MotoGP: Rossi Getting Overtaken

© Bruce Allen    July 17, 2019

Here are results for the four Yamaha riders since the championship returned to Europe:


The Petronas satellite riders, Quartararo and Morbidelli, are on used chasses fitted with new engines, and are more than capable of holding their own with the 2019 factory bikes. The Yamaha racing effort has been on an upswing since Assen, and now looks capable of competing again with Honda and Ducati. And Suzuki.

Testing coming up at Brno on the 2020 M1 prototype. Suppose for the sake of argument the new bike is a second quicker than the current one. Does Rossi still have what it takes, along with guys like Marquez and Lorenzo, Pol Espargaro, and Danilo Petrucci to wrestle these machines to where they obey you? Is there any reason to expect that the rest of the 2020 team won’t also be a second or so faster as well?  The point is, even if the new bike is great, it is not likely to propel him past all three of his brand-mates. Vinales and Quartararo appear to be the real deal, and the Frenchman is exactly half Rossi’s age. Even if you just add Marquez, Rins and Dovizioso to the mix, Rossi’s still fighting for, what? Sixth?

Rossi must find the idea of fulfilling his 2020 contract to be irresistible. A victory lap for a hall-of-fame career. A bright future as a team owner and industry heavy. Perhaps, over the season, a moment or two of heroic riding, moments that remind us of when he was the New Kid in Town, the Fastest Gun in the West, The Doctor., when such moments were routine, and the bells of Tavullia were ringing seemingly every summer Sunday afternoon.


There will never be another like him.

The Rossi Era has given way to the Marquez Era which, as far off as it seems today, will give way to the Next Era which, once Marquez has finally surrendered the top spot, might be subject to a variety of champions over the following period of years, featuring names like Quartararo, Rins, Mir and a handful of Italian graduates from the VR46 riders academy on Rossi’s ranch.

At the risk of tempting fate and earning the ire of the many Rossi worshipers still out there, I think he’s already won his last MotoGP race, at Assen in 2017. The Brno test that has everyone on edge probably won’t mean much for Rossi in 2020. And so it goes. Fabio Quartararo, against all odds, may be The New Kid in Town. Eagles 1976

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12 Responses to “MotoGP: Rossi Getting Overtaken”

  1. Michael H Coleman Says:

    Hi Bruce, I would not be surprised if Rossi retires and Quartararo slides into the second seat on the Yamaha team. The Doctor has had a good run but his results of late are an indication that his candle has burnt down to the wick. Same with Jorge, he says adios and Alex Marquez takes his place on the Honda team.


    • Bruce Allen Says:

      I would be shocked if he retires, Lorenzo not so much. If Lorenzo keeps crashing upon his return, I think it’s over for him. At least in MotoGP.


      • Michael H Coleman Says:

        Bruce, I guess we will wait and see. He just might have a surprise in store for us. Either way it will be very good.


  2. Starmag Says:

    They’ll say he’ll be back

    Just wait and see

    don’t hold your breath

    or bluish you’ll be

    He’s still the Goat

    at least for a while

    but there is one rising

    a pissant with style

    It’s been a long run

    for the hero in yellow

    the parade has moved on

    Once Doctor now fellow

    Clunky, I know, but I’m not going to spend more than a couple minutes on a throw-away.

    Good one Bruce, but this is the second take-down of an Old MO favorite in as many tries. He’s one of your few commentors. I like your devil-may-care, chips fall where they may, freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose cut of your gib though, I must say.


  3. Bruce Allen Says:

    See, I didn’t mean for this to be any kind of take-down. I’ve always admired Rossi, excluding the two years he traded his soul for filthy lucre and a Desmosedici. My only point was that his time is rapidly approaching. I’d like to think he wouldn’t milk Yamaha for another 10 million euros and a real chance to win races on what has become the #2 Yamaha factory bike for the sake of a victory tour.


  4. Dale Mensch Says:

    Maybe Yamaha can start paying Rossi out of the advertising budget instead of the racing budget. Money for value


  5. Bruce Allen Says:

    Good one.


  6. Sapa Lobo Says:

    If Fabio get the M1 together Rossi can race it. Not for a championship, but for a win. I would like to see him win a couple more, fingers crossed.


    • Starmag Says:

      The “Greatest Of All Time” has to wait for a rookie to improve the M1? There’s your problem.

      Rossi once told Gibernau that he’d never win another race. Will it be karma for Rossi now? Time will tell.


  7. Mark Says:

    I agree Fabio may be the new kid in town. And I would love to see him smack Marquez around. But I would not write off The Old Man just yet for another win. He’s had many, and as we know, aging is a gradual slope. Given the variability in racing I would say we haven’t seen the last of the Doctor on the top step.


  8. Old MOron Says:

    Oh Bruce, you’ve been erroneously predicting Rossi’s retirement for a long time. Someday you’ll be right, of course, but you be like the broken clock that’s right twice a day.

    In the meantime, the numbers say that Rossi is still fast. And he says he’s not thinking about retirement.


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