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MotoGP half-term report - Pt. 2
8 August 2010
Part two of
half-term report for the 2010 MotoGP World Championship. Rider ranking is by championship position.
What grade would you give? Leave your comments below…
Colin Edwards – Monster Yamaha Tech 3 (48 points): C-
It's been a tough first half of the season for top 2009 satellite rider Colin Edwards, who has 29 points less than his rookie team-mate Ben Spies, despite finishing one more race. Most damning is that Spies has beaten Edwards in all six races they have both finished - often at tracks Spies hasn't raced at before. Edwards has a best race finish of seventh, compared with third for Spies. This time last year Edwards had 83 points and was fifth in the championship. Saved from a D because he insists his 2010 M1 isn't as competitive as last year's bike and for out-qualifying the highly-regarded Spies 5 events to 4.
Hector Barbera – Paginas Amarillas Aspar (41 points): C+
Generally seen as the least rated of the 2010 rookies at the start of the season, Hector Barbera can feel satisfied that he's reached the summer break as the top satellite Ducati rider - ahead of both Pramac riders - and has scored points in every round except Laguna Seca, where a chain problem forced him to retire. Turned heads by qualifying sixth in Germany and has a best race finish of eighth in France.
Loris Capirossi – Rizla Suzuki MotoGP (36 points): C-
Loris has had a torrid time with Rizla Suzuki in 2010. The Italian has crashed out of three races, has a best finish of seventh, and rookie team-mate Alvaro Bautista has a higher race finish (fifth compared with seventh). This time last year Capirossi had 61 points for ninth in the championship and as undisputed development leader he must take some of the responsibility for the struggling GSV-R project. Spared a D because he's three places ahead of his team-mate in the championship.
Mika Kallio - Pramac Ducati (31 points): C-
It's safe to say that Kallio will be fighting for his MotoGP future after a poor first half of his second premier-class season. The only real positives are a 17th to seventh place charge at Jerez, and the fact that he's scored three more points than Pramac Ducati team-mate Aleix Espargaro. Bumped up from a D to C- because he rode through the pain of a shoulder injury at Le Mans and following events.
Aleix Espargaro - Pramac Ducati (28 points): C-
Espargaro, riding in his first full MotoGP season, has the unenviable title of most DNFs so far this year, failing to finish four of the nine races. On the other hand he's shown good speed by out-qualifying team-mate and former 125 and 250 title contender team-mate Kallio 8 events to 1.
Alvaro Bautista – Rizla Suzuki (25 points): C+
As one of only two riders with a Suzuki GSV-R, it's hard to judge rookie Bautista accurately, but we do know that his fifth place at Catalunya was Suzuki's best of the season and the best result by any rookie other than Ben Spies. Bautista's low championship position has been influenced by a fractured collarbone during training, and he deserves credit for braving the pain at subsequent rounds. Has finished as the top rookie in two races.
Hiroshi Aoyama – Interwetten Honda (18 points): C
Aoyama's Silverstone back injury means he has only started four rounds. The last 250cc world champion finished in the points in each of them with a best race finish of tenth, but hasn't really had the chance to understand the RCV and unlock his proven talent.
Alex de Angelis – Interwetten Honda (8 points): C-
Brought in to replace Aoyama at the last two rounds, having not completed any previous MotoGP laps since last November. de Angelis finished in last place on both occasions, but has brought the bike home safely in the points (two 12th places), and been battling for eleventh right to the flag. Dropped from a C to C- for being beaten by fellow Honda stand-in Hayden (see below)
Roger Lee Hayden – LCR Honda (5 points): C
Brought in by Honda LCR to replace de Puniet at Laguna Seca - his first MotoGP race since 2007 and first ever for Honda - where he did a decent, if unspectacular, job at his home race by staying on two wheels and getting the better of de Angelis to rise from 17th and last on the grid to eleventh.
Kousuke Akiyoshi – Interwetten Honda (4 points): D
The Honda test rider was a stop-gap replacement for Aoyama at Interwetten Honda for Assen and Catalunya, but never threatened MotoGP pace. He was lapped in Assen then finished 69sec behind the winner in Catalunya. Only highlight was beating fellow test rider Wataru Yoshikawa at Catalunya (see below) and he did bring the bike home safely in both races. Gets a D for never troubling the slowest of the MotoGP regulars.
Wataru Yoshikawa – Fiat Yamaha (1 point): D-
Brought in by Fiat Yamaha to replace the injured Valentino Rossi at Catalunya, aging test rider Yoshikawa was never expected to do more than ride around at the back. That said, finishing 25 seconds behind fellow test rider Akiyoshi, whilst riding for the best bike/team combo in MotoGP - and on a bike Yoshikawa should know well - is a poor performance. D- for being beaten by Akiyoshi.
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