Photo of the Week: Dark Horse, New Steed

02/13/2012 @ 12:15 pm, by Scott Jones5 COMMENTS

There are several MotoGP riders I count as dark horses to show their true colors in 2012, and Alvaro Bautista is one of them. Freed from the troubled Suzuki GSV-R and now on a Honda RC213V, Alvaro should have a more reliable package on which to show his stuff, and I expect to see him fighting for the “Best of the Rest” title.

Scott Jones is a professional photographer who covers MotoGP and WSBK for racing industry clients as well as racing websites and publications in the U.S. and Europe. His online archive is available at Photo.GP, and you can find him on his blogTwitter, & Facebook.

All images posted, shared, or sent for editorial use or review are registered for full copyright protection at the Library of Congress.

Photo: © 2011 Scott Jones / Scott Jones Photography – All Rights Reserved

  • jamesy

    I think thats probably a logical take on Bautista, Scott. But just for the sake of exploring the possibilities, what if it was THE BIKE that was coming good at the end? What if the machine only needed a top five rider to come into its zone?
    Clearly as a very small company (and one that had invested very heavily in the expansion of it’s auto/suv division at the worst possible time!) they were finding difficulty in funding their traditional racing efforts, yet in the hands of Alstare development team for example, Leon Haslam had a fine year and won races. So it was easy to predict that the talented Haslam would rock steady with all of BMW might behind him- and yet it didnt happen (to my surprise as well).
    Bottom line, I think sometimes we might tend to write off a brand (or call them great) when its the “package” that makes it- or not. That said, best of luck to Bautista but I wonder if Nicky, Dovi and Vale all share the sentiment after that fist turn hairball dive at Valencia…?
    And dont forget that the 800 was much more like the 250 he excelled on than the 1 litre bike will be, no?

  • AC

    I like Bautista a lot and it was a shame that Suzuki pulled out of MotoGP this year. They were often competing with the factory Ducatis last year. They left just as they were showing promise.

    Similar to what we talked about with their road bikes, they’re retreating when they should pull a Ducati and double-down.

    I think Bautista will do very well this year. He’s got the talent, I think he just the support. Nice dude personally as well.

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  • 76

    I think he’ll top Dovi with no problem, this season is going to be interesting though, Bradl is taking to the Honda quite well and he is a very cerebral rider who adapts quickly. I do think Hayden will have a better go this year and clog up the race for 3/4/5 alittle more than years past. The one thing I know is that if Stoner stays healthy, he is going to clean house, period. Everyone is going to be playing catchup with him. Pedrosa is going to have a tough year, and Spies is going to get into it with Lorenzo. The thing I like about that last statement is that Lorenzo does not have the head of Spies, he is much quicker to boil so there should be some drama to chat about in between races.

    I think the battles are going to be better this year for sure, just not for the win. Stoner has this group covered, Rossi could get his groove back and it still would not enough.

  • Beary

    Rossi could get his groove back, but I think also put him on a factory Honda, and it would still not be enough to beat Stoner. I’d love to see Bautista in and fighting for the top 5, but that top 5 is going to be very tough this year. I think there is no one that is going to be able to match it with Stoner week in, week out, season long.

    Really would like to see Spies step up and claim that 4th Alien title this year. Surely it no longer can be attributed to Rossi – thanks to the bikes that Ducati (can’t) make.