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Running on Fumes

MotoGP as Close as it Looks?

Friday, May 29, 2009
Coming into the 2009 road-racing season, odds were the World Superbike series would be the most competitive. Yet as we enter the summer, it’s MotoGP that seems to offer the most parity on the track. Granted the World Superbike series has had some magnificent racing, with Ben Spies stealing the show, in spite of Noriyuki Haga’s domineering points advantage. Still, it’s MotoGP which can boast the tightest title fight, with three riders, Jorge LorenzoValentino Rossi and Casey Stoner – all within a point of the other.

Lorenzo  starting from second  slipped a place at the start but had passed both Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa by the end of the first lap to take the lead.
Lorenzo battled both Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa at Le Mans, before taking the win and the title lead.
A solid argument could be made that it’s not really as close as it seems, that Rossi would be ahead by a comfortable 20-point gap if it weren’t for his recent misfortunes at the Le Mans round. Yet, that sounds strangely familiar to the argument throughout the 2006 season, in which Nicky Hayden managed to hold a slim points advantage, due to Rossi’s bad luck – which included the Doctor squandering the title at the Valencia finale…

For 2009, there is Rossi – the seasoned veteran and default favorite amidst the new generation of MotoGP stars: The mercurial Lorenzo, who battles consistency but finds himself in the lead; Stoner, seemingly always poised to regain his unbeatable 2007 form; and then Dani Pedrosa, who has battled through injury in the opening rounds to rest just 9 points behind the leader.

Add into the GP mix Marco Melandri, who is enjoying a career resurgence aboard the renegade Hayate/Kawasaki – riding without the overbearing expectations of the factory Ducati. The same Desmosedici burdens that seem to be burying the Kentucky Kid, Nicky Hayden… MotoGP paddock is rife with drama and gripping story lines!

But is the MotoGP title as close as it looks?

I certainly hope so!
Post Tags: 2009 motogp season, motogp racing
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Comments
Desmolicious -Stoner threw it away last year May 31, 2009 08:50 AM
The argument could be made that Stoner threw it away last year. A series of mental lapses ruined chances of 'certain' wins. But that's racing. It's not about what ifs, it's about final results.
Racer1 -Yes, but... May 30, 2009 09:23 PM
I think that the four top contenders - Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa can each win a race on any given outing - notwithstanding injuries. That they come from three different factories - Ducati, Honda and Yamaha is even more encouraging for the sport stops the series becoming a Honda / Doohan procession that is pre determined each weekend (think Mladin in Superbikes). However, I truly believe that at least some of this comes from the bikes themselves which are reducing the talent gap between the riders. Traction control, wheelie control, variable efi, active suspension, etc. are leveling the playing field. which may help the closeness of the racing, but definitely neuters the response of the bikes - while faster, they are nothing like the savage beasts that the 500cc two strokes were and they don't require the finesse and the balls that separated the field in those days.