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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
 
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MotoGP: Unlocking Hayden.

TUESDAY 12TH JULY 2005

Over the coming days and weeks many will be declaring that their faith in Nicky Hayden has finally been repaid with his US GP victory, and that it was only a matter of time before he took his dirt track style to the top step of the MotoGP podium.

But the truth is that, following a highly impressive debut season, Hayden's perceived MotoGP 'potential' had plummeted during a poor 2004 - and equally tough 2005 prior to Laguna Seca - and it is to Honda's credit that they kept public and contractual faith in the Kentuckian.

Success or failure at world championship level rarely happens by accident and it will be imperative for HRC to study exactly what went so stunningly right for the Hayden/RCV/Repsol Honda combination at Laguna Seca - so that it can be replicated.

It is easy to credit Hayden's win as down to a home advantage, but Colin Edwards had even more experience of the Laguna layout and had also won a race on his previous 2002 visit (Hayden in AMA, Edwards in WSBK). Add to that the fact that Bayliss was also a 2002 WSBK race winner, and that Ruben Xaus won in 2003 and there seems more to it.

So what was it that allowed Hayden, who had failed to take a 2005 podium before the US GP, to lead every single on-track session of the weekend bar first free practice on Friday morning (in which he was second behind Bayliss)? Indeed, in contrast to previous events, Hayden didn't appear to put a wheel wrong.

Did prior knowledge of Laguna help Hayden perform well in first practice, which in turn gave him a much needed confidence boost, which in turn helped him go ever faster? After all, a confident racer thinks about solutions; an unconfident racer thinks about problems...

Or did Hayden thrive on the pressure provided by riding in front of his home fans for the first time? Did Honda have a machinery advantage? Did the Repsol Honda team make a set-up breakthrough?

In short, what was different at Laguna? HRC needs to study every detail and find out. If ever there is a time for a report, this is it; putting such domination simply down to Hayden having 'a good weekend' won't be enough to regularly repeat his Rossi beating success.

A machine advantage seems unlikely, since Rossi put his Yamaha second on the grid and Hayden was the only Honda rider to stand on the podium. The home pressure is likely to have contributed to the motivation factor, but it's not like Hayden hasn't been under pressure to deliver in MotoGP before now...

After the race, HRC were putting the breakthrough down to Nicky's ability and bike set-up: "Nicky has been the man to beat all weekend and in the end no one could touch him. His team did a great job and got the bike set-up well, right from the start. They hardly changed a thing," revealed Repsol Honda team manager Makoto Tanaka.

Getting the set-up right, straight away, at a circuit the team hadn't seen before is a seriously impressive achievement - but why were they able to find such a perfect set-up this weekend, at a brand new and technically difficult circuit, and not at racetracks where the team has many years of race and test experience?

Did Repsol Honda follow a different set-up 'procedure' at the US GP, due to the unknown nature of the circuit? Did Hayden's crew start from scratch or take an educated guess? Tanaka's comments would suggest the latter, but what information did they use to take that 'guess' given that Biaggi's side of the garage struggled with set-up right until the race?

Lots of questions, but only Honda and Hayden know they answers...



Hayden celebrates, U.S.MotoGP, 2005
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 11:12 AM
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i think it was all the experience on the track, just my .02


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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 11:32 AM
 
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That's what I think every time I see Rossi dominate another Euro track he grew up on too , so I know where you're coming from. My .02 is that it's his riding skill on a track he is familiar with , and can't wait to see what happens with him in another 2 years of experience on the GP circuit.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
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can't wait to see what happens with him in another 2 years of experience on the GP circuit.
Unfortunately, without results NOW (one win on home circuit doesn't prove alot), he might not retain his Repsol ride. He's been on the circuits for two years now, plenty of time to learn to be fast (Rossi pulled a podium on a brand new and challenging track in one weekend). Keep in mind....Nicky did better in the past two years than he has so far this year. He's not progressing....at least till now.

Don't be suprised if he gets bumped in favor of Pedrosa. Honda wants a new Rossi, and doesn't want to spend 4 years waiting for it. I'm hoping more that Honda HRC bumps Max and runs Nicky and Pedrosa next year. Might be Nicky's last shot with HRC. I don't think he'll leave GP anytime soon....he just might ride for someone else.

Also, this win may have lit a new fire.....only time will tell.


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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 02:59 PM
 
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Nicky's contract runs to the end of 2006. Max's doesn't. Next year is Nicky and Pedrosa.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 03:31 PM
 
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Hayden, Edwards and Rossi pulled straws. The full straw took 3rd, the 1/2 straw took 2nd and the short straw wins. Its a setup, good for tv and makes people freak out and start trying to figure out "WTF! How'd that booger win?" :mum
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 03:39 PM
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:BS :laugh


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 03:46 PM
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lena: honestly i think something was up w/ rossi also. motogp advertising, making news, getting american motogp off w/ a win from an american...who knows

rossi pulled so hard in SUCH a short part of a lap on edwards and on the last lap...why?

to say "LET THE WORLD I CAN REAL YOU IN FAT IF NEED BE"

he didn't look right out there to me...not to take away from hayden or edwards, but i think rossi coulda gone much quicker.

that's just my .02 though. also look at the first race of the season where he BATTLED w/ sete...he didn't do jack this round! be it for championship points or he was asked to hold back, either way he didn't push...that i'm sure of


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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 04:16 PM
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Also, since nobody has commented on it.....

Rossi was the happiest third-place guy I've ever seen. I watched the post-race interviews last night, and Rossi was cracking jokes with a big smile on his face....almost like he was just happy to be in the states, having fun and taking a vacation. It's VERY obious he didn't take that race seriously. I saw him get beat by Sete last year when the Championship was close, and he was visibly angry.

Think about it....first race in the States in years....he has the championship pretty much locked up....Melandri crashed out. He already voiced how he wasn't totally happy with the track layout. Why push it to win, under those circumstances, in front of a US crowd expecting to see an American win? I understand he has a "burning" desire to win, but he also is known to be a clown. The peace sign heading out on the warm-up lap, all the faces he was making to the camera pre-race.....he was in full-on have fun mode. That's not the focused and intense Val I've seen before.

Nicky rode the wheels off that bike. He rode the race of his life. I think Val knew exactly what he was doing. Everyone knows he's a two-wheeled god. Why spank the Americans in front of the home crowd? What would that prove that people don't already know?

THe next race will tell just how much momentum this gives to Nicky.


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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 05:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firehawk2003
Nicky rode the wheels off that bike. He rode the race of his life. I think Val knew exactly what he was doing. Everyone knows he's a two-wheeled god. Why spank the Americans in front of the home crowd? What would that prove that people don't already know?

THe next race will tell just how much momentum this gives to Nicky.
Bingo Firehawk! I knew you guys were smart here! Damn, I gotta give some credit to Corey too
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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 05:15 PM
 
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Hey firehawk, you like my new additional quote to my signature line :mum
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 05:26 PM
 
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Lena , I've been staring at that avatar for 3 damn days now.......
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 05:28 PM
 
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Lena , I've been staring at that avatar for 3 damn days now.......
No trick yet huh? Well just post whore ALOT and send gsxcorey midget gay porn links individually. Its a points system you need to rack up and POOF the trick comes before you know it. :corn
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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
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Hey firehawk, you like my new additional quote to my signature line :mum


I'm very honored, hehe!..... :


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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-12-2005, 06:08 PM
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i agree 101% firehawk...for whatever reason rossi wasn't pushing and i said that in chat to val before the race. if i were in his shoes i wouldn't push either. not worth a crash or anything when the championship is in the bag.

yes i do think he also viewed it as a championship. nobody will know why he didn't drive his hardest but him, i just know he didn't and I think everyone else knows it also. Nothing wrong wit hit, it just is how it turned out.

It was really good for hayden though...I said before I hoped he did well. with how hard he's been trying and all he really needed that and it couldn't have happened at a better time for him...hope he picks it up a bit cause he'll need it on the next races. Either way though he owned that day and i'm sure it's his dream come true...good on him!


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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:38 PM
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I saw a post somewhere, maybe it was here, about how Rossi allows people to win sometimes. I FIRMLY believe that he let Sete win after Kato died, I wonder if he figured that with Melandri out and Sete behind him he'd let Nicky take one in front of his home crowd. Neither Colin or Nicky are serious contenders to beat him for the championship. It's a bit insulting to even suggest that he ALLOWED Nicky to win, but they're supposed to be buds on the circuit and i reckon he knows that Nicky's future is hanging by a thread. Maybe he threw him a lifeline??
BUT, on the other hand...would Rossi be that generous when it's such a big day for his employer..You gotta know that Yamaha weren't pleased that neither of their riders were on the top step!
I dunno, all I DO know is that Nicky rode his balls off and I'm happy he finally bagged a win.

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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:45 PM
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.....and, not to mention, Nicky WAS the only one dipping into 1:22's. If Val let him win, he started planning it during qualifying.

i don't think he necessarily let nicky win, but i don't think he wanted to push a "sure thing" to get a win he didn't really need. finishing in the points is VERY smart. crashing out would have let marco maintain his points gap. val rode smart, and he knew he might have crashed (he did twice last year....he's not perfect) if he pushed.


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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-13-2005, 09:49 PM
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A points finish that increases his lead without too much risk is definitely a smart and mature racing decision.

Its really hard to take an angry man seriously when hes wearing a bathrobe. - Carl Fogarty
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 06:58 AM
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Val certainly rode for the points. No need to push for the victory if its not possible.
post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-15-2005, 01:23 PM
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we will see
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