MotoGP: Are we seeing a changing of the guard? – Stoner wins again
In what undoubtedly will go down as one of this years great races, Casey Stoner (Ducati), deflected an incredible amount of pressure from the second best rider in the history of the sport – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha). Stoner now leads Rossi by 14 points in the championship race.
The record books will simply show, Stoner 1st place, Rossi 2nd but this will tell only a fraction of the story. The lead changed between the two racers and incredible 14 times. For anyone who might be bored with the F1 procession, I guarantee thrills aplenty if you start to follow MotoGP.
As I have said in previous articles, Stoner has matured incredibly this season. He was able to absorb the pressure tactics of Rossi continually throughout the race.
Dani Pedrosa lead from the race start, however it was clear early on that this would be a race between the cunning Italian and the super-fast Aussie. Stoner took the lead after the first lap and Pedrosa was delegated to third, behind Rossi not long after.
His 3rd place performance seemed better than it was. He never really put Stoner or Rossi under any real pressure, he seemed to be content in letting them scrap it out and maybe take each other out to hand him an easy win.
Stoner really shone. Last year he would have buckled under the pressure exuded by Rossi, but this year he was able to give back to Rossi as much as he was handed.
Last year he would have let Rossi pass and settle for a place, but in this race especially he attacked. This ability to attack has a lot to do with the improved machinery in 2007, but Casey has done a lot of hard work to get himself in this position.
With fewer than 5 laps to go Rossi made his move and blasted to the lead, but he was unable to shake Stoner who counter punched with 2 laps to go. In the end he beat his rival by 0.069 seconds. Watching the two of them trying to out brake each other was a joy to watch.
Chris Vermeulen again rued a poor qualifying performance. He began the race back in the pack but was able to salvage a 7th place. His team mate John Hopkins continued his consistent run this year with a solid fourth place. For Suzuki’s sake I really hope he sticks with them next year as they seem to be really gelling as a team (Hopkins/Vermeulen and Suzuki).
Kawasaki rider Randy De Puniet rode the race of his life to bring the normally luckless Team Green machine in 5th spot. De Puniet was still injured from an previous incident and his ride was testament to his toughness and ability. At the end of the race it was clear to spectators he was still in pain as he hobbled off the bike and limped back to the relative comfort of the pit garage.
Once again 2006 champion Nicky Hayden was relegated to outside the top 10, to come in 11th, in what is turning out to be a truly forgettable year.
So for all those naysayers who said the drop in engine capacity from 990cc to 800cc would result in boring races get a life, ‘cause if this is boring you must be dead! So what about the others…well here are the top 10 results
- 1st – Casey Stoner (Ducati)
- 2nd – Valentino Rossi (Yamaha)
- 3rd – Dani Pedrosa (Honda)
- 4th – John Hopkins (Suzuki)
- 5th – Randy De Puniet (Kawasaki)
- 6th – Loris Capirossi (Ducati)
- 7th – Chris Vermeulen (Suzuki)
- 8th – Alex Barros (Ducati)
- 9th – Marco Melandri (Honda)
10th – Colin Edwards (Yamaha)
Entry filed under: MotoGP.