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World Superbike vs. MotoGP Editorial

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Number 46 gets up to speed at Sepang.
Rossi has been quite outspoken in his dislike of 800cc MotoGP engines and too much electronic intervention.
Editorial: World Superbike or MotoGP?

Ahh, the subject all we racing nuts love to debate until blue in the face. Which series is supreme: World Superbike or MotoGP? Talk about a loaded question, right? Not an easy subject to tackle, but with MotoGP moving back to 1000cc machines and the use of possible semi-production-based engines for 2012 to attract more teams, the two series are slowly becoming closer and closer. Thus, the debate arises: Will there be room for both? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each and see where the chips fall.

Starting with MotoGP, which is still considered by most as the ‘premiere’ series in the world – it does have the top riders on the most expensive and technologically-advanced machines. But with the grid at a lowly 17 riders for 2010 and electronics taking much of the wild, sideways antics out of the sport, how much viewer excitement is left? It seems to be that once the order of the race is set, by lap five or so, little overtaking takes place. Furthermore, with the immense grip available from these bikes today the riders must remain on line to achieve this, thus using a different line to pass becomes almost impossible. Even the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) Valentino Rossi has commented that he would like to see traction control and 800cc engines gone, and soon. It seems he may be getting at least part of his wish.

Jerez Test - Colin Edwards
"Everybody has got it. Traction control, anti-wheelie control, frickin’ scratch-your-ass-while-you’re-racing control; whatever control it is, there’s always some new thing they’re coming out with. Our cornering speeds right now are so just astronomical that if you didn’t have traction control, man, you would be in orbit every other frickin’ race.” -Edwards
These comments come directly from the mouth of the most dominate modern road racer on the planet, saying he’d both abolish TC and go back to 1K machines at the drop of the hat. Hard to discredit a man with credentials like that. It also raises a good point at the same time: Is it even possible to limit electronics, be it through a spec ECU or full wiring harness, or would teams just find clever ways around it? Like they say, in racing it isn’t cheating if you don’t get caught.

Colin Edwards had a great quote about traction control awhile back, really putting things into perspective, be it a brash Texas one: “Everybody has got it. Traction control, anti-wheelie control, frickin’ scratch-your-ass-while-you’re-racing control; whatever control it is, there’s always some new thing they’re coming out with. Our cornering speeds right now are so just astronomical that if you didn’t have traction control, man, you would be in orbit every other frickin’ race.”

This then spawns the question, how much safer is traction control? Yeah, without it less highsides will take place, but as is they still happen – Jorge Lorenzo during Laguna Seca qualifying instantly comes to mind. And with all the
Melandri back with Gresini Honda - Sepang Test
Melandri moves back to the Gresini Honda team for 2010, but was slotted to ride for the ill-fated Kawasaki team last year. With Kawi totally pulling out it reduces the GP grid by another two riders and reduces the manufacturer count to four.
electronics, the corner speeds are so high that when riders lose the front, which inevitably will happen trying to find that “astronomical” limit, they will be going much faster and thus slide further and tumble harder when hitting gravel traps.

Not to mention, racing is about excitement. Every rider on the grid knows exactly what they are signing up for and have for years to get to that point. This isn’t BINGO people, it’s ‘frickin’ motorcycle racing. But MotoGP has seemingly become the Formula 1 of yesteryear – awesome machines and amazing riders but limited on-track action. 

Despite the somewhat unentertaining racing as of recent, from a rider’s perspective MotoGP is still top dog. Take our own Ben Spies for example. He did the unthinkable and won the World Superbike title in his rookie season and while he was slated to stay and defend it, he used some pull at Yamaha to immediately jump up to MotoGP for this year. That shows quite a lot about what the top riders in the world think of each series.

The level of talent in MotoGP is also undisputable. The so-called “four aliens” (Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Casey Stoner and Dani Pedrosa) are considered by most to be the best riders on the plant. And when one series has them all, it’s hard to argue against it. Even Spies, who was instantly winning World Superbike races, says his goal is merely to be in the top-10 to start the season in MotoGP, pronouncing that finishing anywhere within that group would be equivalent to a win in WSBK. Yet another solid point in the defense of Grand Prix racing’s superiority.

Dani Pedrosa tests the new RC212V - Sepang Test
Dani Pedrosa: One of the "four aliens" as they are now called.
And while GP is F-1 on two wheels, F-1 has actually done a lot recently to improve racing. And with far more teams involved in 2010, it will be the series’ largest grid in several years. They have done this by limiting testing and leveling the playing field for support teams, among a load of other rule changes. Can MotoGP do the same? That’s the aim with going back to 1000cc displacement for ’12 and the rumored allowance for of semi-production-based engines for factory-backed and privateer teams, which WSBK has outwardly expressed serious discontent with. Be interesting to see if this rejuvenates the grid, as a total of 17 riders is on the small side.

To summarize GPs: Amazing talent, awesome machines, but small grids and sometimes lackluster on-track action.

On to World Superbike: With a very solid 24-confirmed-rider grid this year - not including wildcards at various rounds - and evenly matched machines among the top factory teams, there’s no question the racing in Superbike is more exciting to watch. The bigger and heavier bikes are less electronically controlled, thus the machines are more rear-end unstable and exciting to watch, as well as taking far more muscle to ride. They also punish the spec Pirellis quite extensively, making tire management an exciting feature throughout the race.
Ben Spies took the Race 2 win  pulling away from Haga in the final laps - Phillip Island
World Superbike: No question the racing is top notch!

Do they have the best riders in the world? Maybe not the best, but it’s no slouch of a field. With several ex-GP men like Max Biaggi and Carlos Checa filling the grid, as well as past WSBK champions and a host of fast up-and-coming young talent, there’s no disputing that – MotoGP aside – it’s the top series in the world. And while it may not produce the same level of speed from the top four “aliens”, the depth of field is far deeper, with the grids typically separated by less than a second in qualifying all the way down, and sometime outside the top-20. Not to mention the first 14 or so riders are on factory or factory-backed bikes.

Speaking of factory or factory-backed bikes, where MotoGP has four manufacturers taking place (Honda, SuzukiYamaha and Ducati), World Superbike has a whopping seven, which could soon be eight if KTM joins in 2011 like they say. Now that’s saying something. With the likes of BMW, Aprilia and Ducati mixed in with all four Japanese brands, it really is amazing what they have been able to achieve. Especially considering just about every factory team, sans Ducati, pulled out in 2004
Jonathan Rea ended the season strong and hopes to make a title running play for 2010 with the Hannspree Ten Kate Honda.
Johnny Rea is one of the young guns to look out for as a WSBK title contender in 2010. But he'll have some serious competition to get the crown.
when WSBK announced they were going to a Pirelli spec tire, becoming the first major motorcycle series to do so. While controversial at the time, today just about every big organization has followed suit (MotoGP, BSB, AMA, etc), as it goes a long way to level the playing field and increase close racing. Once again they were ahead of their time and as such paving the way for all others to follow.

I had a chance to ride all the World Superbike machines in Portugal following the final race of the season recently and came away extremely impressed, as the rules allow modifications that not only keep the playing field even but make for some seriously trick motorcycles. That said, instead of technology being the forefront, Infront Sports (company in change of running WSBK) has aimed to produce the best racing on the planet, and judging by the varying levels of tune on some bikes, we wouldn’t be surprised if some rule bending was allowed to even things up. But is this really a bad thing?

Just take a quick glance at the rules: 1200cc and 370-lb minimum for twins, plus 50mm air restrictors, while the four-cylinder machines get a reduced weight of 356-lbs but a max of only 1000cc with no air restriction. The rules also state that “…the weight limit and the intake-restrictor size of twin machines would be updated, if needed, during the Championship, by a system analyzing the race points obtained…” thus giving Infront Sports the ability to tailor the rules as needed to keep competition close. Did someone say air restrictors? Think of it as the NASCAR of bike racing.
Will 2010 be the year Ducati Xeroxs Noriyuki Haga takes the top spot in the overall standings
Haga has been the World Superbike Championship’s bride's maid for more times than most can remember, though he's aiming to change that in 2010. He's without a doubt a title favorite going into the season.

Motorcycle racing is entertainment, first and foremost. Win on Sunday, sell on Monday. It’s still the reason manufacturers pump millions of dollars into our beloved sport. And without multi-bike battles throughout the pack, especially at the front, people aren’t going to watch or attend the races. Just look at the release NASCAR recently put out about changes it’s making to the series to up the excitement level for 2010. The cars will now get bigger restrictor-plates for faster Super Speedway racing, plus the removal of the big rear wing that fans didn’t like the look of, while NASCAR also eliminated regulations on bump drafting (where one car hits another from behind) and reduced fines for verbal and physical bouts as well as directly encouraging drivers to speak their minds freely. This will surely bring back some of that good ol’ redneck excitement! 

NASCAR may not have the world’s best drivers, but cars bouncing off each other at 180mph and 10-deep pileups sure keep people tuning in week after week. A lot more so in America than the precession that was F-1. And much like NASCAR, putting fans in the seats and turning on the TV is priority No. 1 for WSBK. This is where the true strength of WSBK lays, with its edge-of-the-seat excitement and great commentators, both a direct result of the incredibly close competition. Not to mention its connection to everyday riders, as the machines are fully production based and look like racing versions of what any consumer can buy off the showroom floor. Just don’t look under the bodywork…

Noriyuki Haga  a resident of nearby Milan  Italy  was a fan favorite coming into the weekend races in Monza  especially now that he rides for the Italian marque Ducati.
World Superbike has a massive fan following, proven by Haga shown here signing autographs. The same can be said for MotoGP. Both series are huge in Europe, with live TV and spectator numbers well over 100,000 at some rounds.
As for the final verdict, it breaks down like this: Deeper fields and better racing in World Superbike but the world's best riders and the trickest machines on the planet in MotoGP, albeit only 17 of them. So which is king of the racing world? Like Rossi said, “As for the level of spectacle of the two disciplines, I leave it to the people who watch the races to comment." Well put Doctor.

No matter how you look at it, motorcycle racing is an amazing sport. Period. And I’ll be tuned into each and every race of both series, just for very different reasons – one to see bar-bashing action and the other to witness the greatest riders in the world on the pinnacle of prototype machinery. But getting back to the original point, as long as MotoGP holds on to its unobtainium-equipped machines and top-tier riders while World Superbike produces close racing every week, I’d say there is ample room for both series’ to strive. As long as the economy allows it, that is.

To quote Ernest Hemingway: “There are only three sports: bullfighting, motor racing, and mountaineering; all the rest are merely games.” And one can never have enough motor racing...

Motorcycle USA racing fans, don't forget to sign up for the 2010 Fantasy Racing season. It's free, fun and online now! To sign up for our Fantasy GP and Fantasy Superbike games visit our Fantasy Racing homepage.
2010 MotoGP Gallery
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2010 World Superbike Gallery
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Key Stats - WSBK vs. MotoGP
Spies won Race 1 after making a ballsy move on Haga in the last lap  leaving the Ducati rider trailing by a tenth of a second. Leon Haslam finished out the rostrum half a second behind the front-runners in Assen.
WSBK average margin of victory: 2.851 sec.
WSBK average second-to-third gap: 2.710 sec.
Total different race winners: 5
Total different podium finishers: 14

MotoGP average margin of victory: 5.09 sec.
MotoGP average second-to-third gap: 5.292 sec.
Total different race winners: 5
Total different podium finishers: 7

With an early lead  Fiat Yamahas Jorge Lorenzo at the British Grand Prix.
Can't decide between MotoGP versus World Superbike, play both in Motorcycle USA's GP and Superbike fantasy racing games. Pick from the roster of actual riders and earn points based on their on-track results. Challenge the entire MCUSA readership in our sitewide leagues and battle your friends in smaller custom leagues. It's free, fun and online now.

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Rider Bios - MotoGP
Valentino Rossi Bio
The most popular rider on planet earth? His name is Valentino Rossi and he won the '08 MotoGP Championship.
Casey Stoner Bio
The 2007 MotoGP Champion and runner-up in '08, Australian Casey Stoner is a rising star in Grand Prix racing.
Nicky Hayden Bio
The fastest of the Hayden racing brothers, Nicky has left Honda to join the Ducati Marlboro MotoGP team for '09.
Chris Vermeulen Bio
Chris Vermeulen jumped from WSB in 2006 to MotoGP, but after four years, the Aussie has returned to WSB to chase his title dreams.
Colin Edwards Bio
The Texas Tornado, aka: Colin Edwards II, raced his way into MotoGP with a pair of World Superbike titles.
Loris Capirossi Bio
Loris Capirosssi is the elder statesman of the MotoGP paddock.
Jorge Lorenzo Bio
The Spanish sensation Jorge Lorenzo has won all three categories of MotoGP Grand Prix.
Marco Melandri Bio
2002 was the year Marco broke through and established himself as one of the premier riders in GP.
Toni Elias Bio
Five-year MotoGP veteran, Spaniard Toni Elias developed his addiction for racing by growing up in his family's bike shop.
Alex de Angelis Bio
Yet another MotoGP rookie, Alex de Angelis has honed his GP skills in the 125 and 250 ranks.

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Jerkface -WSBK  March 1, 2010 09:06 AM
So, Jerry. Where were the Yamahas this weekend? Since they didn't win are you going to buy a Suzuki and tell us all about how amazing the 2010 GSXR is?
Racer1 -Thanks Jerry  February 21, 2010 05:26 PM
for killing an interesting thread with childish, rude and pointless posts. Grow up and come back in a few years.
Jerry -Topgearamerica you have no credibility ducati is garbage  February 18, 2010 08:47 PM
ducati being the better bike out of the box? are you on crack? or are you pretending to be dumb? ever heard of the cross plane crank technology? so if ducati is superior to the r1 then why did the ducati get it's tail kicked all over the place in the world by the r1 this year? here we go again, World Superbike, Motogo, Dutch Superbike,France Superbike,British Superbike, World endurance championship, ALL significant world class titles all won by YAMAHA, so what happend to ducati u bonehead? let's here the excuses like oh the R1 is modified in those racing classes, so you mean to tell me Ducati is too stupid and are not capable of modifying their own bikes in that class? now what do you meatheads have to say for yourselves after i bring that point up?? come on let's here the excuses why ducati and suzuki,kawasaki and honda all got their azzes kicked by yamaha this year in pratically EVERY world class racing title.
Happy 25th Suzuki -I disagree TOPGEARAMERICA  February 18, 2010 05:26 PM
I disagree about Ducati being a better motorcycle out of the bix than a R1, CBR1000, ZX10-R or even a GSXR-1000. Out of the box, and this is a proven fact, the $25,000 Duck has a lower top speed, uncomfortable ergos, and the least acceleration of the Big 4 (Japanese). I do like the Duck's though, they are very stylish, and loaded with some superb tech; however, when it comes to streetability, the Duck is sort of like the Harley Davidson of sportbikes. People usually buy them for the name. Performance and price are two very different things. Oh yeah, and just because you sell them doesn't mean you can afford to buy and ride them; trust me I sell them also in Scottsdale, Az. And performance wise the Big 4 are better, Style wise the Ducks are better.
Topgearamerica -Just woow Jerry great insight into a D-Bag  February 18, 2010 11:21 AM
Jerry next time you want to open your mouth... just don't. Adults are having a conversation about GP v. WSBK and you gotta be the ugly duck who starts calling people stupid. If you think for a second Ducati is crap a you 1. have obviously never ridden a ducati and 2. haven't paid a dose of attention to the past 15 years of Ducati WSBK dominance. As somebody who needs to ride pretty much every bike that is made to compare them (I sell these things) I can tell you first hand as an out of the box bike the Ducati will win hands down, the Honda comes next, and then the R1. It is a very cool bike, lots of neat stuff but I've never ridden a bike where you could just tell from the ride it was the first year of new technologies, which really surprised me cause when the R6 came out in 2006 that came out of the box feeling great, same when they added the variable intake tract. I am excited to see it progress and get better but your comment about Ducati being crap after calling someone out for having never ridden a 1000 made me laugh and quite frankly discredited anything you said. Last year in Superbike yes Ben won in a spectacular fashion... but where was his teammate... that's right mid pack with Privateer Honda's and Ducati's all over. The 2 Factory Ducati's and a couple support teams were always up ahead of the new R1 (sans Spies cause he is just amazing). I bet if you actually went to a club race or WERA last year instead of just watching Racing Underground caliming to be a fan you would have seen R1's fall short of any kinda of "dominance". The fact that Ben won the first Yamaha Championship ever I think speak a lot about how much they still have to learn. In GP Yamaha has their program together but I do believe Honda once carried the same status when they had a very talented north Italian rider developing the bike to, you may know him, I'm sure he is all over those you tube races you watch, his name is Valentino Rossi... Look him up. As far as Haga... I do find myself thinking he is due. He has certainly put in the seat time. I find it intriguing that he left Yamaha for Ducati and the very next year he gets beat by the bike he left... Maybe he was part of the problem? I don't know. The point is MotoGP and WSBK with be great fun to watch... I'm excited to see some close racing in AMA as well, Elena Meyers is making her Supersport debt at Daytona and I'm excited for that... It's looking like a good year from race fans. A smaller point people stop acting like your god on earth and calling people out for their opinions. Disagree, debate and enjoy
Jerry -GR and Racer 1 lay off the Playstation and magazines  February 17, 2010 06:16 PM
The more you two imbeciles express your words of stupidity on here the more you two become the laughing stock of the class just like your precious Ducati got it's tail kicked by Yamaha all over the world in 2009 and it's going to happen all over again in 2010 also. Ducati doesn't have what it takes to match Yamaha's bikes as i said before Haga is one of the best riders in WSBK EVER and in terms of skill level he's right there with Ben Spies, so if the riders are evenly match then it boils down to the bike, and that's why ducati got their azzes handed to them on a plate in WSBK, MOTOGP, British Superbike, Dutch Superbike, World Endurance and basically all over the world Yamaha dominated. Stop trying to make up lame excuses and admit Ducati is garbage. Like i said before RAcer 1 it's obvious you never been on a liter bike before lol the same goes for you GR you two share a brain i don't think neither one of you are both capable of handling a moped.
Mark -Fred M. nailed it  February 17, 2010 01:58 PM
You are correct sir! Bring back the 500 2 smokers with NO traction control other than the rider! Now THAT was good racing.
Hutchy -Haga - Rossi in 2010  February 17, 2010 08:52 AM
I want Haga to get a title so bad I can't even tell you. Well, actually I will: The guy is a hard luck case. he was jipped on the weight loss drug issue and handed Colin a title and then he's been close like 3-4 times beofre last year. Then, to choke in the finale was just hard to watch. I know he's a crasher and all that but the guy rides the bajezzus out of a superbike and I like to see someone like him win it after all the years of trying. It would be like teh Bills or Vikings winning a superbowl. Of course I am tired of seeing Rossi win GP titles so it woudl be cool to gwt someone else up there - but he's in the groove now so unless he starts going Haga on us, he will be the champion...again....
GR -Topgearamerica & Racer-1  February 16, 2010 08:25 PM
You both have very good points! Ever consider the idea of Rossi going to F-1? Why is he testing so much? Rally may just be a topic to throw off the media for awhile. Rossi and Spies are being very conservative about their intent for 2010 and beyond! However, I think Stoner will be the sleeper of the aliens! He almost has his Ducati dialed in just right to battle with Rossi! Unlike most GP riders, Rossi always has the capability to find something extra during a race when necessary! The only way to beat Rossi is to get a huge lead and pray Rossi has problems! Only the aliens have been able to take wins from Rossi. For MotoGP, I will be watching to see what happens between the 4 aliens and the Tech3 Squad! The other riders will just be fillers! As for WSB, I will be watching Rea and Biaggi battle with Nori the whole season. I am placing bets on Rea though! Who is your money on for GP/WSB 2010???
Topgearamerica -My 2 cents  February 16, 2010 12:05 PM
As far as the Satellite vs. factor teams... That is how racing in any discipline is, some people have better stuff stop crying. F-1 (which I consider to be MotoGP + 2 wheels) has "satellite teams" and they're just happy to be there. As far as riders on Satellite team riders not having a chance, 2 words Marco Meladri... Far more successful on his satellite Honda and even the no support Kawi than he was on the grail of Teams Ducati Corse. The bike has to work for you, you have to be comfortable on the bike. Look at AMA with the New R1... Took time to get it right but after the mid season test at Infinion but Hayes and Bostrom said it's their bike now and they felt good on it and it became the bike to have that second half of the season. (Mladin cheats and doesn't count) I think the biggest thing that divides the WSBK riders from the GP riders is the most obvious difference... The bikes they ride... Nicky Hayden and Kenny Roberts Jr. are the only Moto GP Champions in 15 years that have come from a "Superbike" background and lets face it we could almost make a "Where are they now story" about Roberts and I fear Hayden maybe soon to join him in exile. The best GP riders are GP riders, bikes that were built for one job... go fast on the track. Superbikes are street bikes pimped out to the max but streetbikes none the less. They are both very fast and have technology that makes my head hurt to think about it but they are far from similar. Look at Neil Hodgeson, decent superbike success, British and World SBK champion. He tried 250GP in the 90's fail, MotoGP in 2004 fail, I love Neil to death but GP just isn't his thing. Haga, Edwards, Bayliss, Xaus, Toseland, that list of WSBK stand outs and GP lacklusters are very similar (best championship finish from a former WSBK champion in GP is 5th (Bayliss and Edwards)) Biaggi and Checa are the only GP riders to go a SBK and their success is moderate so I think it will take more examples to make a verdict if GP riders can find success in SBK but once a GP rider falls off from GP... they don't usually go to SBK... they go home
Fonzy -Racer1  February 16, 2010 09:53 AM
That is what Spies said, i agree he will be up there and my number 6th 7th, was just in case there are problems like he had in wsbk which almost killed his championship hopes. but i do agree with you just being conservative.
Bob -Like 'em both  February 16, 2010 08:32 AM
With twice as many races in WSBK and many more dogfights for position and photo finishes, WSBK is definitely more exciting to watch when it comes to battling it out.

But I like GP because I just like the high tech bikes with unobtanium parts and materials. Fascinating to me.

But I also believe the very best riders are in GP. At least 4 of them anyway. I think Haga and Biaggi could go back to GP easily and do better than 1/2 the grid. Rea and fabrizio could probably fit in well too.

Rossi just has a 6th sense that no one else has. It's a pure talent to feel what the bike is doing, being able to judge speeds and distances. He can also communicate to his crew what the bike is doing exactly so they can tweak it better. No one can do it better. It's a gift.

I think Spies, though, is the next Rossi. He has the same gifts. He'll give everyone a run for the money his 1st season, then sit on the throne in 2011. I think he is that good.
Racer1 -Seems a long shot...  February 16, 2010 07:15 AM
There are so many variables to that one... Rossi has said he wants to finish his career with Yamaha, Burgess may not be up for the move to Ducati, he's a genius with the Japanese bikes but everything is different in an Italian paddock, Rossi may just retire and go to rally cars for fun... also there is no love lost between Stoner and Rossi, However, the idea of an Italian winning a championship on a Ducati is huge. Also Rossi, having the record for premier class victories, is gunning for Agostini's record of total victories and that'll take another year or two... Basically it's a crap shoot and will probably depend on the results of the season. I can't see Hayden moving to Tech 3 - when he leaves Ducati it will be the end of his run I think, although the 1000s would suit him well again... It's all interesting to watch, but a lot of speculation!
GR -Question for Racer-1  February 15, 2010 08:45 PM
Jerry... stick to skateboards! That's where your knowledge about riding anything stops for sure! Go back to playing pocket-pool since that's the only attention you're getting these days instead of trying to piss everybody off! And Racer-1... let's leave little jerry to himself and maybe he will go elsewhere to get off! Anyway... Racer-1, what's your view on the possibility of Rossi joining Stoner in 2011 or 2012 aboard the Ducati? Spies would go to Fiat Yamaha with Jorge and Hayden could join Colin at Tech3? I doubt if Stoner would leave for Honda or Dani for Ducati! Stoner has put a lot of effort into making the Ducati fit his riding style!
Racer1 -Oh dear Jerry...  February 15, 2010 06:04 PM
LOL - angry little tyke ain't ya! OK - some facts... Casey Stoner won TEN races on the initial 800cc Ducati in 2007 with a further FOUR podiums to sweep the championship with ease - yea, they nailed it out the box. Fact 2. No-one gave Rossi a prayer of winning on a Yamaha in 2003, the season before he left Honda - that season the bike never won a race. He not only won the championship in 2004 on the previously non contender of a bike - he won the very first race of the season. Clearly you have no clue about the sport, but you seem to enjoy being rude and obnoxious so have at it... For what it's worth (and many here know me personally) I raced in 350 and 500 2 stroke classes in Europe and race here in 600 Supersport - not that it's relevant really, but I'd love to hear your racing credentials.
Jerry -Racer1 the only thing you race are pocketbikes  February 15, 2010 05:21 PM
Racer 1 your quote "The initial 800cc version was again an "okay" bike - but totally outgunned by Ducati who got their first 800cc bike perfect right out of the box" Um yeah okkkk....you idiot if the ducati GP 800cc version was such a perfect bike then why the did Stoner and Hayden complain that it was the most difficult bike to ride? Even Ducati admits it you moron. And as for the idiot GR the dreamer who's never even seen a liter bike in person before let alone an M1 you are beyond hopeless if you think Rossi could win on a Kawasaki or Suzuki GP bike regardless of manufacturer backup. Use your head a little the day i see Rossi winning on a Kawasaki or Suzuki GP bike is the day i will finally admit he is a God on two wheels but i know that day will never happen you magazine dreaming stooge.
Racer1 -Fonzy - WAY too conservative re. Spies.  February 15, 2010 09:18 AM
There is absolutely no way at all that Spies has set his sights for top ten in year two! He came 7th - ferchristsake - in the MotoGP in Valencia last November, beating Toseland who has been on the same bike for two years and Dovi on the Factory Honda. Why on earth would he think he would be outside the top ten in his first year after additional testing and being able to set up the bike to his liking?! Furthermore, why 6th or 7th? He is more of a rider than Edwards for sure - more raw talent and way hungrier... I think he will be the solid 5th place on bad day, and I have no doubt he will podium in 2010 - Kevin Schwantz truly believes he will win a race in his rookie year... The new six engine rule will narrow the gap between the factory teams and the satellites this year (one benefit, although I still think it's an awful rule) and I believe that people underestimate the value of a truly world class rider to a team's results. Trust me on this one - if Spies thought for a minute that he would be outside the top ten in year one, he wouldn't have made the move.
Fonzy -Re.Str8Up  February 15, 2010 08:49 AM
Yes i understand it is just testing but look at the results numbers dont lie. He hasnt even began to dial it in. I never said he would Win. But look out he is coming and, he is gonna suprise most of you. My best guess spies wants to be in the top 10 by year 2, He will be in top 6-7 in year 1. Go to motogp .com and listen to some of the interviews he never dial the bike in! He is just riding it, so he can get a better understanding of it, and to be in the top 5 or so just riding like that your crazy to think diferent. but i do agree with you on one thing no satelite teams will ever win, but he will bring it mighty close watch it. If you think about it the rest of the field (non rookies) are trying to dial their in so they should be going faster than Ben.

GR -aaaahhh Jerry  February 14, 2010 11:57 PM
It's so crazy how some people just exploded over another's views! You should first relax before you have a heart attack or something! If Rossi would go to any Factory... that factory would change lanes and everything Rossi wants to win the championship--- he would get! That's simple and plain you toothless sprocket! You should take the gear shifter from you butt and relax on the stands for a while! You sound like a Rossi-HATER! I've been studying MotoGP since the days of Doohan's glory! Yamaha is treating Ben in a similar fashion as Honda did to Rossi when he stepped up to the Top Class! Rossi is no fool either... he left Honda with Burgess---those 2 always make it happen! Burgess does his part same as he did for Mick and then Rossi throws a leg over it then slaughters the field, not so much recently though lol! They chose Yamaha because they both felt that the M1 had potential unlike the other possible title contenders! Now I'm not saying that Ben will have that kind of magic but he won't be far off as long as he doesn't DNF a lot or injures himself! Enough on you though... I for one am looking forward to the 1000cc machines and other rule changes that (Rossi suggested) will come in the future to improve MotoGP! We, the viewers, may get more elbow to elbow action in GP as WSB! If Rossi stays in MotoGP for a few more seasons to put the nail in the coffin of the history books... I hope he moves to Ducati! Rossi and Ducati, an italian Champion on an italian team/bike would turn the cycle racing world upside down! Rossi could have similar buzz with F1 but MotoGP would be crazy! Hey Steve Atlas... if you haven't done an article on that subject--- give it a go and if you have--- tell me where to find it! I know I've said a lot about Rossi (I'm a fan of other riders too) but Rossi is an alien warrior like the Predator! He wants a challenge, he looks forward to the "fight" of it all without all the electronics but with raw power like the old big bang engines! At the end of the day... he wants it to be him against the other riders stripped down dog-fighting style! That's the kind of racing I want to see...
RENDELL -Awesome Write-up  February 14, 2010 07:54 AM
I love both. World SuperBike gives you get better access to the races on the internet for free if you can't travel to Spain.
I've been to Moto GP and WSBK in the States and WSBK is a lot more exciting. I'm here for the fun, period.
Minus Rossi... Moto GP has become boring. Hopefully it will liven up with Spies in 2010. I love the babes in both Moto GP & WSBK equally well ;)
Rossi still rules!
Racer1 -Jerry, Jerry... Your post proves GR right!  February 14, 2010 07:11 AM
Both the initial 1000cc and the initial 800cc M1s were "okay" machines by MotoGP standards... The 1000cc M1 had not a single win in 2003 - the year before Rossi signed to Yamaha. He won the first race of the 2004 season and the Championship that year. The initial 800cc version was again an "okay" bike - but totally outgunned by Ducati who got their first 800cc bike perfect right out of the box. In both cases Rossi and Burgess developed the bike into a world leader - winning 1st, 2nd and 5th last year as you state (which actually proves GRs point, as Rossi was the sole development rider). Could Rossi and Burgess win on a Suzuki? Not in the first year, but I would not bet against them once they got working on it. You seem to lack a basic understanding of how motorcycle racing works - the value of a top development rider and an experienced cohesive team. This is not F1 where the machine is 80% and the driver 20% - before you spout off your bile and childish abuse, I'd make sure that you know what you're talking about otherwise you just look ignorant and uninformed.
Jerry -GR you don't know anything  February 13, 2010 10:54 PM
your exact words "Rossi took the M1 from an okay machine to a Championship winner" if last i recall it wasn't just Rossi that dominated on the M1 you fool. Yamaha placed first in manufacturered points 386. Not only did the M1 capture the world championship, it also placed 2nd and 5th which is a testament to the M1. Do you honestly think that Rossi as good as he is could capture a world title if he was on a Kawasaki or Suzuki GP bike? You are truly an idiot if you say YES he could. Come on use your head a little now, how competitive are the kawasaki and suzuki gp bikes? they are getting their tails kicked every year by Honda and Yamaha. Saying the M1 as an "okay" bike demonstrates your level of stupidity. I think you shouldn't comment if you know nothing about gp bikes.
GR -Greatest Debate Of All Time Pt2  February 13, 2010 07:27 PM
Factory support or not is always a deciding factor for track position! But with all the rule changes in each series... I think we are about to see the most exciting season of Racing in MotoGP and WSB! Now... Let's talk about the riders! There are many talented riders in each series... but true talent can even be seen by Stevie Wonder! Rossi is from another planet... there's a reason why he's paid what he is season after season! If I recall, Rossi mentioned that he would like to run a WSB race as a wild-card but wasn't allowed for "certain" reasons! Rossi took the M1 from an okay machine to a Championship winner and developed it for other Yamaha riders! Many people may want to down-play his talent (except Yamaha Execs) but Ben Spies is Yamaha's Trojan Horse! Ben's approach to riding the GP bike is the same as Rossi's. There aren't many riders that can mentally adjust themselves to ride various machines! AMA, WSB, and now MotoGP... Ben Spies has yet to even play with the millions of settings yet on the GP bike! Team Texas will be up front this season, no doubt---Top 6 finishes! Many riders blame the factory, they blame the team, and then they blame the bike itself as per Max Biaggi for their lack of results! Even when Spies talks... he talks about the job at hand like a he's lived this life already full of experience! If anybody actually believes the media-scripted remarks from Spies... you better keep an eye on him and Yamaha! How could a rider tell the factory... Hey I changed my mind... I want to go to MotoGP next year instead and he didn't even win the championship yet! Yamaha said... Okay ben! We can do that for you! It's all in preparation for when the MotoGP contacts are up in 2010! Where will Rossi, Lorenzo, Pedrosa, and Stoner go??? Ben's learning season will be over by then... Yamaha is looking to the future and after what Ben has done for them in WSB! He can reach Rossi status very soon and get whatever he asks for! Go get them Ben!!!
Racer1 -Brian - right on  February 13, 2010 08:57 AM
Couldn't agree more regarding losing the fuel restrictions, the positive move back to 1000cc (although keep it a prototype class - please) and less electronics. I also think Nori is overdue - I loved seeing Ben winning WSB in his first year with a new bike... But 2010 should be Nori's by all accounts. As to Rossi winning WSB - total slam dunk if he were to enter... There is no godly reason why he would consider it though - less money, lesser series, less prestige and more work - but having followed his career since his 125cc Aprilia days I truly believe he has the most supreme machine control we have ever seen. The talent gap has been narrowed by the introduction of electronics, but it will be a long time, if ever, that we see a rider of his caliber again. This is not just my opinion, Colin Edwards, Mick Doohan, Matt Oxley, Kevin Schwantz, Jeremy Burgess have all said the same thing - the guy is a freak on a bike, in ways too subtle for most to appreciate without poring over acquisition data, but he really is the GOAT.
Brian -Haga can  February 12, 2010 07:04 PM
I have followed Nori all of his world class racing riding. I am not a Ducati fan at all. When I saw Spies win the championship I was Heart Broken. To see Nori work so hard and have to take the back seat. Spies is a awesome rider and will go far. He made the R1 look tops most of the seson. The Yamaha R1 is my choice of bike everytime. As far as riders go Noriyuki Haga is my choice to win and deserves it.He is a champion already and will be the #1 plate holder for 2010. Nori, you stuck with it . It is your year
Deep707 -what if freddie spencer raced?  February 12, 2010 12:05 PM
Would'nt it be cool if Freddie Spencer was back in the scene.
Brain -GP vs WSBK  February 12, 2010 11:05 AM
I do believe that GP has the top 4 to 5 riders in the world, after that,you could interchange them at will and not notice. WSB was more exciting and had better racing last year but i attribute that to the Spies factor,at least for me.I cant wait for the big blocks to come back to GP and hopefully without all the electronics, AND NO FUEL RESTRICTIONS
Str8Up -There can only be 1 Fonzy!  February 12, 2010 10:17 AM
Fonzy, you can't be serious about Spies testing results and what you think he might do when the real racing starts! Don't get me wrong, I would love for Spies to prove me wrong!Im rooting for all Americans, always have, always will but facts ar facts. Noo one has or ever will be a winner riding a sarelite bike. Its not gonna happen even if Rossi or any of his G.O.A.T. friends were riding a satelite bike. If you payed any attention, close attention, you should know about testing. Its just a test!! When the real race's start, the satelite teams will be so far back, the riders themselfs are gonna think they are really satelites!
fonzy -Shoot yourself  February 12, 2010 02:38 AM
"Spies will experience less than stellar results" all those who said this kill yourself maybe none of you have been watching the testing? Well Ben has been in top 5 in both tests, without changing the setup of the bike. Because he wanted to learn the bike before he changed anything. If that’s not good enough then, you’ll should jump of a very high building lol because your expectations are too high.
Fonzy -LOL  February 12, 2010 02:22 AM
BamBam your drunk or high "Toseland was actually good his first year"
what was you watching? Ben came in and showed him up in 1 race! After he admitted to basically not being good enough to ride the gp bike to it's full ability. lol back on subject I watch both series all races. But I must say I like wsbk better but, this year i think moto gp will do it for me! Just because the all american tech 3 team! i will not stop watching wsbk, last year you had at least 5 different winners. motot gp you will only have 4, unless they take each other out which none is that stupid to do. I think maybe if the sat teams got the same things it would be closer. Hey because a yamaha is a yamaha who cares if it is tech 3 or fiat, a win for either makes yamaha look great. The only ones who cares are fiat and tech 3 and if that is the case refuse to sponser till they hire a better rider or better team. Maybe I might be saying this because i want Ben and Colin to do great and put America Back in our rightful place #1 hell at least #2.
bambam9898 -regular guy  February 11, 2010 08:20 PM
I believe Biaggi went to WSBK because he was basically "black listed" in the MotoGP paddock not because his skills where diminishing. He bad-mouthed all the bikes he rode probably because he just couldn't beat Rossi, but he always finished in the top 3-5 in points prior to leaving. He was the "T.O." of bike racing. None of the teams wanted to pick him up so he went to WSBK. Look at where he's at now. He should be dominating the WSBK paddock, but isn't. nor is Checa and he was on a factory Honda. Bayliss won a race in '06 on a Duc. gp bike plus when he came back to WSBK he spanked both Biaggi and Checa. As far as the Haga example, He is a really good rider. I'd say top ten. He went to Gp on non-factory bikes (Red Bull WCM Yam.) or the so called factory Aprilia experiment, but we all know what happened with that project. He finished in the top 3-4 in WSBK because he was on factory equipment (Yamaha, Aprilia, Ducati) The only time he finished 4th on a non-fact. bike was in '04 when he rode for the privateer Renegade Ducati team I believe, but there where only TWO factory bikes out there that season The Fila Ducs of Toseland & Laconi. All the factory teams left because of the spec tire rule making it the "Ducati cup" that season. Toseland was actually good his first year, but I think that the feud wit h Edwards and the pressure of performing after the crewchief swap got to him. Basically, I believe that riders from both paddocks are great as long as there on factory equipment. When the switch to 1000cc happens, I think we'll see another exodus of superbike riders to GP just like in 2003-2004.
c -better racing? in 09 at least-it's motogp  February 11, 2010 08:08 PM
The main point I disagree with is this rumour that sbk has more entertaining races and motogps are parades. I watched a couple 08 races, but 09 was the first year I watched every race both series. There is no question motogp has better races. The rise of jorge, dani pedrosa coming down on dovi in the last few laps of lemans despite over 5 second deficit and melandri's kawasaki podium, CATALUNYA nuffsaid, laguna-- injured jorge almost takes rossi, rossi almost takes dani. Hayden holding back dovi at indy, alex deangelis in italy, colin going for his first win in the uk. Favorites off the top of my head. People say it's only the same four riders on the podium in gp, how many races did spies or haga not win? (6), in Gp there was a 3-way title tie 6 races in. I understand these were fairly novel years, with jorge being competive and spies dominating, but last year motogp had better racing and generalisation won't apply for next season either. Ps. a tip if wsbk has better commentators watch the eurosport version of gp. Great shots, high speed cameras show the suspension compress and the tires squish.I was baffled to here wsbk has a better t.v. show. WSBK cameras seem to miss half the passes and half the crashes-my biggest complaint of either series.
AlexK -Remember Marco Simoncelli @ Imola 2009  February 11, 2010 07:36 PM
Marco Simoncelli had a guest ride last season on the Aprilia and he claimed a podium in the second race. Not bad for a 250 GP rider, you can only imagine what a top GP rider will do in WSBK.
William Ow -SBK vs. Moto GP...  February 11, 2010 06:27 PM
GP is great but I love watching World Superbike so much more. I will watchh SBK live or DVR first then, watch Moto GP when I have time, and some times fast foeward. Moto GP is becomeing too much like F-1, I say drop the traction control and make the race twice as long and see who is the better rider. or make the GP bikes 1200cc!!!

Better Yet. Make the new weight limit for all SBK bikes 320lbs or even less and allow carbon brakes and wheels. They are now cheap and available enough and are fitted to many weekend track days rider's bikes that cost is no longer the issue. When stock street bikes are getting near the weight of the racers, we need to adjust the standards for the racers.The current SBK bike are so not concerned about weight limited that they are all fitted with electric starters (on a racer???). If the weight drops, I would expect the laps times to be very near the current GP times.
I like production based racing.

Santa Cruz, Ca
zxr92 -Fans  February 11, 2010 04:22 PM
Having attended both races over the last 15 years, I have to say I enjoy WSBK more as a fan. Sure I wish they would get rid of their traction control too, but at least it's fun to watch. And most of the riders are great with the fans! Hell, I even got to talk to one of the Flamini brothers at Miller. I don't remember seeing any of the MotoGP brass among the people at Laguna Seca. Seems like the only ones that aren't fan friendly are (some) former MotoGP riders...hmmmmm.
Maxx -Data  February 11, 2010 11:37 AM
Good article, I just wish there was more comparing data on the bikes and rules.
Frank Melling -The challenges to both MotoGP and WSBK  February 11, 2010 11:07 AM
As usual, Steve’s piece is entertaining, informative and accurate. However, maybe it is just a little narrowly focussed. I think that both MotoGP and WSBK face two problems. The first is that bikes in both championships are too fast for many of the available tracks. Even in bike racing obsessed Britain, we now have only one circuit – Silverstone – which is suitable for either MotoGP or WSBK. To make tracks safe for riders – which must always be the priority – spectators are now hugely distanced from the action. Is this important or will the crowds still come even if they need their binoculars? Cash strapped 2010, when everyone will be chasing spectators' admission fees, will provide the answer. The second issue is equally threatening. There are, approximately, 205,000 US citizens aged between 15-64 – the main age group for potential bike buyers. Without labouring the point, that’s less than a quarter of a million. Compare this to 748 million Indian citizens in the same category and 1 BILLION Chinese. Yet, there are no Indian or Chinese riders or teams competing at world level. We all need to hope that manufacturers don’t decide that the smart thing to do is spend their current racing budget promoting their products directly in Asia – and leave the rest of the world to get on with what will become glorified club racing - regardless of what name it goes under. Is this just a fantasy? I’m not so sure. I was recently chatting to the manager of one of the top MotoGP riders and, strictly off the record, he came up with this quote: “The key reason that “Factory X” (the rider’s team) stays in MotoGP is to provide TV coverage for Asia.” Let’s hope that our Asian cousins keep watching!
Fred M. -How to save MotoGP  February 11, 2010 11:01 AM
Here's a wild idea: Base it on 500cc 2-stroke bikes without traction control or other electronic aids. They would be very light, require tremendous rider skill, and would be exciting to watch. Oh, wait...
GR -Greatest Debate of All Time Pt1  February 11, 2010 10:56 AM
Steve. thanks for bringing this topic up again before the racing starts for 2010. I agree with all the previous comments to a certain degree. If all our ideas were put into action by the governing bodies especially for MotoGP... I think it would be f--king awesome track/tv entertainment! The riders and factories would finally get the recognition that they deserve for the best motor-sport in the universe. For MotoGP, they are really getting the bikes close in performance for everybody... factory or not! The switch to 1000cc machines is just the next step to adjusting to new technology vs entertainment! it takes a while for rule changes to manifest for our benefit... us the viewers! WSB is where the battles are for marketing in order to sell bikes! None of us could buy a GP bike even if they were for sale. Hell, we can't even lease one for 6+ million a season so scratch that dream! But in WSB, all the factories are fighting for the all-mighty dollar from us... those that buy motorcycles! It's the perfect place to showcase their brands and sell bikes! With 7 maybe 8 manufactures in WSB trying to show which make is Top-Dog... the dog-fighting for our dollar is GREAT! It's the way it should be for cycles geared for our dollar and street bragging rights! I will be watching both series too! MotoGP and WSB should stay as different as possible due to the expense of them as well as for our enjoyment! All the bs between the two and what makes them great... we should celebrate them... just sit back and enjoy it all!
MTGP -Will 1000s help?  February 11, 2010 10:02 AM
You can argue merits of riders, but I suspect the fact the WSBKs more closely resemble what most riders grew up racing on is the reason more racers succeed there than in MotoGP.

As for overall success of a series, I think WSBK made all the right moves while MotoGP shot themselves in the foot by messing with a formula that was producing the best racing they had in decades (800cc was clearly the dumbest move anyone outside the AMA has made in running a race series). The comparisons to F1 are interesting though as MotoGP has now put itself in the same catch 22 as F1 has - if you eliminate the technology you are no longer the pinnacle of development and possibly not even the fastest series anymore, but keep it and the racing is too sterilized. F1 has made pretty radical changes several times already without any clear improvement. You can’t unlearn secrets of speed when your job is to go fast. And, like it or not, the fastest route is not always the same as the most entertaining.

Sadly, I doubt going back to 1000s now will help MotoGP much. I hope I am wrong, but the electronics and tires on the 800s have already been optimized to produce lap times through corner speed and they clearly demonstrated that sideways bikes are slow bikes. Again, you can’t put the Genie back in the bottle. The sliding and bucking 1000s of old would be too slow to compete with the current no-slide 800s so if the two are on the track at the same time they will have to develop the new 1000s in the same direction. No race team is willing to be slow even if it is good for spectators. The result may well be new 1000s that look the same as the current 800s, a little heavier maybe and a little slower at the apex, but not sliding wildly. The 800s already make 240 or so hp so the addition of more hp alone might not help much with passing unless you can turn on a different line than the main one, which still will be hard if everyone on that line maintains optimum traction at all times.

R34 -RE: Str8Up - Satelite Teams  February 11, 2010 08:57 AM
Even better...For MotoGP, I wish they would do away with satellite squads. I mean, this is the premier league of everything technologically advanced in proto type racing as it can get. I don't even think the CIA could get under the tent in GP they have things so tight there. I like this about GP, I like that what they do transfers to the public by their testing on the field. I am not down playing SBK, but c'mon people...it is like comparing apples to oranges. The bottom line is MotoGP is the premier, and they need to field only FACTORY teams in this series...let the best riders in the world compete on factory equipment. Why do I want to see world champions go to GP "knowing" they need to prove themselves AGAIN only to impress for a factory ride...we know they are the best...the majority of the field are established champions, and 1/2 are rewarded with satellite equipment which is frustrating. For the record though, I don't think Spies will have less than stellar results. That Tech 3 squad has to be the best satellite squad out there to challenge the factory riders...he has already gained quite a momentum in testing this off season...BUT, just imagine if he were on the FIAT team...
Fred M. -Who says? I do.  February 11, 2010 08:46 AM
Kevin Northway wrote: "Who says Moto Gp Riders are better?" I do. Look at Biaggi: After not being able to get a ride for MotoGP due to his declining performance, he went to WSB, where he won his very first race. Look at Haga: 2000: 2nd in WSBK 2001: 14th in 500GP 2002: 4th in WSBK. 2003: 14th in MotoGP 2004: 4th in WSBK It's generally accepted that you go to WSBK when you aren't competitive in MotoGP. The reverse is certainly not true. You don't hear about riders moving to MotoGP after disappointing WSBK results.
Str8Up -Satelite Teams  February 11, 2010 08:32 AM
Dmclone, your get'n this all wrong. The reason why the worst MotoGP riders(you say) don't dominate the WSB is because they are put on satelite teams. And you should know, the satelite teams(WSB/MotoGP) don't get the same accessories or equipment as the factory teams to be competitive enough. I don't consider Max Biaggi in the worst MotoGP category and yet, he is doing fairly well on a factory team. If Max was on a satelite team, he would suck just like all the other so called "worst MotoGP riders!" The same goes for WSB champs going into the MotoGP series. They will never have a chance to win when they get put on a satelite teams! Look at Colin Edwards-a WSB champ, on a satelite team, has never won a race. James Toseland a WSB champ, on a satelite team, has never won a race. Oh but look, although not WBK but AMA, Nicky Hayden, while on a factory team, has won races and a championship!!! So as long as riders continue to get the wrong-end-of-the-stick with these satelite teams, they will never do anything in either series. Dmclone, the only statement you had correct was the fact Spies will experience less than stellar results. Why? satelite team!! I guess the new rule in MotoGP, a new rider must start on a satelite team their first year. Well I would like them to change that. The new rule, including WSB, If you win the championship, the next season, you ride on a satelite team. I would like to see these 4 Aliens on satelite teams to see if they are truely G.O.A.T.'s!!!!How bout that!!! Lol.
Vij -Wish we had better TV coverage  February 11, 2010 07:46 AM
Wish we had full coverage (pre and post) of the races and in HD like in Europe. The BBC coverage makes the US Speed channel look like a mickey mouse production.
charlie toast -Bayliss  February 11, 2010 07:43 AM
So if MotoGP riders are so superior to WSBK riders, how do you explain Troy Bayliss dominating all the MotoGP riders when he rode the Desmosedicci in MotoGP that time? It's a bit simplistic to claim that one lot are better than the other. They are two different classes, requiring different styles. It took Max Biaggi a while to adapt his style to the hurly burly of WSBK. The way Ben Spies gets on might say something, though you have to bear in mind the bike he's riding and how that compares with the ones ridden by the four aliens. I think all the larger riders will be helped by the move to 1000cc in 2012, and maybe Marco Simoncelli will start to have some good results then.
KT -SBK vs. MotoGP  February 11, 2010 07:38 AM
SBK is better because they have 2 races per weekend that are more competitive. MotoGP only has one race per weekend that results in one of 4 aliens getting away at the front, race over.

That said, I'll be watching both series. Can't get enough!!!

AMA needs to take notes from SBK and get they shhhhhh together before no American race series exist anymore...
Kirk -GP is the way  February 11, 2010 07:21 AM
To say "only the worst GP riders got to WSB" is factually incorrect. Bayliss rode a GP bike with very little success, but was a major impact in WSBK. Same thing goes for Toseland. The pitfalls for a WSBK rider entering GP are the very things that Ben is working through at testing. Interestingly, most of the WSBK Champions aren't able to adjust their superbike style of riding for GP bikes. That doesn't make them any less of a Champion rider. It just means their preferred style of riding is not easily adaptable to GP bikes.
As for running 1000cc bikes in GP: Opinion: When 2012 rolls around the Manufacturers will give the motors to the Corse units and the private bikes will run 800s during the season of development for the new motors. I suspect that Yamaha and Ducati are the two forces behind the idea. Why? Because the Yamaha and Ducati motors are making mad power right now. They believe that the horsepower difference between the newly developed motor will be nearly equal to what the 800s are puttin out now. Add a couple of kilos to the 1000 cc bikes the first season to make sure the power to weight ratios are close and WHAM! 800 vs 1000 in 2012. Anyway, MCN reported yesterday the Ducati is ready to make a carbon framed Desmo RR with the 990. Why do that if you didn't already know your plans for the new motor. Ducati could literally have a race bike prepared next season for testing by summer.
BRKNtibia -Superbike  February 11, 2010 07:18 AM
In the early days of WSBK the old joke used to be - "In GP's the fans know all the riders, in superbike the riders know all the fans". LOL
Grammar Ninja -Please proofread  February 11, 2010 06:46 AM
Steve, it was a nice article, albeit a bit noncommittal, but please proofread before you post your articles. As executive editor, you should hold your written word to a higher standard.
Dan the Canadian -GP vs WSBK  February 11, 2010 04:30 AM
Well Kevin, I totaly agree with you...

2 different bike, 2 different riding style...

Rossi might be GOAT for the GP series, but if he really want`s to be the GOAT of all time, he should go to WSBK and win the title.

MOTOGP should stay the top thecnology bike, like F-1. But WSBK should remove all the electronic ( TC ), unless the production bike has it....

But hey, I will still watch both serie. Being a track rider my self, I can only dream of riding a 600 on a top team.........
Dmclone-Iowa -Motogp  February 11, 2010 04:21 AM
The reason you haven't seen any Motogp riders dominate the WSB is because only the worst Motogp riders go back to WSB. James Toseland is a perfect example of the difference between MotoGP and WSB. I think Spies will experience less than stellar results right away as well.
Kevin Northway -Mr  February 11, 2010 03:56 AM
Who says Moto Gp Riders are better? Haven't seen to many GP riders dominate the Superbike class lately and on the other hand, havent seen to many Superbike riders dominate the GP's. Horses for courses maybe.