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Old 10-19-2003, 04:20 PM   #1
97rr
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Is Rossi the greatest ever?

Back in July, during the British round of the 2003 MotoGP calendar, many wondered this. At Donington, Rossi was penalized 10 seconds for passing Capirossi under a yellow flag caused by a crash.

The problem wasnít the penalty, but instead, how and when the penalty was imposed. The yellow flag infraction happened fairly early in the race. However, the penalty was applied until after the race was over. In fact, Rossi went to the podium and celebrated the victory (since he did finish first in the race). Even during the post race interview, Rossi was not aware of the penalty that lured.

The penalty was imposed about one hour and a half after the race.. Which brings us back to our earlier question of Rossi being the best? Rossi and his team complained that; had Rossi known, he at least could have pushed harder. Others said that even if Rossi had known, there would be no way he could have opened up a gap of 10 seconds between himself and chasing rival Biaggi (who was given the top spot after Rossi was docked 10 seconds).

At the time, the point seemed to have some validity. Sure, Rossi is good, but could he really pull a 10 second gap on the worldís best riders. So the question remained open, while everyone admits Rossi is one of the best, no one can surely say he is the greatest. Fast forward to Montegi.

At Montegi, Rossi committed a mistake similar to the one that gave Ducati their first win at Catalunya. While running second, he was following Biaggi too close and he ran wide and off the track. In proper Rossi fashion, he saved the bike and returned to the track.

Rossi returned to the track 9th, behind compatriot Marco Mellandri running on the Yamaha, and 8.5 seconds behind race leader Max Biaggi. Fairly soon Rossi was past the Yamaha and into 8th. His next victim was Capirossi. Next came, ex-Honda rider, Alex Barros. By lap 11, Rossi had passed Barros for the second time, and set a new lap record in the process. By lap 18, Rossi and Hayden both passed Tamada for 3rd and 4th respectively. Hayden and Gibernau were Rossiís next victims.

What did that prove? Rossi can regain 5 to 6 seconds in a race (Biggi won by 2 seconds). But, yes you know there was a but, he had people to catch. He had something to aim for. He had a target. At Donington he was running up front already, which would have made it more difficult to set consistent fast lap times.

Sepang 2003, Rossi wins the race and the MotoGP championship with 2 rounds to go. Last year he won the championship with 4 rounds to go, but whoís counting. Back to the question at hand. After Sepang I read an article on MotorcyleUSA.com that asked this same basic question. The article however, revolved around Rossiís speculation of a switch to Yamaha. The author explained how this seasonís championship hadnít come so easy to Rossi and how Sete was proving to be a real threat to Rossi supremacy. You are probably reading this and saying; YeahÖ itís true. You would be right, however, the points being made were that the only reason Rossi had won the championship was due simply to Rossiís consistency of being able to finish on the podium. Letís examine this point. What does it mean to finish on the podium 20 (yes I said 20) times in row. It means you are really lucky (if you are a person that believes in destiny), or it means that you are better than everyone else (for those that believe in making their own destiny). Whichever camp you belong to, you have to see the importance of such an achievement. This is motorcycle racing at its highest form. Every one of these riders is a top-level rider. There is a saying that goes ďThatís racingĒ. It is used to explain the unexpected which happens fairly often in racing. Rossi has not experienced a ďThatís racingĒ event for the past 20 races. Thatís more than a full season (there are 16 rounds in a MotoGP season) of on-the-edge racing.

Big deal, so today was his 21st podium; so what you ask? Ok letís look at this little fact. Back in July at Donington, Rossi crashed during practice. This was his first crash in more than a year. UhÖ yes, this was Rossiís first crash in more than a year of racing. Please ask yourself this question. How many people do you know that havenít crashed in the past year? Out of that half (if you are lucky), how many rode on-the-edge this past year. None. Rossi rode more than 9000 miles, ridding faster than you and all of your buddies combined. Around people that wanted to kill him (just ask a racer what he thinks of his rivals in a race and youíll understand), and he didnít crash (and finished on the podium).

Back to present day. So today Rossi answered our question. After Bayliss suffered a horrific crash that saw the Australian lay motionless. Rossi made the mistake of passing Mellandri when a yellow flag was being shown at the site of Baylissís previous lap rumble, inflicting a 10 second penalty. When the commentators were advised of the incident, they wondered if Rossi could do anything about it even with his 3 second lead over Capirossi. In fact, for the next 10 or so laps, Capirossi was being referred to as the race leader. When the Repsol-Honda team was informed of the penalty, they showed Rossi a +10 second sign on his pit board. Rossi was in disbelief and in a post-race interview said he wasnít sure what they meant. On the next lap they showed Rossi in P8 (position 8). This was all Rossi needed to know to push harder. Rossi put his head down and for the next laps, he broke lap record, after lap record. And he did it without a target in front of him (he was at the front already). Rossi did it without any mistakes, lap after lap.

After the race, Rossi said: ďthis is the first time I ride 100% from start to finishĒ. Does this prove Rossi is the best ever? Maybe. Some will say that if he signs with Yamaha and continues on winning that he would prove it. I say, look at the present and stop excusing the past. This guy is great. Sure he didnít revolutionize the sport like King Kenny. Nor did he win both championships (250cc and 500cc) in the same year like Fast Freddy. And he has not won more Top-Class championships than Eddie or Mick. But Rossi is only 24. He has plenty of time.

Last week Rossi was offered an F1 test on the fastest car on earth, Ferrari. I have no doubts that Rossi will make the transition without any problems.

We still have one more race to go before the seasonís over. This could be the last time we see Rossi and Honda together. Maybe they can impose a 20 second penalty this time, because 15 seconds would not cut it. He won Phillip Island by 15.5 seconds.


Source: http://www.tribudeichihuahua.com/bik...ils.asp?ID=124
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Old 10-19-2003, 04:42 PM   #2
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97RR, Thanks for the recap! People like you are the reason I read BARF!
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:08 PM   #3
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"He won Phillip Island by 15.5 seconds."

i believe that he is the best. the man is amazing
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:10 PM   #4
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97 RR...
I watched the race today...What we saw was possibly the best racer to ever ride a bike in action . This kid is is AWESOME and I really enjoy watching Moto GP with the current crop of talent.
Nicky Heydon was doing a fine job of putting those who doubted him to waste.....
What a great time to be a race fan....
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:16 PM   #5
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:18 PM   #6
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I doubt rossi will be racing the ferrari F1 car next year. Maybe for 2005 though. Isn't he signed on for another year with honda? And after Michael Shumacher (arguably best f1 driver ever) won his 6th win, and Rubens being one hell of a racer, I doubt rossi is going to nudge his way in hehe.

Nevertheless, Rossi is one fantastic racer on a motorcycle.
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Old 10-19-2003, 05:54 PM   #7
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does rossi have any car racing experiance? I don't expect to see Rossi on an F1 grid anytime soon. Hes the best motorcycle rider there is, but i would bet that someone like Sebastian Bordais, or even someone like AJ Allmendinger would make it there before him.
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:09 PM   #8
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I think he's the best.....Rossi is one of the few racers that can the most from his bike. Something could go wrong, but out of sheer desire and talent, he'll find a way to win.

He does have rally car experience, but he crashed. As for car racing...he's stated that if the fans only see his helmet, he doesn't want to race cars.

I think he's bored at Honda and is looking for a new challenge.
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Old 10-19-2003, 06:15 PM   #9
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yea... he does have some car racing experience. Others can probably chime in with more info, but I know that he has done some rally racing...

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Old 10-19-2003, 06:36 PM   #10
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he is probably the best ever. today's display was just amazing. i think he'll sign with yamaha next year just to disprove the "it's the bike" naysayers. i bet he wants to follow in the footsteps of the multi-marque champions. either way, that kid is amazing. he only loses when he gets bored it looks like. in fact, the race is only close when he gets bored.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:17 PM   #11
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Greatest Ever? Maybe...

His performance today was unbelievable!!
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:48 PM   #12
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Re: Is Rossi the greatest ever?

Quote:
Originally posted by 97rr
Is Rossi the greatest ever?
Yes....probly...
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:52 PM   #13
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You guys seem to forget Doohan's domination and Rainey and Spencers and Kenny Roberts and Mike Hailwood. The next amazing rider will be proclaimed as the "greatest ever" also. It's just human nature. It's pretty impossible to make comparison. For the era he's racing in, yes, he is the best. To make an "all time" call is not possible.
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Old 10-19-2003, 08:56 PM   #14
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I'd like to hear barf's own Rossis' opinion.
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Old 10-19-2003, 09:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Robert R1
You guys seem to forget Doohan's domination and Rainey and Spencers and Kenny Roberts and Mike Hailwood. The next amazing rider will be proclaimed as the "greatest ever" also. It's just human nature. It's pretty impossible to make comparison. For the era he's racing in, yes, he is the best. To make an "all time" call is not possible.
That's a wise response. I agree that it's difficult to compare. I however, am not trying to make such comparison.

I wish to simply state the facts, and the fact is that he is an amazing rider. He will be the ONLY rider to have ever won all four GP championships, 125cc, 250, 500cc and MotoGP. Remember the 500cc will never be won by anyone again. Also, heís ability to adapt from machine to machine is incredible. He was able to make the transition from 125cc to 250cc to the-mother-of-all-two-strokes, a 500cc. If thatís not all, he won the 8-hour Suzuka race on an RC51 SuperBike.

I agree that you canít compare, but you have to admire and realize you are watching one of the greatest. They only come once in a while; while they are here, enjoy them.
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