Originally Posted by Mike Yanagita
Pole in his second race on a satellite bike and second-rate Michelins might not be worth anything in terms of points, but like all the other aliens, Stoner established very clearly and early he was among the fastest. There was no such early potential shown by #58. Granted, in his second MotoGP season he was knocking on the door of podium finishes, but when you look at the first year of both Pedrosa and Lorenzo, there's no comparison. And the Gresini bike was the unofficial factory bike, not like Stoner's '06 satellite LCR.
Agreed there's no comparison, but I don't think anyone is trying to make that comparison. Nobody is saying he was right there with the aliens.
That said, just as its easy to look past a 8th place finish and highlight the good points of stoners rookie season, Simo definitely showed potential despite the official [premier class] record books, and that's my point. Friend or foe, pretty much everyone agreed that if he learned to control his style a little better, he could have grown into a real contender. Alien? No, but quite possibly a very close best-of-the-rest.
Then there's the personality...