Ok, but Mladin was hurt for a good deal of the year when Nicky won it. Any way you slice it you have to give Spies as much credit as Nicky when he left the AMA championship.
No, I don't.
If you want to be fair you do. Its clear that the Yoshimura Suzuki is the best bike on the grid but at the time it was clear that in 2002 the HRC RC51 was the best superbike in the world. It won the AMA title, the WSBK title, and the 8 Hours of Suzuka that year. And we all know that given equal rules a v-twin with an extra 250 cc of displacement is going to have an advantage against an inline-four.
So let's look at the record. Spies has 2 Superbike titles, as well as a Superstock, and Formula Xtreme title. But you're not giving him as much credit as Nicky? That doesn't seem reasonable or fair. I'm not saying he is faster than Nicky is or was in 2002 but he deserves at least
as much credit as Nicky for his AMA record. Throw the guy a bone.
Rossi demonstrated that he could win on a slightly inferior bike two years in a row against the mighty 211V. And yes, Stoner won in large part because the bike was so good out of the box. This is not to say he's not talented, much like I'm not saying Spies ain't talent. But talent cannot make up for a machine's deficiency, unlike how a machine can close the gap between less talented riders.
You just contradicted yourself. First you said Rossi won on an inferior bike (I assume you're saying due to his talent ) but then you say talent can't make up for a deficient machine.
I didn't say, don't give him a chance. I'm talking about the 2008 GP races he'll be riding in. To think that he'll do any better than breaking the top 10 is generous, given how weak the GSV-R is compared to every other bike on the grid. He ain't going to be racing on a Yosh Zuk.
You do realize that every
single full-time rider on the grid last season finished in the top ten at least twice right? Its not so far-fetched for Spies to be able to do the same, especially when two other wildcard riders did it last year on a satellite Honda and a Kawasaki no less.
And come on now, the GSV-R finished 4th and 6th in the championship last year. Its not the best
bike on the grid but it certainly isn't a turd. Its possible they won't be as competitive this year as last but at this point the same can be said of just about everybody (except Stoner/Ducati).
WSBK is a cut above AMA. I wouldn't put Vermeulen in the same breath as Spies, for better or worse. They're different riders.
The point is that Vermeulen did well at Laguna in a lower class (he did well there in WSS too) and that Spies does well at that track too. That will play to his[Spies'] favor the same way it did for Vermeulen. Can't say how much that will help him of course.
Where you place in a race isn't the only gauge of how a track has been to a machine. I'm talking about times here. Being 40 seconds off the leader is not something to just brush off. Look, either way, there's nothing you can say that's going to convince me that Spies has what it takes to hack it with the current crop of GP riders.
Hey don't let the facts get in the way. Spies has a stronger AMA record than all but one of the American GP champions. Doing well in a lower championship doesn't guarantee GP success but to say that he doesn't have what it takes to hack it with the current crop of GP riders just isn't supported by the facts. You may not like Spies or have your opinion of him but it doesn't change the fact that he has done more than everyone but Eddie Lawson. But who knows, maybe you don't think anything of Kenny Roberts Sr., Freddie Spencer, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Kenny Roberts Jr, or Nicky Hayden either.
I look at the 2008 grid and I'm just wetting my pants waiting for the season to begin. And to be honest, the top 10 are just in a different league than Spies. That's my opinion.
Yoshi team has done a FATANSTIC job developing that bike! But yea stick him on an average bike and you have a different result...
Conversely, put an average rider on a great bike and they won't get great results. And by the way, this is the same argument that someone trots out in just about every motorsport where someone wins a championship with a superior machine. People said it about Schumacher/Ferrari, people said it about Rossi, people said it about Doohan, people said it about Lewis Hamilton last year, and people are saying it about Stoner. Bottom line is that great drivers/riders get the best machinery and they make the best use of it.