Well, this race, the results were yet again the same. Casey Stoner taking the chequered flag by a country mile and appearing, yet again, invincible. No doubt he is aided to a great extent by that excellent Ducati GP7 and those fantastic Bridgestone tyres that’ve gelled so well with the Italian machine. Suzuki seem to make improvements race by race in their pace and consistency while Yamaha are being limited by their Michelin tyres that are definintely not a match for their Japanese counterparts. Not yet atleast. Whatever the steps that Yamaha manage to bring to their engines or the cycle parts, seem to get negated by the tyres. This is frustrating period for both the team and their star rider, Rossi. But, they can’t complain about the rules as Rossi often is doing. You know, the rules are set, and when you want to pretend to have a go at the championship, you somehow got to make the tyres and everything work for you. We all know that it’s easier said than done. That’s why a team as capable as Yamaha are struggling to get things done for them.
But, we’ve got to give credit to Stoner. Ultimately it’s the rider that has got to make best use of the equipment that’s given to him. And there’s no question that he’s doing it. His consistency will do for me. He has the mind-set of a champion. He realises that he can’t win all races. He realises that he has to make sure that he maximises every opportunity given to him. He always goes for the maximum points available. Whether be it a 1st place or a points finish. He makes sure he gets points from each race. He thinks in the long-term. In short, he thinks the champion way. If he takes this year’s crown, it’ll be a well deserved one.
While Yamaha and Honda have got closer to Ducati interms of top speed compared to earlier in the season, Ducati still seem to have a great edge in terms of acceleration. That was amply demonstrated by Capirossi who just rocketed off in front of Rossi’s Yam when they were accelerating out of a right hand turn. Of course, there are other factors like tyre conditions that’ve a say in this case.
John Hopkins in the Suzuki was the only man who could be vaguely in touch with Stoner. That too only in the early stages of the race. That could’ve been because of their tyre choices. While both of them race on Bridgestones, Hopkins had been using a soft-medium front and rear tyre set while Stoner went in for a medium-hard. Needless to say, the harder compound tyres lasted better, giving Stoner the edge right from the middle stages of the race to the end.