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December 7th, 2016, 10:33 AM   #1
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MotoGP: 2016 Rider of the Year

2nd Runner Up: #25 Maverick Viñales



When Kevin Schwantz said earlier this year that the Suzuki was a potent weapon and not only a potential race winner but a legitimate, viable factory ride, nobody believed him. Of course, there is always that guy in every group who's all like, "Well I said 5 years ago before he did, but nobody listened to me!" If that person is you, then you should know that nobody believes your story either. In fact, nobody even likes you. You weren't hugged as a child and you live surrounded by a herd of cats. For the rest of us, 2016 has been a revelation and 2017 sees Suzuki emerge as a hotly sought after seat for emerging and established talent. Sure, we could point to the engineers for their tireless work, or the team manager, the on-track technician and mechanics. But deep down we all know who we really have to thank.

Maverick Vinales.

It was Maverick who first showed us that the Suzuki was fast enough to qualify on the front row. It was Maverick who first showed us that the GSX-RR could battle for the podium. And when everyone was praising him for his negotiating prowess in landing the vacated seat at Yamaha, it was Maverick who showed us that the GSX-RR could win in a straight up battle and take the victory.

There's been something that MotoGP fans have been clamoring for over the years, and that's a tenth championship for Rossi. And for Rossi to retire. And for Casey to come back and/or stay retired. And for Lorenzo to be more effluent while simultaneously keep shutting up and keep on winning. But underneath all of the drama fans have really just wanted to see another manufacturer win. Someone other than Honda and Yamaha. Anyone. Member the time when Honda and Yamaha weren't the only manufacturers who could win a race? Oh yeah, I member! Oh, member the time when Kawasaki withdrew and the private Hayate team won the race with the discontinued bike? Oh yeah, I member? Member when Marco Melandri won that race that time? Nah, eff that guy.

So while it wasn't the same level of accomplishment as a victory by Ilmor would have been, into the desert wasteland that has been MotoGP these past years Maverick's win was a welcome shower of much needed rain. And for that alone, even if there was nothing else, he gets into the top 3 riders of 2016.
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Last edited by budoist; December 8th, 2016 at 06:35 AM.
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December 7th, 2016, 11:01 AM   #2
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It was not a GSVR, it's the GSX-RR.

Second, Vinales did exactly what he should have on that bike. It doesn't warrant a 2nd best rider of the year accolade. I'd go further and say he should and could have accomplished far more on that bike. While not a championship winning bike, the 2016 GSX-RR was capable of being a multi-race winner. Vinales couldn't deliver there.

Vinales is overrated as all hell, and being on the Sherpa M1 is only going to further cloud media and fans assessments of him.

He put down great times at the Valencia test?

So what.

At least another half-dozen riders could have done the same thing on the bike.

The media is trying desperately to sell Vinales as an alien.

He isn't and never will be.

My reaction to anyone who keeps holding onto that mirage is this:
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December 7th, 2016, 01:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
It was not a GSVR, it's the GSX-RR.

Second, Vinales did exactly what he should have on that bike. It doesn't warrant a 2nd best rider of the year accolade. I'd go further and say he should and could have accomplished far more on that bike. While not a championship winning bike, the 2016 GSX-RR was capable of being a multi-race winner. Vinales couldn't deliver there.

Vinales is overrated as all hell, and being on the Sherpa M1 is only going to further cloud media and fans assessments of him.

He put down great times at the Valencia test?

So what.

At least another half-dozen riders could have done the same thing on the bike.

The media is trying desperately to sell Vinales as an alien.

He isn't and never will be.

My reaction to anyone who keeps holding onto that mirage is this:
.
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December 8th, 2016, 06:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
It was not a GSVR, it's the GSX-RR.
D'oh! My mistake and correction made.

Quote:
It doesn't warrant a 2nd best rider of the year accolade.
Third best! 2nd best would be first runner up. Time to brush up on your pageantry lingo.

Quote:
I'd go further and say he should and could have accomplished far more on that bike.
I don't think that there's anything objective that supports this. Noone else has been able to win on the current GSX-RR, or even come close. Compared to his teammate, he finished more than 100 points ahead with 4 podiums (including one win) to Aleix's zero. I don't think that you can definitively say that there were other riders who would have matched his times on that bike on that day. There were other riders who were regularly ahead of him all season long on their usual bikes, one of them was even on the same bike and the other won the championship, and none of them were faster than he was. On either day. To be fastest on one day may be a fluke, but on both days and the only rider to make it into the 1:29s makes a statement.

Quote:
While not a championship winning bike, the 2016 GSX-RR was capable of being a multi-race winner. Vinales couldn't deliver there.
I am honestly curious about what you base this on.
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Last edited by budoist; December 8th, 2016 at 06:48 AM.
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December 8th, 2016, 08:56 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
It was not a GSVR, it's the GSX-RR.

Second, Vinales did exactly what he should have on that bike. It doesn't warrant a 2nd best rider of the year accolade. I'd go further and say he should and could have accomplished far more on that bike. While not a championship winning bike, the 2016 GSX-RR was capable of being a multi-race winner. Vinales couldn't deliver there.

Vinales is overrated as all hell, and being on the Sherpa M1 is only going to further cloud media and fans assessments of him.

He put down great times at the Valencia test?

So what.

At least another half-dozen riders could have done the same thing on the bike.

The media is trying desperately to sell Vinales as an alien.

He isn't and never will be.

My reaction to anyone who keeps holding onto that mirage is this:
Bit harsh, I think Maverick is extremely talented (as are the majority of the riders). It has yet to be seen if he will live up to all the hype surrounding his move to Yamaha but it wouldnt surprise me in the slightest if he did and was able to take on Marquez in 2017.

All the "alien' talk is pretty annoying, its a cheesy flavour of the month buzzword being repeated at nauseam.
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December 8th, 2016, 11:08 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budoist View Post
D'oh! My mistake and correction made.



Third best! 2nd best would be first runner up. Time to brush up on your pageantry lingo.



I don't think that there's anything objective that supports this. Noone else has been able to win on the current GSX-RR, or even come close. Compared to his teammate, he finished more than 100 points ahead with 4 podiums (including one win) to Aleix's zero. I don't think that you can definitively say that there were other riders who would have matched his times on that bike on that day. There were other riders who were regularly ahead of him all season long on their usual bikes, one of them was even on the same bike and the other won the championship, and none of them were faster than he was. On either day. To be fastest on one day may be a fluke, but on both days and the only rider to make it into the 1:29s makes a statement.



I am honestly curious about what you base this on.
Oh my mistake third best. Either way I still wouldn't even put him there.

No one else has been able to win on the current GSX-RR means what exactly? Aleix isn't a stellar candidate. He'll have his moments, but he lacks consistency. You can't even count 2015 as the engine was so down on horsepower, it was never going to be in the running for a win. They did however have a phenomenal chassis, as was the case this year. Biggest improvement was in horsepower. Marquez and Rossi could have won multiple races on that bike. MM could have won the title on that bike actually. It was better balanced than the RCV, and it had a much better power band in terms of rideability. Remember, MM won a title riding the worst championship winning bike since Stoner won on the GP7. What do you think he would have done on a balanced bike? He hasn't had a balanced bike, or something remotely approaching one since 2014.

I'm basing it on the fact that I've been watching the GSX-RR, and if that bike had gotten a better engine in 2015, it would have been much closer to the front of the grid than it was. They got the engine right for 2016. In a move that should not have surprised anyone, yet still somehow managed to, they were closer to the front of the grid. Iannone will do as well as Vinales on that bike in 2017 if he doesn't crash all the time. I've already said the Rins signing was a bad move as he is a headcase. So the only to really watch on the bike is Iannone.

And by the way, Aleix finished ahead of him on the 2015 bike. Yes he finished down quite a bit this year, but Vinales was not being anointed an alien in 2015.

Testing is testing.

I remember in 1997 when during pre-season testing a Prost (F1 car) was at the top of the timesheets. It made for a great story. Except when you considered that it was done with as little fuel as possible in an effort to attract sponsors with the prospect of a competitive car. You know what happened when everything actually mattered? They scored a couple of early podiums, and then reality set in, and they moved to midfield/backmarker status. Only managing to break that during the rain-soaked European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 1999 when Jarno Trulli took 2nd in a race where the top cars all crashed out of it. The team went bankrupt a couple of years after that.

Point being without knowing what kind of runs are being done, or if the bike could have passed technical scrutineering, testing is ultimately meaningless for all entities other than the actual teams as they are the only ones who have the relevant data.

Vinales is not an alien, and no amount of wishful thinking, or Oxley/Kropo jerkoff sessions will make this true. A real alien would have either been top 3 in the final standings or won the world title on the 2016 GSX-RR. He did no such thing. He is however a talented rider, but then again so is everyone at that level. The question becomes, is he as good as Marc Marquez? Absolutely not. But as I said, it won't matter to people by and large because he's on the Sherpa M1 --a bike that is so good that it has kept a 37, soon-to-be 38 year old competitive-- that will flatter him rather than the other way around. But as we saw from Rossi, it never stopped millions from over-inflating his achievements, in particular that joke of a 2002 world title.

GP fans generally lack any real sense of perspective, or even awareness as half of the posters here generally exhibit on a daily/weekly basis when the season is in full swing. They do buy into media/Dorna hype in spades. That's a shame.

Last edited by JPSLotus; December 8th, 2016 at 11:10 AM.
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December 8th, 2016, 12:15 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
Either way I still wouldn't even put him there.
Good! That's what makes for good discussion to while away the months until 2017R1

Quote:
No one else has been able to win on the current GSX-RR means what exactly?
It means that, objectively, there is no evidence that the bike is capable of more. As fans, we can say what we feel could happen based on our observations, but it's the people whose butts are in the seat that actually determine the ultimate potential of the machine. Since nobody even came close to doing what he managed to accomplish on the bike, I don't find any evidence to support the suggestion that the bike was capable of significantly more.

Quote:
Marquez and Rossi could have won multiple races on that bike. MM could have won the title on that bike actually. It was better balanced than the RCV, and it had a much better power band in terms of rideability.
Much similar was said about the Ducati when Casey was riding it. It hasn't turned out that way for anybody else.

Quote:
Iannone will do as well as Vinales on that bike in 2017 if he doesn't crash all the time. I've already said the Rins signing was a bad move as he is a headcase. So the only to really watch on the bike is Iannone.
Iannone might do as well, but then again let's look at the reality of Iannone will be facing. He's facing Dovi on the Ducati (who finished ahead of him this year). Lorenzo on the Ducati who seems to be gelling very nicely with what Gigi is offering. Rossi, Marquez and Pedrosa on the rides that they are familiar with, and Vinalez on a bike that is statistically much better than the one Iannone is leaving behind. It is going to be a tough ask for Iannone, and that is assuming he doesn't crash half as much as he did in 2016 - which Vinalez did not do.

Quote:
And by the way, Aleix finished ahead of him on the 2015 bike.
True, but that's not the whole story. First, Aleix was a sophmore to MotoGP at the time while Vinales was a rookie. Aleix also had experience with the Yamaha M1 under Forward Yamaha, so he had a fair amount of experience over Maverick. Despite all of that Aleix finished at 105 (down from ~120 in 2014) to Maverick's 97, a mere 8 point difference. The reversal on equal machinery with Maverick having a year to get used to the class and the bike is pronounced.

Quote:
Vinales is not an alien, and no amount of wishful thinking, or Oxley/Kropo jerkoff sessions will make this true.
I think that you're attributing an argument to me that I did not make. I never said he was an "alien", the second coming of Saarinen or any such thing. Just that he had a really good ride this season and ended up as the yardstick by which all other riders of the Suzuki will be measured until someone does better.

Quote:
A real alien would have either been top 3 in the final standings or won the world title on the 2016 GSX-RR. He did no such thing.
Dani Pedrosa, one of the legitimate holders of the alien title, didn't finish in the top 3. Not even in the top 4. That place, in fact, was held by Maverick by a large 31 point margin over Dovi on the much more developed factory Ducati. I'm not saying that he's an alien, but it seems disingenuous to put him down as not being a good rider when he can take the Suzuki and put it in a convincing top 4 over two factory Ducatis and a factory Honda.

Regarding "testing is testing", I agree. That was why I didn't make it a point of why I chose him.
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December 8th, 2016, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPSLotus View Post
Oh my mistake third best. Either way I still wouldn't even put him there.

No one else has been able to win on the current GSX-RR means what exactly? Aleix isn't a stellar candidate. He'll have his moments, but he lacks consistency. You can't even count 2015 as the engine was so down on horsepower, it was never going to be in the running for a win. They did however have a phenomenal chassis, as was the case this year. Biggest improvement was in horsepower. Marquez and Rossi could have won multiple races on that bike. MM could have won the title on that bike actually. It was better balanced than the RCV, and it had a much better power band in terms of rideability. Remember, MM won a title riding the worst championship winning bike since Stoner won on the GP7. What do you think he would have done on a balanced bike? He hasn't had a balanced bike, or something remotely approaching one since 2014.

I'm basing it on the fact that I've been watching the GSX-RR, and if that bike had gotten a better engine in 2015, it would have been much closer to the front of the grid than it was. They got the engine right for 2016. In a move that should not have surprised anyone, yet still somehow managed to, they were closer to the front of the grid. Iannone will do as well as Vinales on that bike in 2017 if he doesn't crash all the time. I've already said the Rins signing was a bad move as he is a headcase. So the only to really watch on the bike is Iannone.

And by the way, Aleix finished ahead of him on the 2015 bike. Yes he finished down quite a bit this year, but Vinales was not being anointed an alien in 2015.

Testing is testing.

I remember in 1997 when during pre-season testing a Prost (F1 car) was at the top of the timesheets. It made for a great story. Except when you considered that it was done with as little fuel as possible in an effort to attract sponsors with the prospect of a competitive car. You know what happened when everything actually mattered? They scored a couple of early podiums, and then reality set in, and they moved to midfield/backmarker status. Only managing to break that during the rain-soaked European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 1999 when Jarno Trulli took 2nd in a race where the top cars all crashed out of it. The team went bankrupt a couple of years after that.

Point being without knowing what kind of runs are being done, or if the bike could have passed technical scrutineering, testing is ultimately meaningless for all entities other than the actual teams as they are the only ones who have the relevant data.

Vinales is not an alien, and no amount of wishful thinking, or Oxley/Kropo jerkoff sessions will make this true. A real alien would have either been top 3 in the final standings or won the world title on the 2016 GSX-RR. He did no such thing. He is however a talented rider, but then again so is everyone at that level. The question becomes, is he as good as Marc Marquez? Absolutely not. But as I said, it won't matter to people by and large because he's on the Sherpa M1 --a bike that is so good that it has kept a 37, soon-to-be 38 year old competitive-- that will flatter him rather than the other way around. But as we saw from Rossi, it never stopped millions from over-inflating his achievements, in particular that joke of a 2002 world title.

GP fans generally lack any real sense of perspective, or even awareness as half of the posters here generally exhibit on a daily/weekly basis when the season is in full swing. They do buy into media/Dorna hype in spades. That's a shame.
.
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December 8th, 2016, 04:01 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by budoist View Post
Good! That's what makes for good discussion to while away the months until 2017R1



It means that, objectively, there is no evidence that the bike is capable of more. As fans, we can say what we feel could happen based on our observations, but it's the people whose butts are in the seat that actually determine the ultimate potential of the machine. Since nobody even came close to doing what he managed to accomplish on the bike, I don't find any evidence to support the suggestion that the bike was capable of significantly more.



Much similar was said about the Ducati when Casey was riding it. It hasn't turned out that way for anybody else.



Iannone might do as well, but then again let's look at the reality of Iannone will be facing. He's facing Dovi on the Ducati (who finished ahead of him this year). Lorenzo on the Ducati who seems to be gelling very nicely with what Gigi is offering. Rossi, Marquez and Pedrosa on the rides that they are familiar with, and Vinalez on a bike that is statistically much better than the one Iannone is leaving behind. It is going to be a tough ask for Iannone, and that is assuming he doesn't crash half as much as he did in 2016 - which Vinalez did not do.



True, but that's not the whole story. First, Aleix was a sophmore to MotoGP at the time while Vinales was a rookie. Aleix also had experience with the Yamaha M1 under Forward Yamaha, so he had a fair amount of experience over Maverick. Despite all of that Aleix finished at 105 (down from ~120 in 2014) to Maverick's 97, a mere 8 point difference. The reversal on equal machinery with Maverick having a year to get used to the class and the bike is pronounced.



I think that you're attributing an argument to me that I did not make. I never said he was an "alien", the second coming of Saarinen or any such thing. Just that he had a really good ride this season and ended up as the yardstick by which all other riders of the Suzuki will be measured until someone does better.



Dani Pedrosa, one of the legitimate holders of the alien title, didn't finish in the top 3. Not even in the top 4. That place, in fact, was held by Maverick by a large 31 point margin over Dovi on the much more developed factory Ducati. I'm not saying that he's an alien, but it seems disingenuous to put him down as not being a good rider when he can take the Suzuki and put it in a convincing top 4 over two factory Ducatis and a factory Honda.

Regarding "testing is testing", I agree. That was why I didn't make it a point of why I chose him.
Couple of quick points...

Saying much was said about Casey and the Ducati is not even applicable to the GSX-RR. There is a huge, huge difference at hand here. The GSX-RR is one of the best balanced bikes on the grid. The GP7 was out of balance, and was a handful to ride to anyone who stopped to look at how the bike was moving, which most no one ever did. That's without even getting into the engine characteristics of the GP7 and it's successor which was a bigger shit show.

He underachieved on the bike. I'm not looking for anyone to agree with me as I'm sure this forum has figured out by now. I saw enough out of that bike to know he didn't pull the most out of it in spite of the Silverstone win. Too bad he didn't stick around another year there. Though I suspect he may wish he did by the spring of 2017.

Pedrosa is not an alien either even though he might similar in height to little green men. And side tangent, I know you didn't make the argument Vinales was an alien, but that's what drives all of this at the end of the day - the hype about Vinales. The off-season has been characterized by blah blah Lorenzo blah blah blah Vinales, and meanwhile the media in their usual fashion ignored the engine Marquez was running around Valencia with after final race....the one that may see him demolish the entire field in 2014 fashion.

You may not have picked Vinales based on testing, but you did mention his times explicitly in your subsequent post, and I responded to that.

I do appreciate the discussion though, always enjoyable for me.
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December 8th, 2016, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Saying much was said about Casey and the Ducati is not even applicable to the GSX-RR.
It's completely applicable. Yes, the bikes are different but that goes without saying. In fact, it doesn't even apply to only GP. You could also look at Ben Spies in WSBK championship as another case in point. Despite being a rookie and taking the title, or perhaps because of it, there was a lot of talk about how he could have done even better in the races where he didn't finish well and how the replacement team would be solid championship contenders on such an amazing bike. Then it was Camier and Sykes who weren't up to the task to get the best out of it. And then we saw how that turned out.

The point was that in all of those cases nobody else was doing what they were on their bikes. And in both cases people are saying that other people could have done just as well or better on those bikes. In Casey's case we saw the outcome, and it was not what anyone expected. In the case of the Suzuki, it remains to be seen but history has shown that if the teammate can't even come close then someone might be making the bike look better than it really is.

Quote:
Pedrosa is not an alien either even though he might similar in height to little green men.
The people who came up with the term "alien" for the riders gave him that title.

Quote:
And side tangent, I know you didn't make the argument Vinales was an alien, but that's what drives all of this at the end of the day - the hype about Vinales.
Not for me. A fact that will become even more clear as my list progresses. I even called out the hype factor in my Ilmor reference. For me, the top 4 bikes are in the factory Honda and Yamaha pits. Ducati fields a distant 5 and 6. That puts the Suzuki as a 7th place bike, at least at the start of the season. Vinales changed that, for sure, with his riding when his more experienced teammate couldn't regardless of the hype. That puts him up there for me.

Quote:
meanwhile the media in their usual fashion ignored the engine Marquez was running around Valencia with after final race....the one that may see him demolish the entire field in 2014 fashion.
Do tell! I haven't read anything about that, but I haven't been able to keep up lately. What was special about Marquez's engine?

Quote:
You may not have picked Vinales based on testing, but you did mention his times explicitly in your subsequent post, and I responded to that.
Ah, but that was in response to your note that he managed to put down some fast times in testing and that it wasn't a big deal. If I took that into consideration he might have ended up even higher!


Last edited by budoist; December 8th, 2016 at 05:56 PM.
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