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GP Week : 06-May-2008
M oto GP CHINA >> FOUR races into the second season of 800cc MotoGP bikes, the year is shaping up to be an epic, in terms of riders, bikes and tyres. Where last year the superiority of the Ducati/ Bridgestone combination pretty much killed the contest, this season is much more evenly matched, as the rest catch up. The results prove it: four races with four different winners, and winning honours split evenly between Bridgestone and Michelin. Nor is any one bike massively superior. The Shanghai rostrum had one in-line four with pneumatic valve springs (Yamaha), a narrow-angle V4 with steel springs (Honda) and a 90-degree V4 with desmodromics. The championship table shows four riders with everything to play for. Pedrosa leads Lorenzo by seven points, and Rossi by nine. And though Stoner is 25 adrift at this stage, nobody could rule out the defending champion. If anybody is going to spoil it, it will most likely be Rossi. He is as good as we know he is: would anybody argue with the adjective ‘genius?’ More to the point, the Yamaha has made a massive step forward … and not just for Rossi. The bike works well on both types of tyre, and for all its riders. Unlike the Ducati. Let’s hope that the others will close up any gaps before they become significant. Have the 800s come good? Four races, four winners, three bikes, two tyres ... season 2008 looks like a good one Michael Scott MotoGP editor o p in io n 29