Valentino Rossi has always been the biggest crowd drawer in MotoGP and lay claim as the greatest motorcycle rider of all time. In this series of articles, we analyze what would constitute his decision after the sixth race where he acknowledged to make one regarding his future in premiere class of racing.
Jerez was a circuit that many people assumed would give the Spanish trio of Marc Marquez, Dani Pedrosa and Jorge Lorenzo taking the rostrum and the podium finish. But a bright spot for the Italian fans of MotoGP saw their beloved rider, Valentino Rossi take an impressive second place.
For Valentino Rossi, the love for this track is undeniable. Six wins in the premiere class is a testament to how much he likes the technical layout of the track. He came to the track fully aware that the Spanish riders are going to exert every effort to get to the parc ferme and hear the adoration of the Spanish crowds who gathered for the race. But the Italian has other plans.
Valentino Rossi started strong right from the start, taking the lead for a couple of laps before reigning champion Marc Marquez stomped his authority on the premiere class. Rossi also managed a late charge from Dani Pedrosa, thwarting the Spaniard’s thrust and secure second place.
Rossi’s strong results will surely buoy his decision to continuing his career in MotoGP for a couple more seasons. His initial aim at the start of the season was to at least match the speed of his fellow factory rider, Jorge Lorenzo. This season has seen him not just matching but outpacing his Spanish teammate. A change in the direction with the chassis that Valentino has on his M1 has brought him back the confidence to brake later and enter the corner with better speeds.
Rossi’s body language after the race reveals a lot of confidence that he is back in his groove. Gone are the wry smile that covers his frustration for not getting the results he wants or thinks he is capable of. He is more positive in front of the camera, the media, and most of all, with his team. His belief is back that he can definitely challenge and should still be considered as among the elite riders in the premiere class of MotoGP.
Being able to challenge for podiums, matching the speed of Jorge Lorenzo and Dani Pedrosa, and to some degree, Marc Marquez – these are the challenges that would bring Rossi to a decision to continue his future in MotoGP. He is amazed at the level of talent that the young riders bring into the series, but he is undaunted, as he knows that he is getting back to peak performance, albeit slowly. At this stage of racing, we can definitely see Rossi signing that contract for a couple more years and redeem himself and prove to everyone that he is still a force to reckon with. Rating this decision would lean on 9/10.