Originally Posted by antonye
So are we now saying that Rossi isn't as good as we all thought he was?
I worship the guy so I'm not very objective. But it seems to me an unfortunate collision of circumstances: he's a rider whose principal asset is supernaturally late-braking, relying enormously on front-end feel, getting on a bike whose front end is notorious - evinced both by Stoner's high number of crashes and his successive teammates' trials with it. And he climbed onto a bike which needs to be ridden on the edge to be competitive, not long after the worst accident of his career, which might have made him subconsciously a little less prepared to ride on the edge than in yesteryear.
It is incredible to think that a machine which won those 3 races at the end of 2010 was made to look so dysfunctional a few months later. And some of VR's and Burgess's claims - that CS was a poor development rider, and that they could sort its problems pretty easily - have come back to haunt them. So, yes, 9 world titles aren't easily belittled, but as MJS says, few realised just how good CS was.
Personally I'm convinced - on the basis of his pace in testing at the start of 2010 (fastest in 5 of 6 sessions from memory), and on the basis of his win (Sepang) and podiums after injury in late 2010, that if VR was still/back on the Yamaha, he'd be right at the sharp end. That makes the bike, or certainly the rider/bike combo, the problem.
Of course what Kev says about WSB is right. If I ran Ducati (ha!), standing back and looking at Ducati's relative lack of success in GPs, and esp in the current climate, I'd pull out and concentrate on sustaining the WSB hegemony.
(And if you're a Rossi fan I guess you hope that in the shuffle at the end of this season he gets back on a Honda or a Yamaha, though it's hard to see. And say...)