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From Motorcycle Daily:

Bridgestone Scuttles Biaggi's Last Ship
By Alex Edge
The MotoGP "silly season" has drawn to a close, and all the key players for 2006 are in place, save one. For weeks MotoGP enthusiasts have been left wondering "what about Biaggi?".

After leaving the Repsol Honda squad, 13-time 500GP/MotoGP race winner Max Biaggi found that Honda had ordered that none of its satellite teams were permitted to hire him. After the rumors said that Yamaha had also rebuffed feelers from Biaggi's management, fans began to wonder if the former front runner would be able to secure a ride for 2006 at all.

European press sources are now reporting that Biaggi had nearly completed a deal with Harold Eckl's factory Kawasaki squad, only to find that Bridgestone was not interested in supplying tires for an additional rider next season. If the deal had gone through, Biaggi would have been teamed with current Kawasaki racers Shinya Nakano and Randy du Puniet.

Apparently the deal with Kawasaki was very close to completion, and Biaggi had planned to announce his 2006 ride to the Italian press at the Bologna Motor Show, which opens December 8th. Both Biaggi and Kawasaki were reportedly very surprised when the verdict came down from Bridgestone - no one had expected tires to make or break the proposed deal.

If Bridgestone has refused to support another rider for Kawasaki, it is likely that it would do the same for Suzuki - nixing any possibility of Biaggi picking up a ride there. That leaves only the small non-factory efforts - D'Antin Ducati, Team Roberts, and WCM - as possibilities for "The Roman Emperor".

To the fans, Biaggi is a "love him or hate him" kind of personality. Still, it seems surprising that a man with a record of 13 wins, 58 podium finishes, 23 pole positions, and 14 fastest race laps should have such difficulty finding a ride in MotoGP.

http://www.motorcycledaily.com/07december05_biaggi.htm

Gee...maybe because he's a royal pain in the ass?
 

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There's a changing of the guard going on in MotoGP right now.

Biaggi is realizing he was standing way too close to the door - and had annoyed way too many people. When you consider the unproven MotoGP talent that has a seat next year (Dani Pedrosa, Chris Vermulen etc.) - it seems quite apparent that being a good rider isn't enough.
 

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I never liked "Biatchi" but it does seem a bit harsh...especially that Honda forbade all satellite teams from hiring him.
 

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I am no fan of Biaggi, but he played a big part in what made GP fun to watch.

Much like the drama this season between Gibernau and Rossi.

One could argue that these roles (Max and Sete) are catalysts for Val's domination. It is a challenge that keep Val in the game.


Unfortunately Max is at the stage of retirement..But he easily deserves a GP ride ahead of some other riders (Shakey Byrne and Gary McCoy come to mind).

** So my question is this: If you own a GP squad and you know for a fact that you have little chance at dominating; do you put Max or Shakey on the ride? Max will certainly give you more hope.
 

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As much as I personally dislike him, he deserves a ride. He came in 5th last season for chrissakes!

Honda is an arrogant company, I'm so glad Rossi shoved it to them last year.
 

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motorcyclemichael said:
** So my question is this: If you own a GP squad and you know for a fact that you have little chance at dominating; do you put Max or Shakey on the ride? Max will certainly give you more hope.
I feel that if you know that you have little chance, I would try to develop newer riders.

As much as I don't like the guy, 5th should give him a ride somewhere for the next season. I'm sure he'll find somewhere to go, stranger things have happened (still can't believe Ducati signed Sete... <still shaking head>)
 

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motorcyclemichael said:
One could argue that these roles (Max and Sete) are catalysts for Val's domination. It is a challenge that keep Val in the game.
USED to catalysts for Rossi's domination. Look at how they both ended up this year?they are washed out, and can't hang with the big dogs anymore. There are new challengers to the DR?Nicky and Melandri. And neither of them really turned it on until the second half of the season. I think the next couple years could be very exciting as the young guns get more experience and can hopefully give vale a run for the championship.
 

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motorcyclemichael said:
Unfortunately Max is at the stage of retirement..But he easily deserves a GP ride ahead of some other riders (Shakey Byrne and Gary McCoy come to mind).

** So my question is this: If you own a GP squad and you know for a fact that you have little chance at dominating; do you put Max or Shakey on the ride? Max will certainly give you more hope.
The thing is - Shaky and Gary had their deals taken care of a while ago. Max either took too much time - or wanted too much. Being good on the bike isn't enough - you've got to make your best deal before all the deals are gone - and not be a jerk in the process.
 

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admin said:
Biaggi should have announced his retirement and gone out with grace. Now if he retires it's because he was forced out.

Sad state of affairs.
Wooh...Looks who's attention we got here...Big Dawg.. ;D
 

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2005 MotoGP Final Standings

1. Valentino Rossi Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 367
2. Marco Melandri Telefonica Movistar Honda 220
3. Hayden Nicky Repsol Honda Team 206
4. Colin Edwards Gauloises Fortuna Yamaha 179
5. Max Biaggi Repsol Honda Team 173
6. Loris Capirossi Ducati Marlboro Team 157
7. Sete Gibernau Telefonica Movistar Honda 150
8. Alex Barros Camel Honda 147
9. Carlos Checa Ducati Marlboro Team 138
10. Shinya Nakano Kawasaki Racing Team 98
11. Makoto Tamada Konica Minolta Team 91
12. Toni Elias Fortuna Yamaha Team 74
13. John Hopkins Team Suzuki MotoGP 63
14. Kenny Roberts Jr Team Suzuki MotoGP 63
15. Troy Bayliss Camel Honda 54
16. Ruben Xaus Fortuna Yamaha Team 52
17. Olivier Jacque Kawasaki Racing Team 28
18. Roberto Rolfo D'Antin MotoGP - Pramac 25
19. Alex Hofmann Kawasaki Racing Team 24
20. Jurgen vd Goorbergh Konica Minolta Team 12
21. Chris Vermeulen Camel Honda 10
22. Franco Battaini Blata WCM 7
23. James Ellison Blata WCM 7
24. Shane Byrne Proton team KR 6
25. David Checa Fortuna Yamaha Team 4
26. Ryuichi Kiyonari Camel Honda 4
27. Tohru Ukawa Moriwaki Racing 1
28. Shinichi Ito Ducati Marlboro Team 0

Tell me he does not deserve a ride, he's clearly better than anyone outside the top 10.  It must have been his attitude that did him in.

As for the "young guns" (Melandri, Hayden and now Pedrosa), I don't see anyone near Rossi's level.  Melandri probably has the best shot, Hayden's just not smart enough and it's way too much to expect Pedrosa to be in the top group in his first year.

Speaking of Pedrosa, I have a suspicion he may end up like Max in some regards.  Biaggi was one of the best 125 & 250cc riders in MotoGP history (maybe even the best) but the ultra-smooth riding style that gave him his early success, did not transfer to the bigger bikes.  I think Pedrosa has avery similar style to Biaggi, and he may prove to be a bust at the higher levels.

Time will tell...

BTW - Does anyone else miss the 2-strokes, that was mayhem every week.
 

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I think this is really sad. Its politics on Honda's part... they only want whoever will be the best challenge to beat Rossi. The biggest surprise for me was Melandri going back to Yamaha, I thought for sure Repsol would have picked him up.

I think also that Biaggi was very certain that he was going back to Camel Honda... he even said something to that effect in an interview before the end of the season. They wanted him back too... but Honda said "no" Its also pretty clear that Honda has given up on Gibernau... Ducati is just the first step down the ladder towards the privateers. They just aren't competitive and Honda thinks the same thing of Sete unfortunately.

I do miss the two-stroke days, the racing was better and the field was broader. Now its Rossi vs Honda and its a little pretentious and boring. Eh, who am I kidding, I'll be renewing my subscription anyway. ;D

I am looking forward to the new 800cc class I think that might help to level out the field a little more... that and if Rossi retires.
 

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motorcyclemichael said:
Unfortunately Max is at the stage of retirement..But he easily deserves a GP ride ahead of some other riders (Shakey Byrne and Gary McCoy come to mind).
I honestly think that McCoy is a better rider than Biaggi, and better than most rides on the circuit. I see his problems as twofold, first, he has a very unqiue (and winning!) riding style and he needs to work with a team who'll develop a bike around his style. Second, he's very light as far as riders go, and the tire manufacturers weren't willing to make tires soft enough for him because he would have been the only one using them. However, now that Pedrosa is on a Honda the tire guys will be forced to make compounds and softnesses just to suit him. I truely hope that we'll see McCoy again in MotoGP, riding for a team that's going to exploit his strengths.
 

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Novadesigns said:
The biggest surprise for me was Melandri going back to Yamaha, I thought for sure Repsol would have picked him up.
Say wha?!? I coulda sworn that Melandri was still signed with Honda, with what used to be the Telefonica team, now picked up by Fortuna.

As for Biaggi, I'm with everybody else. He's a grade A asshole, but you can't tell me he doesn't still deserve a ride over guys like Jacque, Byrne, Ellison, etc. If nothing else, I want to see him and Gibernau out there to watch them keep folding under pressure. :D
 

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Novadesigns said:
The biggest surprise for me was Melandri going back to Yamaha, I thought for sure Repsol would have picked him up.
Where did you hear that? Last I heard Melandri was still on a RC211V.
 

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zoltan said:
I honestly think that McCoy is a better rider than Biaggi, and better than most rides on the circuit.
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: Now, there's a unique perspective!  I would not put McCoy in this class by any stretch of the imagination.  IMO, he just learned a trick (sliding the rear) before anyone else.  Once everyone else caught on, his days were over.

Novadesigns said:
The biggest surprise for me was Melandri going back to Yamaha, I thought for sure Repsol would have picked him up.
Melandri is still on a Honda, Fortuna runs Honda's now.  He was way ahaead of the field at the tests in Sepang.
 

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Ah well crap... I missed that Fortuna was running Hondas now, they've been a Yamaha team for a while now, sorry bout that! So confusing!!!! ;D


I can't agree that McCoy is a better rider than Biaggi, their records don't support that. And McCoy hasn't been riding well at all for the last few years.
 

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No one has anything to say about Edwards?

Most under-rated rider out there today IMO.  Noone questions Rossi's ability (and they shouldn't), but for Colin to place 4th amidst the dominant RC211V's is a huge accomplishment.  The Honda is still a MUCH better bike than the Yamaha, in almost every respect.

When they swith to 800cc in 2007, I think Honda will be even more dominant.  They just have so much dough and mechanical expertise.
 
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