THE MAN, NOT THE MACHINE
26 July 2004 | News
Agostini is probably right when he says that in the battle between the numerous Honda pilots - all more or less talented and all with more or less competitive bikes - Valentino Rossi will prevail in the end. That's the opinion of the 15-time World Champion who's seen a few things, maybe everything there is to see.
Doctor Rossi won the race without tremor or too much trouble. His leadership went pretty much unchallenged: A well-intentioned but not yet competitive Capirossi couldn't say much, a rejuvenated Edwards already pleased with a second-place finish didn't have much to add, and a Gibernau in desperate need of results came nowhere near the subject and came in third, even throwing away 4 precious points that Edwards picked up in the end. Members of the same team washing each other's hands is never a pretty sight to see but World Championships can be won (or lost!) by even less than 4 points. Vale and Yamaha give heartfelt thanks.
A heartbroken Max Biaggi came in disconsolately after the first 10. We wish gears would never break, and that the bikes driven by Hayden and Barros were given to Max as well, but then nobody would be happy.
Welcome back, Bayliss, on a Ducati in steady ascent. We hope he keeps on rising - and not only because of the angry sponsors.
No words have been spared in regard to Dani Pedrosa's weight: draconian measures have been suggested and apocalyptic scenes evoked. Other riders in the present and past have enjoyed the same advantage, it's just that no one else ever used it as well. To those who think Dani has no business astride a GP motorcycle, we remember Uncini saying that you have to ride your bike, not bust it in half.
The fact is that Pedrosa has a couple of old friends from his 250 days like Porto and De Puniet who would only be too happy to spoil the party. Porto is perhaps a few races late in making his move; De Puniet looks like he just lets up sometimes, but they're both ace riders with good bikes and racing experience between them - you can never be sure.
Poggiali in the role of Hamlet poses the question: is there a "reset button" for champions you can press? When your PC jams, you switch it off and turn it on again. Then things work fine. Can you do that with Poggiali?
This just shows that those who think the machine counts more than the man have another think coming, and that this particular opinion started losing its truth even at the Welkom race.