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Discussion Starter #1
Just got in and switched on the TV in time to catch the last few laps from Moto GP at Sachsenring.
It seems he shadowed Gibernau to the end with more than enough speed in hand to win. Either way he made more fairly elementary boobs - a mistake on the run into the main passing opportunity on the second last lap left him playing catch up.
He made the pass on the last lap, but got into the last turn too hot, ran wide and handed it to Gibernau yet again.
Uncle Mick will not be pleased, not the way he'd have done it at all.
I've commented before about Rossi's unreliability under pressure and the very large number of basic errors he makes which get overlooked because he usually has a bit of speed in hand.
Heaven knows which way the championship is going to go (Rossi is still the clear favourite), but if Gibernau can keep the pressure on him there's a very good chance he's going  win it and thus well and truly bust the Rossi aura of invincibility.
Rossi is at a bit of a turning point right now. His head has not been in quite the right place since last year, far too much attitude, anger and infighting creeping in. The lightness of being of the happy smiling boy was the secret weapon which allowed him to be so consistent in previous years, but he's that no more.
He's left himself under huge psychological pressure in that he badly needs to start winning regularly again to restore the dominance he had before.
It's dangerous territory, because if he loses the psychology he may never get it back. A fall could be the deciding factor, he's been very lucky so far. Looks like we're going to find out what he's made of.
What happened to Max.....
 

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Rossi does his best when he's not taking it seriously off the bike.  While I don't know if I'll agree he can't handle the pressure, he certainly doesn't seem to be having fun.

It's different for all people.  Some thrive on a serious kick ass aggressive attitude (Doohan), and some are like Rossi.  

I'm the 'having fun' type.  The only races I've won on a roadrace bike happened when I showed up at the track just having tons of fun, and not really being serious until the visor was down.  It was really easy on the track, and it all just clicked.  When I get all serious in the pits, try to be really analytical about what is going on...it just doesn't work for me.
 

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Yep, the fun factor is a lot larger than most people realize. Try riding 150 laps just about every day for 4 months. Sure, you hone the skillset, but it becomes just another day at the office and very hard to get excited about something you 'do for a living'.

My best days are when I'm excited and probably a bit rusty, but anxious to get out on the track. I did the 9 to 5 riding gig and it got incredibly old after a relatively short time.

Oh well, maybe Val has finally decided what he wants to be when he grows up . . .
 

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I'll agree that his head does not appear to be in the same place it's been for the last couple years. Could be a turning point for him...he'll have to decide.

Gibernau rode a great race which was mostly missed by the announcers. I find that frustrating. Even when he was passing for the win the announcers were still going on about Rossi's previous pass.

Rossi's talent is probably unmatched right now, but there are other riders out there doing some heroic things.
 

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Yup, I see a turning point coming for Vale. Sete definitely got some psychological advantage today. But after seeing Rossi run off the track, and bust the lap record consecutively, I really don't think he has been riding at the level he is capable of. Maybe winning is just getting old, and/or he needs a challenge?
 

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Oh Crap
Got up this morning to watch the tape I recorded of the race , only to find out I had set the vcr incorrectly
 

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Discussion Starter #9
It does indeed. I finally got to see the whole race in a replay late last night and could not believe that he let Gibernau reel in the two second lead he had from the start.
Something is definitely not right or else Gibernau has upped his game more than he got credit for. (don't forget Max binned it trying to catch them) A great ride by Gibernau.
Gerry Burgess (his tech man) certainly gave a pretty pissed and direct response to a question Randy Mamola put to him. The team looked pretty down as well in the shots I saw - maybe more so than a single defeat might account for. Maybe something is bubbling in the background.
That said my post was maybe more negative towards Rossi than is fair. The miracle is actually that he managed to keep the joy in it for so long. The pressures of racing at that level seem to turn kids into old men in a few years.
I think maybe the question (presuming the thrill is gone in the words of the great BB) is whether he can or is prepared to transition to doing it on sheer willpower and hunger like Doohan did. Perhaps not, it's probably not his style.
Maybe in the end it's another practical example of the of the importance of the good old Zen thing of 'caring but not caring'.
Riders always seem to get into trouble once the fun stops and the ego gets in there and starts getting upset about their contract, others getting better machinery and so on and stops just being happy to be paid to be there or focused on the result.
The Biaggi problem in fact - they start believing in their own myth.
 

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Late reply - Yea I was a little bummed. But to Rossi's defense, the commentators did say he was sick as a dog that day. Don't know if it really affected him or not <shrug> .
 
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