Thursday, July 26, 2012
+ Has the ability to be victorious on nearly any bike. He won the world championship on separate bikes (Ducati in 2007 and Honda in 2011) and both years he won the U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca too. Stoner joins Valentino Rossi as one of the only riders in MotoGP history to win titles on different manufacturers’ bikes.
– His ego can get in the way if he doesn’t like how a rider beat him – there is a reason his nickname to some is Casey Moaner. In 2008, he cried foul on Valentino Rossi after the epic pass in the dirt on the Corkscrew at turn 8. Rossi’s crew chief countered later that Stoner’s overconfidence lost him the race after Stoner topped every single time sheet that weekend.
+ He is cool, calculated and carefully waits for the right time to dive into the corner for a blindingly smooth pass. He’s also really good on the brakes and that comes in handy at the twisty Laguna circuit.
– This year, it’s his bike. Since joining Ducati in 2011, Rossi has only achieved two podiums and no victories – and that is a dry-lake-bed drought for a nine-time world champion.
+ He is tenacious. Despite comments that his stature would be too small to handle the big MotoGP bike, since starting on the factory Respol Honda bike in 2006, Pedrosa has podiumed three times in Monterey with a win in 2010 and is in contention for the 2012 world championship. With a win in Germany and a second place in Italy, Pedrosa passed Stoner for second place in the championship. He is a mere 19 points down from Lorenzo, his compatriot rival. A second place race finish is 20 points and a win is 25.
– He is prone to crash – he crashed out of the lead in Monterey in 2010, a rarity at this level – and has had a lot of injuries in his career, which has handicapped a chance at more wins.
+ Lorenzo is tenacious. His aggressive style has him achieving a season like Stoner’s strong 2011: Thus far, Lorenzo has finished no race this year lower than second, except for being knocked off his bike in the first corner of the first lap of the Dutch Grand Prix. If 2012 goes his way, Lorenzo could join Rossi as one of the few riders to reclaim the championship after losing it to someone else. He won dominantly in 2010.
– His wins speak a big game, but Lorenzo talks as if it were easy. He says in interviews he likes to be “smooth like butter.” That – and saying things like “[Rossi’s] not a god and you can beat him,” when they were teammates – reflects a cockiness critics say will aid in his undoing.