, he gets the kick. I'm 50/50 on whether Rossi will retire or not.

Iannone and/or Viñales hitches a Factory ride with Yamaha/Honda.

If Iannone gets a Yamaha or Honda Factory ride or Dovi gets kicked, Petrucci might get a Factory Ducati ride.

Smith gets passed over, stays with Tech 3.

The Espargaro brothers: Aleix stays with Suzuki. Pol might switch teams, but to another Satellite team.

Cal might even get the kick, depending on how many riders are coming up from Moto2 (Zarco, Rins, Lowes [goes to Aprillia], others?)

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The ECU and tires are certainly interesting. One of the things that makes me lose interest when it comes to MotoGP is how different the bikes are than anything you can have a real frame of reference on. It's nearly impossible to tell the difference between what the rider is doing and what the bike is doing to help the rider. While I understand the "prototype" nature of the racing the rules are complicated and tend to limit what can really be done on the bike development end of things. Then you have manufacturers like Honda who play the rules. They scream about not being able to develop technology yet are still selling bikes without ABS or TC technology. Eh?

 

The ECU fixes a bit of this for sure. Would love to see them go one direction or another instead of "in the middle". Prototypes with no displacement, weight or technology limitations whatsoever or shared platform development bikes where every team can choose what shared platform technology they use. No secret sauce and the best sauce and rider wins. :)

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Regarding that last race: Marquez would drop back then catch up, but never even attempted a pass on Lorenzo. Dani caught up, passed and in about 5 seconds Marquez went right back by him, but then never went after Lorenzo. Not the normal banzai Marquez.

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Matthew Birt writes on motogp.com: "My 21st season in the MotoGP™ World Championship is about to get underway and one of the few things I’m willing to predict is 2016 will be the most unpredictable campaign for a long time."

 

After the pre-season tests, I fully agree with his comments. Honda seem to be struggling compared to Yamaha, Ducati, and Suzuki. I wonder why...

 

The 2015 engine was too aggressive and part of the 'fix' to this for Marquez was to change back to the 2014 chassis (he couldn't change the engine) as well as getting modified exhausts and swingarm.

But it still leaves me wondering: what if they just pulled out the 2014 bikes and used them with the unified software and Michelins? Ducati has the '14, '15 and '16 spec bikes running in parallel. Why not Honda.

 

I'm loading up on microwave popcorn for the first couple of races :)

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