October 28, 2006

For the first time in 12 years, the MotoGP season comes down to the final race.: Nicky Hayden had been atop the championship points board the entire season until two weeks ago. That's when his own teammate, Dani Pedrosa, took him out on a corner during the second to the last race of the season. Now, Valentino Rossi is atop the leaderboard by 8 points. Hayden needs to win tomorrow's race and have Rossi finish no better than third to break Rossi's 5-year iron grip over the championship spot. If you have the Speed Channel on your dish/cable system, take an hour long break from the NFL action tomorrow afternoon and watch this race.

posted by NoMich to other at 07:51 PM - 6 comments

Video of the Pedrosa Incident. One of the absolute worst moves by a teammate EVER. But... Nicky does have a shot tomorrow, although it's slim. He's got nothing to lose now, and Rossi does, which is a switch from the last two months, when Nicky held the championship lead. Nicky's sliding style should work well at a place like Valencia, but I would be shocked if there is not at least one crash among the front-runners. I wonder how Pedrosa will figure in the race. He says he wants to help Nicky now (little late, buddy!). Between him and the two Ducatis, there may be a few bikes between Nicky and Rossi. Hopefully with Nicky in front... Go Nicky Go!

posted by dusted at 10:20 PM on October 28, 2006

Thanks for the heads up, with my little boy digging on motorcycles and monster trucks these days, I might be able to get away with some race time tomorrow! I would not be surprised if Pedrosa is looking for a new team after the season's end.

posted by fenriq at 11:46 PM on October 28, 2006

Pedrosa has another year left on his contract, and other than this incident and a poor performance in the rain, he's been great for Honda. He's very talented and young, so he's probably safe, particularly since the Honda bosses didn't provide any team orders prior to the race. I think that will be the thing that changes: both Pedrosa and Colin Edwards (Rossi's Yamaha teammate) will have strict and explicit orders for Valencia. Of course, Colin doesn't need to be told to not run his championship-leading teammate off the frickin' track...

posted by dusted at 01:47 AM on October 29, 2006

Up until that last race, I wasn't too sure what having teammates accomplished in this sport, but that race was very informative. Dani Pedrosa's teammate, Nicky Hayden, was trying to protect his points lead, but Valentino Rossi was currently leading the race. Hayden was desperately trying to get up there with him, but he was too busy fighting off Pedrosa. Well, we all know how *that* ended up. At the same time, Rossi's own teammate, Colin Edwards, was in second place making it very difficult for other riders to catch up with Rossi. He did a great job for about half the race. Rossi ended up in second place at the end of a very exciting race that had fourth place crossing the finish line less than a second behind the winner. So, there you have it. If your teammate is in the hunt for the championship and you're not, don't wipe him out. In fact, maybe try to block other's attempts to catch up to him. Just a thought.

posted by NoMich at 07:58 AM on October 29, 2006

Well, everything I said above came true, but in a way that I could not have imagined. There was a crash, the two Ducatis did figure in the picture, and Nicky Hayden becomes the world champion. Did you see him after the race? He was literally sobbing. Incredibly emotional and tense, although a dull race in comparison to many others this year (Mugello, Assen and Estoril, for example). Congratulations, Nicky. I can't wait to see how the 800s look, sound and perform next year.

posted by dusted at 12:58 AM on October 30, 2006

I'm really happy for Nicky and am especially happy that somebody new won the championship, but I was kind of dissapointed in the race itself. I was hoping for a shootout between Nicky and Valentino, but with Rossi's early wipeout, that wasn't going to happen. It was also great to see Pedrosa wave Nicky around him. Nice job by the rookie to make up for his debacle in Portugal. It was a crazy season for Rossi. If his bike would've been running right through the first half of the season, I don't Nicky would've had a chance at the title, but thems are the breaks. Rossi is such an egomaniac that I was afraid that he would snub Nicky after the race was done, but he did give his well wishes: Rossi also had this to say about Nicky: "Great congratulations to Nicky he's a good guy and a great rider. He won, he's the best and I'm very happy for him. He's a great fighter, he's always very fair." Here's to next year. And if I'm not too lazy, I'm going to try and come up with a fantasy league next season.

posted by NoMich at 10:25 AM on October 30, 2006

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