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The Melandri Dilemma

Discussion in 'Racing, Motorsports, and Track Days' started by VtrElmarco, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. While I haven't had the time to muster together my MotoGP Previews, I have still watched this season in detail and with interest. A few things are really sticking out and bothering me, so in an effort to start much $hit slinging I have pondered the following problems.

    What to do with Marco Melandri. He was a dream signing for Ducati at the start of the season. Competitive when the bike is good. He is capable or both racing and winning and an Italian to boot. I sure Ducati were picturing red 1-2 finishes and much pasta and red wine consumed in triumph. There were rumours that he would even push Casey Stoner for results. But from the first wheel rolled in practise on the new 800 cc Ducati GP8 to any wheel raced in anger he has been truly woeful.

    Now I admit the new Duck has had some early season teething probems, but it has still placed on the podium and even won the first race at Qatar, plus with the new software fix, the bike has it's mojo back and now wants to actually go around corners and Stoner is flying again as a result. Yet Melandri is still a whole 3 seconds of the pace.

    As team manager what do you do?

    Do you pay out his contract (rumoured to be significant) and place anyone else on the bike?

    Vito, Max Biaggi or Ruben Xaus come to mind, but people may have other ideas.

    Do you throw more resources and effort at him?

    New chassis, specific motors, last years bike. Ducati are only a small manufacturer so cannot afford any wasted development time by a rider who is soooooo far of the pace, any data generated is next to useless.

    Or do you just ignore him and hope he will go away like your dirty Uncle Joe which they currently seem to be doing?

    There press releases are starting to sound lame and stupid repeating the same tired old lines and excuses for what is an unexcusable result.
  2. There MUST be a horde of riders who'd kill for that ride, who'd probably not be as quick as Casey straight away, but wouldn't three seconds slower than him with that amount of experience???
  3. Exactly Hornet. I would sack him and replace with a hungry young kid with nothing to lose.

    Kawasaki have the same problem with Antwest, and you could swap Casey's name for Hopkins.

    At least Hayden pushes Pedrosa in practise and qualifying.

    Capirossi has been hurt too much to compare to Vermuelen.
  4. Secretly dope him with performance enhancing drugs.

    Even if they make no difference, or make him worse, it'd at least provide grounds to cancel his contract without paying him out.
  5. i've been doing my best to fly flag for you, mate :)
  6. :LOL:

    Thanks thinking outside the box JD. But there is no need to completey tarnish his reputation. Perhaps start a rumour he is gay. Ohh wait, they have already done that with Rossi.
  7. at the risk of stating yet again the bleeding obvious, when a rider at that level has had a couple of 'off's, a little voice in the back of the brain says 'don't try and outbrake Rossi here, if you fall off again, remember how much it hurts???' and unless he can block out that voice, it's time to quit and go car racing, or something safe.
  8. Quality work my man. Quality work. :cool:

    I have another subject I may post next week, but that is a little more controversial.
  9. Can't agree with that. Kawasaki admit their bike is not up to the task, and the riders are doing the best with the equipment given to them. Even Hopper has only shown a glimmer of speed on rare occassion on the ZX har har. Swap caseys name for hopkins, I think not, hopper hasn't at any stage this year looked like even getting on the podium.
  10. It's a crying shame to see Melandri squander his considerable talent on a machine that he just has no affinity with. Best for all concerned to part ways NOW and not continue the bloodletting. Everyone knows he's good. He'll get a ride.
  11. Oh, and probably the best candidate, Xaus, has just signed with BMW for 2009!
  12. Marco has lost the hunger, I reckon. He hasn't forgotten how to race a Motorcycle, however. There are a few blokes in there, who are simply keeping a seat warm, and we all know who they are. it is pretty much the same blokes at the pointy end of the field, week in week out.
  13. Yeah, I just read that. That is a good signing for BMW, and SBK 2009 will be a cracker.

    Could this pave the way for the triumphant return of Masimilliano Biaggi, our ROMAN EMPOURER!!!!

    Deyago will have kittens if he makes a return.
  14. That would be a step backwards and I don't think it will happen. There would be others currently in WSBK that I reckon would be called before Biaggi. Neukirchner(sp?) is turning heads, and would be a certain candidate imho.
  15. Biaggi is a no no. Hasn't been performing on the 1098 this year and apparently has only a race or two left to impress the Motogp team.

    Melandri won't go back to Honda. He bagged their bike last year with Gresini and Mr Honda has the memory of an elephant.

    The problem with the Ducati is that only Stoner has been able to make it work. There are 4 of them out there and only one is consistently quick. SG and TE, though not in Stoner's league, are not slow, yet they can't get their Ducks to quack either.

    No, Gibbers is testing again with Doookati next week. Expect an announcement soon on Melandri's replacement!

    On Ant West. His boss is desperately keen to keep him and make him go quick. He was positively effusive about his efforts last weekend and the work he did in Japan. He seems to have taken a real liking to Westy and you get the sense that if only Ant could get a result or two, it'd be enough to keep him there.
  16. Have admired Melandri's riding ability for some time and when I heard he had signed for Ducati I was somewhat concerned for Stoner as I fully expected MM to really take to the bike. How damn wrong was that?

    The reasons though are discussed heavily on a lot of forums and I doubt that we will ever know the full reasons, just as I doubt there is only one reason.

    I have come to the conclusion that MM has definitely lost the mental edge needed to succeed at the top level and has (IMO) lost all confidence in his ability on the Ducati. This comes from watching his body language and also translated interviews from his blog or other websites. All up, he comes across as a defeated man and IMO will leave Ducati sometime before the end of the year.

    But, is MM to blame?

    I have my doubts that he is teh sole reason as were it just MM you would rightly expect both Elias and Guintoli to be nearer the front.

    No, I prefer the comments I came across in another forum which posedt he question of whether MM is achieving what the bike is capable of and CS is the sole reason why his bike package is at the front. The poster based this on the positioning of the other Ducati's which both have competent riders (Elias moreso than Guintoli) as all Ducati's are languishing near the tail.

    In short, the question is should we be measuring Melandri against Stoner or should we measure against the other Ducati's in order to gain a fairer comparison?


  17. I don't have the massive negative opinions of Max as many, but Cejay is close to spot on in saying that Max will not be back to MotoGP. He first has to get back to being the Max we have grown to love (or in most cases hate) and recover fully from the PI arm injury and start getting results in WSBK or he won't have a job there.

    No, rumours OS appear to be that Ben Spies has allegedly been considered as have Nicky Hayden and Colin Edwards (who denies it). Mind you, there has also been mention of many other names (CV amongst them).

    IMO, if a current GP rider gets the gig, it will be Hayden although Spies, Kallio or another 250 rider could well be the wildcard.

  18. After watching the PI racing, I think the gig should go to Jones. :wink:
  19. Comparisons need to be made against the best not the average. If he's not up to what the best are capable of, he's sub standard for that team.
  20. Nah, I don't think so. If you've made a bike that only 25% of your riders can ride to within a poofteenth of its potential, you have either

    a.) hired dud riders
    b.) made a bike that suits just one riding style

    Ducati have got to be concerned. One DNF or big accident from Stoner and they are nowhere and getting there fast.

    The Yamaha's are consistently quick. The Honda's are always there. The Suzuki's can be ridden by both riders close to their potential and the Kawasaki difference between Hopper and Westy is large, but not by the same margin as Stoner and any of the Ducks.

    If Capirex couldn't ride it, Hoffman had his issues, Barros only produced occasional performances and both TE and SG are not consistent, surely something other than just the rider is at fault. For sure, the bike can't be bad (the result of their #1 rider point otherwise), but Melandri is not 4s slower than Stoner for no reason.