Certain things get better with age – a bottle of whiskey, a glass of wine and, apparently, Valentino Rossi. Age has not halted the 36-year-old legend from performing at his best and that is exactly the level to which he has been racing at this season. The nine-time MotoGP World Champion has taken the fight to the young guns of the sport and coming out ahead in almost every battle. His fight with Marc Marquez in Assen was purely astounding and gut-wrenching, with a dramatic last-turn, corner-cutting pass for the victory. Even battling with his former rival Jorge Lorenzo has been exciting to see.
During his time at Ducati from 2010-12, a lot of critics thought his days of winning were over, that the underpowered and hard-to-maneuver Desmosedici GP12 had ended Rossi’s career. However, upon his return to Yamaha, we were proven wrong. From winning his first race since 2010 in Assen during the 2013 season to doubling those victories in 2014 with wins in San Marino and Phillip Island, it was only a matter of time before “The Doctor” would surgically maneuver his way to title contention once again.
He has already matched the amount of wins in his previous two seasons (three) and is maintaining his championship points lead over by 10 points over Lorenzo, but can’t let up as the young guns of the sport are always looking to dethrone the legend. With Marquez and fellow Italian Andrea Iannone still in title contention, Rossi can’t relax for the rest of the season. He has said “fighting with these kids gives me an extra motivation” and will need to hold on to that motivation in order to clinch his 10th World Championship.
MotoGP heads to the Sachsenring this weekend, where Rossi has five wins including a remarkable 11th-to-first ride in 2006. Following the German Grand Prix, the series ventures into their summer break and then the Red Bull Indianapolis GP, Aug. 7-9. It is to be determined Sunday whether or not Rossi will be first in the championship standings coming to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but what is certain is that we are in for quite a ride with “The Doctor” over the rest of the season.