I'd like to know how many fastest laps rossi has set on any given weekend in the last... hmmm... 5 years?
anyone want to chime in? fastest lap of the weekend would be a nice indicator of outright pace
It is an indicator of outright speed, but only in the very restrictive confines of what it is measuring - a single, solo, lap in the best conditions, with no other traffic around, and with no tire or track or weather problems, for a very short 2 mile distance. That's it!
It does not "indicate" whether a racer is going to win a race, as so many OTHER factors play an equally important role in that determination, including:
- ability to deal with traffic, other riders
- ability to pass effectively and quickly
- ability to defend a position
- ability to maintain tires and traction
- relative speed of the bike against the other bikes
- ability to deal with changing track and weather conditions
etc, etc, etc.
ALL of these things (and more) are what ultimately determines a racers relative speed against the other racers.
And, what a few folks here tend to forget, is that it is in these other things that Rossi tends to shine. He is NOT as fast as Jorge (or Marc) in overall, solo, good condition, lap times. Probably never has been.
But, he is a MASTER at many of these other, EQUALLY IMPORTANT, factors which determine a racer's ability to win races. He is, without doubt, the best racer in the world in terms of pulling off seemingly impossible passes (and is acknowledged as such by Marc and many other racers), and is a master at defending his position, and is a brilliant wet weather rider, and in managing his tires, and in managing changing conditions or bike issues.
Overall, in terms of what it takes to win a championship, he has shown and proven that he is right up there at the very top, with Jorge and Marc, despite NOT being as fast in solo, single-lap times as these other two. I don't think anyone would argue that Jorge is probably the worlds fastest racer on that measure, or that Rossi is slower than both of them, in that single measurement, or that Marc tends to have a little bit of Jorge and a lot of Rossi in his own make-up, which makes all three of them so close in terms of overall speed in a race.
The season's results show this to be true. (If we looked at fastest single lap times, then Jorge would have demolished the championship, Marc would have been second and Rossi third, and it was nothing like this, with Rossi leading the championship after nearly every race throughout the season.