The Unrepentant Individual

...just hanging around until Dec 21, 2012

August 22, 2006

MotoGP — Hayden Gives Back

11 points. Hayden, with a truly underacheiving 9th place finish, gave back 11 points of his championship lead to Dani Pedrosa on Sunday at the Brno race. He was lucky it was only that much. Had Dani won the race, rather than finishing 3rd, he would have taken back an additional 9 points.

At this point, with 5 races left, we have the following totals:

1. Hayden — 201 pts
2. Pedrosa — 176 pts
3. Rossi — 163 pts
4. Melandri — 161 pts

Below that is Capirossi with 151, but he’s effectively far enough back to be out of the title hunt. He does deserve an honorable mention, though, as he absolutely crushed the field in the race Sunday, winning by an absurd margin. The Bridgestone-shod Ducati was working brilliantly, and Capirossi jumped out to an early lead, which he quickly extended to break away from the field. In fact, it was a poor showing for his TV time, as he was so far out in front that the cameras were trained on the people actually racing.

And boy, the race for second was pretty exciting. Pedrosa and Rossi were in an absoluted dogfight, racing mere inches from each other. Considering how hard Pedrosa was riding, I was shocked he finished the race upright, rather than in a cloud of gravel dust. There were several times I was worried he would crash himself and Rossi out of the race together. A few laps from the finish, Rossi was finally able to rid himself of Pedrosa, and cruised to a 2nd-place finish. Pedrosa being a rookie in the premier class, though, I can only think we’re seeing some flashes of things to come.

So where does that leave the championship? Hayden can still win, but he can’t have any more 9th-place finishes. While he’s a great rider, both Rossi and Pedrosa appear to be capable of riding at a higher level. His consistency has put him at the top of the standings, but if he opens the door, those two will happily ride right through it. I expect this championship to tighten over the next few weeks, and we’re in for a very exciting finish.

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 11:05 am || Permalink || Comments Off || Trackback URL || Categories: Motorcycles/Racing

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