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Three Legends - But who is the greatest?


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#1 vsubravet

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 15:57

Loeb's Seventh successive World Championship got me thinking about his achievements and how do they stack up against two other legends of contemporary motorsport - Schumacher and Rossi.
While it is difficult to compare their records and successes as they come from different spectra of Motorsport, I felt that it would be interesting to argue as to whose achievements can be termed extraordinary.
I'm not looking to put one of the three on a pedestal and knock the other two down but would like to know the views of fans of motorsport about these three legends.


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#2 senna da silva

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 16:14

Loeb's Seventh successive World Championship got me thinking about his achievements and how do they stack up against two other legends of contemporary motorsport - Schumacher and Rossi.
While it is difficult to compare their records and successes as they come from different spectra of Motorsport, I felt that it would be interesting to argue as to whose achievements can be termed extraordinary.
I'm not looking to put one of the three on a pedestal and knock the other two down but would like to know the views of fans of motorsport about these three legends.


I would argue that in Rally and Motorcycles the driver is more of a factor in the overall performance and outcome. But all three have phenomenal achievements.

#3 Sammyosammy

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 16:17

If You have to choose just one of them, I´d say....

..Canada!?

#4 Smile17

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 17:56

Loeb, i hate Schumacher and Rossi. No, I think that Sebastian Loeb had the biggest contribution to his own succes

#5 BuzzingHornet

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 17:57

Loeb, i hate Schumacher and Rossi. No, I think that Sebastian Loeb had the biggest contribution to his own succes


All great, but for me Rossi shades it.

#6 teejay

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 18:00

Loeb came into a WRC that had pretty much crumbled to a shadow of its former self.

Had he arrived a decade earlier would he have won 7 with works teams from Subi Mitsi Ford Peugot etc etc .. no way.

Dominant car and a great driver = titles

Just like Schumi actually - Dominant cars, great driver.

Rossi has done it on different bikes, and stepped up to every "new gun" and put them in their place.

Rossi for me.

#7 phil1993

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 18:26

Rossi > Loeb > Schumacher.

Seems bad ranking Schumacher 3rd but for Rossi to do what he's done has been amazing. Loeb has obliterated his rivals as well but as already said, the WRC isn't strong atm and hasn't been for a few years.

#8 lafitek

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 18:47

Rossi > Loeb > Schumacher.

Seems bad ranking Schumacher 3rd but for Rossi to do what he's done has been amazing. Loeb has obliterated his rivals as well but as already said, the WRC isn't strong atm and hasn't been for a few years.


yes but in the same team lorenzo > rossi :p

#9 simplyfast

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 18:51

Loeb's Seventh successive World Championship got me thinking about his achievements and how do they stack up against two other legends of contemporary motorsport - Schumacher and Rossi.
While it is difficult to compare their records and successes as they come from different spectra of Motorsport, I felt that it would be interesting to argue as to whose achievements can be termed extraordinary.
I'm not looking to put one of the three on a pedestal and knock the other two down but would like to know the views of fans of motorsport about these three legends.


3 greats sorry only two won their titles fairly.
Shoemuncher in no way deserves to be even mentioned in the same discussion let alone sentence as these two great fair sportsmen.

#10 nordschleife

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:11

The extent to which each has dominated his peers is almost irrelevent because the first consideration is "How hard is his job compared to the others?" All are uber-masters statistically so obviously the actual question here is "Which of these three motor-racing disciplines is the greatest?"

We need a test so how about this:

Could you operate any of these vehicles?
WRC: piece of cake but don't time me
F1: eventually (if repairs are constantly made), with no other cars about
Moto GP: by any reasonable measure, no. (injury recovery time would be prohibitive)

Put the pilots in the others' places - what happens?
WRC: Kimi's able but not a force
F1: Rossi and Loeb could match many, but not all
Moto GP: If Schumi can't cut it who among the steering wheel set could?

If you were magically given the ability to operate these vehicles at a competitive level would it still be too intimidating?
WRC: yup, we're talking fetal position
F1: no, I'd be willing to try
Moto GP: sure, how much damage can I do in two corners? But Isle of Man? Northwest 200? Absolutely not. And I'll thank you to never raise the subject again.

My conclusion:
You can eliminate F1 and Michael Schumacher from this discussion.
What Loeb has done should humble nearly all racers. But not Henri Toivonen or those mighty Group B proponents. They are gods.
The rider's component in the success equation has got to be larger than in any other motorsport. You can actually see the extra contribution that Rossi makes. That's called greatness.
So my answer is Rossi.

But riddle me this: Was Joey Dunlop greater still?





#11 Tombstone

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:19

Loeb's Seventh successive World Championship got me thinking about his achievements and how do they stack up against two other legends of contemporary motorsport - Schumacher and Rossi.
While it is difficult to compare their records and successes as they come from different spectra of Motorsport, I felt that it would be interesting to argue as to whose achievements can be termed extraordinary.
I'm not looking to put one of the three on a pedestal and knock the other two down but would like to know the views of fans of motorsport about these three legends.


There's the other Schumacher - no, not Ralph - and Richard Petty to consider too.

Edited by Tombstone, 06 November 2010 - 19:19.


#12 Seanspeed

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:20

All 3 are exceptional talents, but Rossi is something else. A fantastic character, a miracle-worker on a bike, and not too shabby in an F1 car....;)

3 greats sorry only two won their titles fairly.
Shoemuncher in no way deserves to be even mentioned in the same discussion let alone sentence as these two great fair sportsmen.

Schumacher won plenty of titles without controversy.

And Rossi has had his share of pretty shady moves, too.

Edited by Seanspeed, 06 November 2010 - 19:21.


#13 ImDDAA

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:21

Hard to quantify but I think the driver is a bigger factor in WRC and what those guys do is beyond insane, so personally I'd have to give it to Loeb, even with a good car the opportunities to make a mistake are ridiculously huge. Having said that MOTOGP is terrifying too and driver input is paramount to success also. So in conclusion - I'm rambling.

#14 Arska

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:45

Loeb got his titles when WRC was in its worst state ever. I think it's unfortunate, I would've loved to see him compete against the greats in the 80s, 90s and early 00s (against a far more numerous field than these days). But, as a consequence I simply can't rank him as the best in any poll.


#15 STRFerrari4Ever

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 19:55

Have to say Vale takes it. I mean Loeb's achievements are phenomenal but the competition hasn't been tough enough during his successful period to make him the GREATEST.

#16 Dan333SP

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:00

Loeb came into a WRC that had pretty much crumbled to a shadow of its former self.

Had he arrived a decade earlier would he have won 7 with works teams from Subi Mitsi Ford Peugot etc etc .. no way.

Dominant car and a great driver = titles

Just like Schumi actually - Dominant cars, great driver.

Rossi has done it on different bikes, and stepped up to every "new gun" and put them in their place.

Rossi for me.


Agreed fully. Schumacher is one of the top 2 or 3 F1 greats of all time, no doubt, but his era of F1 is so dependent on machines that it's hard to say how much more talented he is than the rest of the grid. Loeb is clearly one of the most talented WRC drivers of the modern era, but would he win so many titles if he were competing against 4 or 5 other factory teams with talented #1 drivers rather than just Ford and their inconsistent lead drivers? I don't know, but most likely not.

Rossi, however... You can't say enough about how talented that guy is. MotoGP is so close between the leading manufacturers and passing is so easy to do relative to F1 cars that it's hard to believe that one rider would be so consistently quick, yet Rossi always finds a way, on different bikes and even bridging eras as he won a world title on 500s as well. Yes, the field is a little depleted this year as grids have dropped into the mid teens and manufacturers like Kawasaki have bailed, but the top riders are as competitive as ever. He's #1 for me, by a mile.

yes but in the same team lorenzo > rossi :p


Did you catch Malaysia this year? Or Catalunya last year? Rossi clearly has been hobbled by injuries this season so the fact that he still generally matches Lorenzo says it all. He's untouchable. It's amazing how he's comprehensively deconstructed his major rivals over the years, from Biaggi and Capirossi to Gibernau and Lorenzo (when Valentino is healthy). I only wish Stoner was staying put at Ducati next season as I think that would be the closest match Rossi would ever have.

#17 Yorkie

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:18

Loeb came into a WRC that had pretty much crumbled to a shadow of its former self.

Had he arrived a decade earlier would he have won 7 with works teams from Subi Mitsi Ford Peugot etc etc .. no way.

Dominant car and a great driver = titles

Just like Schumi actually - Dominant cars, great driver.

Rossi has done it on different bikes, and stepped up to every "new gun" and put them in their place.

Rossi for me.



Loeb got his titles when WRC was in its worst state ever. I think it's unfortunate, I would've loved to see him compete against the greats in the 80s, 90s and early 00s (against a far more numerous field than these days). But, as a consequence I simply can't rank him as the best in any poll.

Tell me who are these great rally drivers from the 90's who Loeb hasn't proven himself against?

Loeb ticks all the boxes for me, 34 and still kicking butt whereas Rossi isnt anymore, as for Schumacher i tend to think that Alonso beat him fair and square in 2006

#18 jonnylayze

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:20

Rossi is in a different class to either of the other two. Schumacher has too many question marks about his sportsmanship to be considered alongside the likes of Clark, Fangio, Moss or Nuvolari.

Loeb has been fortunate that he's won at a time when rallying hasn't been hyper-competitive and he has had the best car. This has also been his misfortune because it leads people like me to doubt how he might measure up against the all time greats like Mikkola, Vatanen, Sainz etc.

In short, Rossi is probably the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. I have watched hundreds of motor races over the last 30 years and Catalunya 2009 was without doubt the greatest race I have ever seen - only Villeneuve vs Arnoux at Dijon '79 really compares.

#19 William Hunt

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:26

You just can't compare different sports. Rally, F1 and MotoGP are different sports.
I won't vote on any of those three.
My votes go to Roger Federer and Justine Henin :)

Edited by William Hunt, 06 November 2010 - 20:27.


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#20 SchumiP1

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:36

Hard to say who's the greater of Loeb or Rossi - but one thing is for sure, that Schumacher is in a class of his own when compared to these two. He has simply worked magic and stayed on top like no one else could.

Edited by SchumiP1, 06 November 2010 - 20:37.


#21 Arska

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:43

Tell me who are these great rally drivers from the 90's who Loeb hasn't proven himself against?


How could Loeb prove himself against any of them? He didn't compete with them directly! It's as simple as that. The problem, like I mentioned, is that his competition isn't so highly regarded - AND is narrow, unfortunately.


#22 JPW

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 20:50

Impossible to choose between Loeb, the doctor and big Schumi. Your post just made me realise how lucky I've been to have watched and met those three giants. :up:

#23 Yorkie

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 21:12

Rossi is in a different class to either of the other two. Schumacher has too many question marks about his sportsmanship to be considered alongside the likes of Clark, Fangio, Moss or Nuvolari.

Loeb has been fortunate that he's won at a time when rallying hasn't been hyper-competitive and he has had the best car. This has also been his misfortune because it leads people like me to doubt how he might measure up against the all time greats like Mikkola, Vatanen, Sainz etc.

In short, Rossi is probably the greatest motorcycle racer of all time. I have watched hundreds of motor races over the last 30 years and Catalunya 2009 was without doubt the greatest race I have ever seen - only Villeneuve vs Arnoux at Dijon '79 really compares.

He beat Sainz in his first full season of WRC and the other two drivers are a totally different generation, i believe Vatanen was WRC just the once

How could Loeb prove himself against any of them? He didn't compete with them directly! It's as simple as that. The problem, like I mentioned, is that his competition isn't so highly regarded - AND is narrow, unfortunately.

Name the drivers from the 90s stop evading

#24 Dan333SP

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 21:12

It's a bit like seeing Pele, Wayne Gretzky, and Michael Phelps all at their peak at the same time. Not the same sports, but they're all equally brilliant and it's a pleasure to see them compete. Rossi's tire sliding around the 3rd corner at Barcelona in pursuit of Lorenzo last year, Loeb being visibly closer to the walls and visibly quicker than the rest in Monte Carlo, Schumacher doing an entire stint of qualifying laps in Hungary to beat the Mclarens with a clever strategy... Each one makes you shake your head in disbelief.

#25 Arska

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 21:24

He beat Sainz in his first full season of WRC and the other two drivers are a totally different generation, i believe Vatanen was WRC just the once


I'm not trying to say he isn't one of the greatest, so no need to be pushy.

Name the drivers from the 90s stop evading


Name what drivers? That I think would be as good or better? Did you miss me saying that he didn't compete with them and that his current competition is narrow? That leads to the conclusion that it's hard to say if he's the best of all time.


#26 Sausage

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 21:25

Rossi is the greatest in this trio, no doubt here. I do think on motorcycles the difference is easier to make though, as for his transfer to Yamaha was a big shock, it was like Schu going from Ferrari at it's best to Sauber or something and yet he was always fighting for the title, something just not possible in F1 if your car is not among the best. Besides that he's a great entertainer and has passion beyond passion for the sport. (though imho he does divebomb lol)

As for Loeb, arguably one of the best rally drivers ever yep, he's fantastic, but I can't really rate him compared to the other 2.

#27 Hippo

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 21:28

Loeb came into a WRC that had pretty much crumbled to a shadow of its former self.

Had he arrived a decade earlier would he have won 7 with works teams from Subi Mitsi Ford Peugot etc etc .. no way.

Dominant car and a great driver = titles

Just like Schumi actually - Dominant cars, great driver.

Rossi has done it on different bikes, and stepped up to every "new gun" and put them in their place.

Rossi for me.

Well, one could say the same about MotoGP. Nowadays there are what, 15 bikes starting into the races? Ridiculous. Imho GP bike racing is a shade of former decades as well. Had Rossi won 7 titles around 1990? No way...

#28 undersquare

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 23:41

Loeb.

This weak competition argument can be made just as easily for the bikes and much of Schumi's career too. It can't be proven anyway, his achievement is to prevent other stars shining.

And Loeb has never needed any tricks to get his results. Totally sporting and respectful guy. :up: :up:

#29 Les

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Posted 06 November 2010 - 23:50

I couldn't really say to be honest, all have had a go at some of the other disciplines - Schumacher with Bikes, Loeb and Rossi with F1. Rossi with rallying too. I don't think the magic they had in their own disciplines was quite evident when they tried different forms of motor sport. As I said I couldn't pick one out of the three and say he's better. I do have a gut feeling though and that says Rossi.

#30 W154

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 00:00

The extent to which each has dominated his peers is almost irrelevent because the first consideration is "How hard is his job compared to the others?" All are uber-masters statistically so obviously the actual question here is "Which of these three motor-racing disciplines is the greatest?"

We need a test so how about this:

Could you operate any of these vehicles?
WRC: piece of cake but don't time me
F1: eventually (if repairs are constantly made), with no other cars about
Moto GP: by any reasonable measure, no. (injury recovery time would be prohibitive)

Put the pilots in the others' places - what happens?
WRC: Kimi's able but not a force
F1: Rossi and Loeb could match many, but not all
Moto GP: If Schumi can't cut it who among the steering wheel set could?

If you were magically given the ability to operate these vehicles at a competitive level would it still be too intimidating?
WRC: yup, we're talking fetal position
F1: no, I'd be willing to try
Moto GP: sure, how much damage can I do in two corners? But Isle of Man? Northwest 200? Absolutely not. And I'll thank you to never raise the subject again.

My conclusion:
You can eliminate F1 and Michael Schumacher from this discussion.
What Loeb has done should humble nearly all racers. But not Henri Toivonen or those mighty Group B proponents. They are gods.
The rider's component in the success equation has got to be larger than in any other motorsport. You can actually see the extra contribution that Rossi makes. That's called greatness.
So my answer is Rossi.

But riddle me this: Was Joey Dunlop greater still?

No, but Mike Hailwood was. Could have won on 4 wheels with decent car.
John Surtees won World Championships on 2 and 4 wheels so 2 out of 3 aint bad.
Can't see Rossi , Loeb or MS doing that any time soon.

#31 FigJam

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 00:22

Rossi...easily.

It's taken some hefty injuries to bring him back to the pack. Says it all.

Absolute legend and a showman to boot. :up:

#32 juicy sushi

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 00:37

I would not make a judgement based on their records. All 3 have impressive careers with stunning statistics. The only way to separate them, I think, is to measure their impact on the sport. If they left the series, what would be the effect? In F1, Schumacher retired, and the sport just kept going, with new heros to worship and new legends to create. In rallying, if Loeb left, there would be someone after them. In MotoGP though, Valentino Rossi has brought so much new interest into the series, and raised the profile of the series so much, that I can only compare it to the effect Michael Jordan had on the NBA. They have never equalled the profile he brought to the sport in the years since, and I think that will be the same with MotoGP. He transcended the series and became bigger than MotoGP. Loeb and Schumacher did not do that.

#33 Yorkie

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:54

I'm not trying to say he isn't one of the greatest, so no need to be pushy.



Name what drivers? That I think would be as good or better? Did you miss me saying that he didn't compete with them and that his current competition is narrow? That leads to the conclusion that it's hard to say if he's the best of all time.

7 out of the 10 WRC's in the 1990's were won by 3 drivers, Tommi Makkinen, Carlos Sainz and Colin McRae, Loeb competed against all 3 of these in his maiden first full season and finished above them all. Sainz and McRae were actually Loeb's teammates so you cant even throw the superior car arguement against him.

#34 Yorkie

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:56

Rossi is the greatest in this trio, no doubt here. I do think on motorcycles the difference is easier to make though, as for his transfer to Yamaha was a big shock, it was like Schu going from Ferrari at it's best to Sauber or something and yet he was always fighting for the title, something just not possible in F1 if your car is not among the best. Besides that he's a great entertainer and has passion beyond passion for the sport. (though imho he does divebomb lol)

As for Loeb, arguably one of the best rally drivers ever yep, he's fantastic, but I can't really rate him compared to the other 2.

That arguement falls apart now though because at 31 Rossi no longer reigns supreme but Loeb at 34 still does

#35 LB

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:22

That arguement falls apart now though because at 31 Rossi no longer reigns supreme but Loeb at 34 still does


Rossi still brings it remember he broke his leg this year missed 4 grand prixs and is still third with a chance of second.

Loeb has no real competition at the moment.

#36 Yorkie

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:39

Rossi still brings it remember he broke his leg this year missed 4 grand prixs and is still third with a chance of second.

Loeb has no real competition at the moment.

Surely this is about someone being head and shoulders above the rest which Rossi isnt anymore, he's just one of the 4 aliens as they're called, Rossi, Lorenzo, Stoner and Pedrosa. Loeb has no competition because he's that good and he's basically seen off 6 WRC champions.

#37 SoL

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:39

As much as I think Rossi is somewhat of a tool, the ranking has to be

Rossi-> Schue -> Loeb.



#38 Kelateboy

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:44

Rossi...easily.

It's taken some hefty injuries to bring him back to the pack. Says it all.

Absolute legend and a showman to boot. :up:

Rossi was not injured early this season and he was still outpaced by his teammate - mother nature takes its toll.

But my money is on Rossi as well. He became human only after he lost the title to Nicky Hayden. Before that, he was unbeatable.

#39 Yorkie

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:46

Rossi was not injured early this season and he was still outpaced by his teammate - mother nature takes its toll.

But my money is on Rossi as well. He became human only after he lost the title to Nicky Hayden. Before that, he was unbeatable.

He was unbeatable because the likes of Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo were not around.

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#40 Kelateboy

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 02:53

He was unbeatable because the likes of Pedrosa, Stoner and Lorenzo were not around.

Stoner lost to my friend, Shahrul Yuzy, when both of them competed in 250cc before Stoner switched to the premier class.

So, Stoner can't be that great.... :D



#41 FigJam

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 03:40

Rossi was not injured early this season and he was still outpaced by his teammate - mother nature takes its toll.

But my money is on Rossi as well. He became human only after he lost the title to Nicky Hayden. Before that, he was unbeatable.


Rossi is human...which is why occasionally he is beaten. Occasionally.

Yet everytime it happens, he bounces back and dominates once more. That is why he is a class above the rest of his opponents, past and present.

That is the hallmark of a legend. Doing it yet again next year with Ducati would only enhance that legend even further.

He's been in a class of his own for a decade and transcended his sport. Loeb and schumacher can't match that.

#42 HPT

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 04:44

Can they really be compared? The similarities between the three categories stop at operating machines with wheels and an engine, especially when comparing cars and motorbikes. It's like asking who is greater between Tiger Woods and Ricky Ponting just because they both use sticks to clobber balls.

Edited by HPT, 07 November 2010 - 04:45.


#43 LB

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 05:57

Rossi was not injured early this season and he was still outpaced by his teammate - mother nature takes its toll.

But my money is on Rossi as well. He became human only after he lost the title to Nicky Hayden. Before that, he was unbeatable.


Actually he was, he raced with a shoulder injury early this season

^^^ thats easy... Woods...

Edited by LB, 07 November 2010 - 05:57.


#44 Dan333SP

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 14:50

FWIW, I just got the latest Top Gear magazine and the readers were polled with basically the same question, except Tom Kristensen was included for his accomplishments in the Le Mans prototype world. The results? 38% said MSC was the "greatest champion", 34% voted for Rossi, 24% for Loeb, and 4% for TK.

#45 milestone 11

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 15:03

So my answer is Rossi.

But riddle me this: Was Joey Dunlop greater still?

:up: Great post nordschleife.
Joey, what can one say, supreme over the mountain. See the top yellow stripe on my avatar?, that's in homage to...
If you introduce Joey though, I think it's only fair to introduce Ago and Mike the bike into the equation.
To answer question though, no contest. Vale, Seb with Michael bringing up the rear.


#46 Dan333SP

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 15:07

I think if the question is rephrased to be, "Who has the biggest balls?", Joey Dunlop would win in a landslide ;). That man was unbeatable around the TT, also apparently a very nice guy according to a friend who was close to him.

#47 vsubravet

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 15:34

It's a bit like seeing Pele, Wayne Gretzky, and Michael Phelps all at their peak at the same time. Not the same sports, but they're all equally brilliant and it's a pleasure to see them compete. Rossi's tire sliding around the 3rd corner at Barcelona in pursuit of Lorenzo last year, Loeb being visibly closer to the walls and visibly quicker than the rest in Monte Carlo, Schumacher doing an entire stint of qualifying laps in Hungary to beat the Mclarens with a clever strategy... Each one makes you shake your head in disbelief.


Yep, that's my view too, when thinking about these giants. Lack of Manufacturers as opposition cannot be held against Loeb; if it was so easy then we'd have seen the other drivers snatch a title or too in between but no, that hasn't materialised. Seven in a row is awesome by any stretch of imagination. And I wouldn't hold some of Schumi's shenanigans against him; we're discussing race drivers and not Saints. Rossi, of course, has proven his talent in no uncertain terms. The discussion could go on but I'm going with Loeb...

#48 nordschleife

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 22:39

A brief reminder of some of what Mike Hailwood achieved:

Hailwood first raced on 22 April 1957, at Oulton Park. Barely 17, he finished in 11th place, but was soon posting successful results. In 1958, he teamed with Dan Shorey to win the Thruxton 500 endurance race. By 1961, Hailwood was racing for an up and coming Japanese factory named Honda. Riding a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250 cc Honda, Hailwood won the 1961 250cc world championship. In 1962, Hailwood signed with MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships. After his success with MV Agusta, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in the 250 cc and 350 cc categories.
Mike Hailwood won the 1965 Hutchinson 100 Production race at the Silverstone racecourse on a BSA Lightning Clubman in heavy rain, beating the Triumph Racing Team's Bonnevilles. The 'Hutch' was the main production race of the season, so it was very important to manufactureres to establish the racing credentials of their latest range. Triumph Bonnevilles were ridden by World Champion Phil Read and ex works rider Percy Tait. BSA Lightning Clubmans were ridden by Hailwood (with a large number 1 on the fairing) and factory rider Tony Smith. Conditions were poor and Smith was out of the race at slippery Stowe Corner. With little regard for the rain, Hailwood was achieving laps of 83 mph (134 km/h) to establish his winning lead.
Hailwood is remembered for his accomplishments at the famed Isle of Man TT. By 1967, he had won 12 times on the island mountain course including three straight wins during the 1961 event, losing the fourth when his 350 AJS broke down with a broken gudgeon pin whilst leading. He won what many historians consider to be the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his great rival, Giacomo Agostini. In that race he set a lap record of 108.77 mph (175.05 km/h) on the infamous Honda 500-4, that stood for the next 8 years.
In 1968, Honda pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but paid Hailwood £50,000 (equivalent to over £620,000 or US$1.1m at 2006 prices) not to ride for another team, in expectation of keeping him as its rider upon return to competition. With no other factory racing teams available to compete against MV Agusta, Hailwood decided to pursue a career in auto racing.

Monza 1971 0.18 seconds short of F1 victory
Monza 1972 second place
Kyalami 1974 third place

1972 European Formula 2 champion

1969 24 Hours of LeMans third place (with David Hobbs)
1973 World Sportscar Championship Spa 1000 Km co-winner (with Derek Bell) (I saw it, I was there)

Hailwood was recognised for his valor when in the 1973 South African Grand Prix he went to pull Clay Regazzoni from his burning car after the two collided on the second lap of the race. Hailwood's driving suit caught fire, but after being extinguished by a fire marshall he returned to help rescue Regazzoni, an act for which he was awarded the George Medal, the 2nd highest gallantry award that a British civilian can be awarded. He left Formula One after being injured badly at the 1974 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

Thanks for getting my mind right, milestone 11 and W154. I changing my vote. Mike the Bike was the greatest racer ever.

True, Surtees was top class in F1 (WDC against Clark) and CanAm (Champion) and LeMans (3rd) and on the Nordschleife (World Sportscars: 1st, 3rd, 1st) (F1: 5th, 2nd, 1st, 1st, dnf, 2nd, 4th) and he did the Mountain (6 Isle of Man wins) and won 7 FIM titles. Also 1st in an F1 car of his own construction (Oulton Park 1970). Need I remind you that the 1966 Belgian GP which was run in the most testing of conditions at Spa-Francorchamps as shown in "Grand Prix" was won by John Surtees. Damn, this is really hard.

Of course the monsters Rossi has ridden are a breed apart from those old Hondas. A whole lot more happening in any given second. Hmm.

Edited by nordschleife, 08 November 2010 - 03:37.


#49 Speed_Racer

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 22:47

Schumacher >> Rossi+Loeb

#50 velgajski1

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Posted 07 November 2010 - 22:50

Rossi, altough the other two are also pretty good :)