Grahluk wrote:The result to my eyes looked like the Ducati had an extra gear or top end power. China's being discussed but my memory is not so strong on that race. Quatar though comes to mind.
I enjoyed your posting. I still recall the phenominal power advantage Ducati (ie Stoner) had at that race, never seen anything like it before, even in the old days of the "Honda lane" at Hockenheim (RIP). But as you allude, and as many people (generally of a certain persuasion) forget, Qatar was the first race of a new formula. The advantage was very quickly reduced so that by just a few races into the season they had nothing like that stark power advantage - see Rd4 China.
I recall at the time an article explaining that both Honda and particularly Yamaha had been way too conservative on their fuel consumption for that first race, erring on the side of caution and that VR finished the race with a litre or two of fuel remaining, while the Duc was dry. To run out of fuel would be to lose face the article argued, not something the Japanese enjoy. As soon as the Jap bikes reduced their fuel contingency the performance was very quickly much more equal. Stoner & the other Ducs still had a slight speed advantage, but as you say that was to be balanced by the other deficiencies of the machine.
Edit: fixed quoting errors