"Valentino doesn't look like Rossi"

The Italian has signed his least competitive first half of the year at the World Cup. "It's painful to see him so late," says Schwantz.


One must go when they can still miss him and Valentino Rossi may be too late to say goodbye. Little by little the figure of The Doctor is being eclipsed by the charisma of the young promises who aspire to become history as the nine-time champion did at the time, but that does not exempt him from his share of responsibility. Not because he is not competing with everything he has, but because currently, even his best version is not at the level of a rider who has been the great star of the World Championship. And that is not enough to be able to survive forever in a championship, where he achieved his last victory five seasons ago (Assen 2017). The figures say that the Italian, after more than half his life in the competition, has completed his less competitive first half of the season, and there are champions who do not even recognize him on the asphalt.

"Valentino does not look like Rossi", assured a Schwantz who, after witnessing the performances of the Petronas driver in the first nine races of the season, describes it as "painful to see him so late". The harsh reality is that a driver who has fought for it all has a 10th place finish at Mugello as the best result on his locker. Nineteenth overall, with only 17 points on the scoreboard, the Italian is far from what was expected of a champion, despite the fact that when his signing was announced by the satellite team they covered their backs ensuring that he was arriving to continue helping in the development of an M1 with which he lived his most glorious moments in the World Cup. But even now he is not able to understand a mount that became an extension of his body.

Despite the fact that he is still looking for a way to put an end to a losing streak that is not even close to the results he signed in his debut year in the 500cc back in 2000, where he went on vacation with three podiums and closed the year As runner-up in the category, Valentino still has work piling up with rear tire performance. Within Yamaha, only Quartararo is being able to make that compound work, and the mere fact that a rider who is completing his third course at the highest level has that capacity, only adds more pressure to a rider who has exactly the right the same features in its mount.

The question is no longer about talent, because Rossi's is indisputable, but about an evolution that seems to have come to an end with the Italian at the handlebars of the machine. Only in 1996, when he debuted at the World Cup, did The Doctor not sign at least a top-5 in the first half. But in addition to the results, the reflexes also begin to fail as he has gone to the ground between the nine races contested, and he has only scored points in four tests counting the one in Mugello. Qatar, Le Mans and Sachsenring have been the other three scenarios where Valentino has been able to succeed, within his possibilities, in a personal fight where he is no longer even capable of fulfilling the maxim that kept him active: feeling competitive. That was the only condition that kept him on the asphalt but now, at 42 years old and after many joys, it seems that the time has come to be eternal. Because heroes come and go, but legends live forever.

Photos from as.com
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