While we were hoping that Yamaha engineers would have found an answer to Ducati’s horsepower/top-speed advantage, and that Rossi would somehow win the Shanghai MotoGP, it was not to be.
No. 46 fought hard and tried every trick in the book, but with his Yamaha’s top speed down by about 8-10km/h compared with Stoner’s Ducati, and given the 1.2km long back straight on the Shanghai circuit, Rossi had to settle for second palce.
Rossi also made one big mistake during the race, running off the track while trying to outbrake Stoner, and lost a second or two in the process. From then on, the unflappable Aussie was not to be caught. Says Stoner, "I knew Valentino was behind so I just concentrated and didn't make many mistakes. I was expecting a big fight during the last two laps but after he made his mistake I was able to control the race." Indeed, the way Stoner rode his Ducati was admirable – not one mistake anywhere, despite Rossi piling on the pressure.
On an interesting note, Rizla Suzuki rider John Hopkins, who recently claimed in an interview that he’s a better rider than Nicky Hayden, took third place in the race – his first podium finish in MotoGP! Hayden, 2006 MotoGP world champ, failed to finish in the top 10. Now let's see what happens when they all meet in France in two weeks time...Also see:
Ducati 1098 vs 999: Doug Polen decides which is better!
Preaves Monotracer: Life in the fast lane!
Aprilia to go racing in World Superbikes in 2008....
...and MV Agusta to give them some competition!