In MotoGP, 2007 has been the year of David – Goliath has been repeatedly and mercilessly slain almost every time the two have met. In the 990cc era, it seemed impossible that Ducati, Suzuki and Kawasaki would ever be able to stick it to Honda and Yamaha. And yet, with the new 800s, Ducati and Suzuki (Kawasaki aren’t there yet, but maybe next year…) have made the Honda and Yamaha MotoGP teams look like a bunch of clueless schoolboys.
The mighty HRC have been humbled – Honda engineers are looking like boy scouts who don’t know what to do next. At Yamaha, Jeremy Burgess and his bunch of engineers look like idiots, wankers. They have the best rider in the world and they've made him look like a clown this year. Sounds harsh? We don’t think so. After all the talk of Yamaha’s new engine with fancy valves etc being made available for the 13th round of MotoGP at Misano in Italy, Valentino Rossi was forced to retire from the race within a few laps of the start, due to engine problems. And Rossi’s teammate, Colin Edwards could only finish way down in ninth place. Rossi later said, 'I prefer to do something else than race if I have to race like this. There's no battle any more. Ducati and Stoner deserve to win this world championship and I take my hat off to them.'
The 2007 MotoGP world champion (we believe nobody can stop him from actually winning the title now…), Casey Stoner led the San Marino MotoGP from start to finish, taking his eighth win of the season. Suzuki riders Chris Vermeulen and John Hopkins following him in second and third places respectively. In fourth was Honda Gresini man Marco Melandri, while Loris Capirossi took fifth on his Ducati. Pedrosa was taken out by Randy de Puniet on the very first lap, while Hayden, who was lucky to escape that pileup, finished in 13th spot.
Overall, the San Marino MotoGP at the Misano circuit was dull. The last time a ‘MotoGP’ (500cc in those days) race was held at Misano was in 1993, when three-time 500cc world champion, Yamaha rider Wayne Rainey had a career ending crash there. Suzuki rider Kevin Schwantz had won his first and only 500cc world title that year.
What a pity then that when MotoGP came back to Misano after a gap of 14 years, the racing turned out to be dull and processional. We are not, of course, blaming Stoner for any of that – he’s done an outstandingly wonderful job this year, and like Rossi says, ‘he’s ridden like a God.’ It’s just that things have already gotten so… boring? Looks like all that’s left now is to look forward to the next season, when things might be slightly more exciting.
2007 MotoGP: Race reports, interviews, features, hi-res wallpaper...
BMW HP2 Sport to go into production!
Yamaha: Star Motorcycles' V-Max launch delayed by one year
Scoop pics of the 2008 Kawasaki ZX-10R Ninja and Versys 1000
Giacomo Agostini: Rossi vs Stoner...
Book review: Riding Man
25 years of HRC...