actually, think where Rossi would be if he could still qualify well. I think he'd have AT LEAST one additional title to his name. his qualifying has been horrendous the last several years, and he spends valuable time making up ground and burning up his tires instead of running up at the front from the get go.
on another note for racer172, they didn't show up at Qatar, but it's only a matter of time:
the riders and the teams seem to think they make a difference. personally, I find it hard to believe... a motorcycle is so UN-aerodynamic to begin with, I can't see how such a small surface area could possibly help that much. that doesn't even get into the discussion of what happens when a rider changes body position? or the bike is leaned over?