‘The Doctor’, Valentino Rossi, is without a doubt one of the world’s best motorcycle racers. At 37 years old, he has won 9 world championships, and only missed out on his tenth by 5 points, to teammate Jorge Lorenzo in the final round of last year’s MotoGP in Valencia.
Every year new and exciting talent is hitting the racetrack, but Rossi remains one of the top riders in the pack, finishing on the podium and putting in astonishing lap times to clinch pole positions. However, with his 2009 title win being his last, it is time to ask, can Rossi realistically win another championship?
Since his arrival in 2013 to the MotoGP Championship, Mark Marquez has dominated. For a while, it seemed like Rossi’s championship days were over.
“With 12 still to go, it seems that everything is up for grabs”
However, last year he proved everyone wrong, by coming a close second in the championship and this year he has already had two podiums and a win to kick-start his tenth championship bid.
He is currently in third place in the 2016 championship standings after 6 races, and, with 12 still to go, it seems that everything is up for grabs.
Rossi has had a bumpy season so far, with a race win in Jerez, two podium finishes (Argentina and Le Mans), a fourth place in Qatar and two non-finishes in America, and last weekend, in Italy.
However, with one of his non-finishes due to a mechanical failure, Rossi still has a strong chance of winning more races and climbing up the standings.
None of the main competitors has completed every race of the season, due to crashes and mechanical issues, which means that no one has pulled out a huge lead in the championship.
After last weekend’s win in Italy, Jorge Lorenzo is now almost 40 points ahead of Valentino in third. With a race win worth 25 points, it does mean that Rossi needs to build up some consistently good results to keep up with and overtake Lorenzo on top.
This season has also seen the likes of Maverick Viñales, Andrea Dovizioso, Eugene Laverty and Andrea Ianone mixing in with the top riders, and this could prove to be a huge advantage to The Doctor.
“Rossi, as one of the more experienced riders, tends to ride much better than the younger riders in the rain”
If these young riders keep intervening in the championship, it could mean more points for Rossi and fewer points for the likes of Marquez and Lorenzo in second and first place respectively. Of course, this all depends on the mechanical successes and failures of each team, and the weather conditions of each race.
Rossi, as one of the more experienced riders, tends to ride much better than the younger riders in the rain, as we saw in last year’s British GP at Silverstone where he won by more than 3 seconds. He may be hoping for more wet races to close in on Marquez and Lorenzo.
With MotoGP fans all over the world rooting for Rossi’s tenth World Championship win, this is shaping up to be an exhilarating season for all.
Images courtesy of it.anygator.com and somoslamoto.com