Originally Posted by LucasBlack
Ducati hasn't been competitive within recent years except for when Stoner was still on one. He could make that bike quick.
People are so interesting. Across many boards and forums this scenario has played out. Stoner rode the Ducati to a championship while a who's who list of notable great riders did nothing with the same bike.
The truth of the matter is that in 2007, when Stoner won the championship on the Ducati….it was the first year of the 800cc era. The GP7 bike was much faster than all of the other competitors' engines. Ducati had an early start on the project…" according to Ducati's racing chief Filippo Preziosi, by August 2006 Ducati had already built twenty 800 cc engines with various specifications. In addition, an early version of the bike was track tested for the first time during early May 2006. Public testing with the bike began at the Brno Track, where Loris Capirossi had won the day before riding the GP6, on the 21st of August. Capirossi's lap times on the prototype GP7 were only 1.4 seconds off his track record time set on the 990 cc GP6.
… impressive stuff.
"Further testing of the GP7 in Motegi, Japan, revealed that the 800 cc machine could run faster laps than the higher-displacement 990 cc bikes, and held nearly a second advantage over the next fastest 800 cc bike, a Honda ridden by Dani Pedrosa.
MotoGP's 800 cc era officially began with the first race of the 2007 MotoGP season, at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar. Casey Stoner won the race on the new GP7. The bike had a clear top speed advantage over the rest of the grid, due to its higher output motor. A new track record was set on the GP7. Second place contender and five time former World champion, Yamaha's Valentino Rossi, complained that "unfortunately, there was too much difference between (our) bikes in the straight" and "Our Yamaha will never go as quick on a straight as the Ducati." These words turned out to be true, as the GP7 enjoyed a top speed advantage throughout the season, although the other manufacturers (Yamaha, Honda, Kawasaki and Suzuki) closed the gap significantly by the end of the year. Stoner and his Bridgestone-shod Ducati proved to be the top combination in MotoGP and he won the world championship at Motegi, Japan, on September 23, 2007, four races before the end of the season."
Tires were another factor…Rossi and Yamaha were on different brand/spec tires. The Bridgestone was only available to a select few riders (notably Stoner).
Effectively, Ducati caught the Japanese giants sleeping. By the season's end, that gap closed considerably. Stoner is a demigod among riders. I give him full credit for his championships and ability….but he never achieved such high success with the Ducati after that.
Since that time, the Ducati has underwent change after change trying to find that magic combination again…all to no avail.
Great riders and engineers have failed time and again to get the thing working correctly again…again, all to no avail. Moved from a trellis frame to a carbon fiber frame to a traditional Japanese Twin Spar Aluminum frame….all the while CRT bikes are now handing them their ass week, in week out.
Dovisioso regularly was better than Cal on the same Tech 3 Yamaha last year….as good as Cal is….look where Divisioso is this season in comparison.
Great payday Cal….welcome to moving backwards on the grid. Better pray for rain every single round.
I hope someone picks up Hayden. He is much better than people give him credit for. I would love to see what he could do on a Tech 3 Yamaha or even an Aprilia CRT.