Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Discussion and debate about the MotoGP class
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Corbekink
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Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by Corbekink »

So how about the ‘GOAT’? I honestly would love to hear how you guys feel about Valentino’s chances for next season. I grew up watching Vale since 1996, I collect his replica helmets and in short, I am a huge fan. So this is not in any way an attack on Valentino. Just so you know haha. But I really doubt the man still has it. I honestly just can’t see him fighting for the title anymore, and maybe even a rostrum finish for that matter. I’m sure every motogp fan would hate to see him leave, but there is no stopping the time. He’s getting old, his face looks tired. Even if he still has believe in his own capabilities, there are now other factors to consider.
One thing that has changed, is the weight of his opinions. Vale’s view on how to develop the bike for example and in which way the bike manufacturer should be going. Yamaha celebrated incredible successes with Vale, and I’m sure they feel loyal to him. But I don’t think he has the final say anymore when it comes to that. For reasons unknown to most of us fans, Vale seems to be struggling with grip much more than others. Why is that? One of Vale’s key qualities as a rider is that he has learned to adapt his riding style, which enabled him to have such an amazing career and be competitive for so long. Is he perhaps struggling to keep up, for the first time? What are his competitors doing differently? However the case, I just can’t see Yamaha changing the bike to Vale’s needs anymore, simply because he is no longer the future of the brand. Young guns like Quartararo, Vinales and Morbidelli will shape the coming Motogp years, that’s where Yamaha should put their investment. I would! Another thing that diminishes with time is reactiontime. It’s just a part of getting older. I wonder also how bad he still wants it. How motivated he still is. When you are winning, it’s easy to be motivated, but when you are constantly struggling, a mere shadow of your former self, it must surely wear you out. All the traveling, the interviews with the annoying questions about your poor results. I’m sure he still loves the actual racing, the speed. But I can also imagine the hunger for competition, the need to beat your rivals decreases. It’s a young man’s game. I would love love love to see him win just once more, I would be dancing in the living room. But honestly, it would surprise me if he even finishes the season.

But we dream and we can hope, for a miracle

kenup283
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by kenup283 »

He’ll be racing at Qatar in a couple weeks with the rest of them, and the rest of year for that matter. So no he’s not finished. :)

He was on the podium last year, and that’s with a serval tracks he’d podiums years before taken off the calendar. He’s still thereabouts and only way off the final standing last year from unusual retirements and missing races last year from catching Covid.

Look at the races he finished and he averaged points for 6.5 place finishes, do same for Vinales he’s avg 6th place points and Quart 5.5th place. They are all in rounding of each other hovering around 6th and that’s with Rossi not winning a race or leading the points championship during the season. Which shows you the utter free fall those other two had.

Morbidelli is where Yamahas future is at, and guess who is behind the scenes there working with him. He’s saying all the right things, had the right attitude and working with his crew in the right way.

In contrast Vinales and Qaurt either spew venom or spit hot and cold and at least in case of Vinales does not work well with team and for Qaurt can find himself chasing setup than going along with his team in better way. If I were Yamaha I wouldn’t let either one of them near the directional development of anything with a 10 foot pole.

So this all leaves us with Rossi who is still quick enough to be on the grid in the ride he has, and who has the reigns on what looks to be the future batch of riders coming out of his academy. From a development standpoint he’ll not only have more influence on track but also off it at this rate.

Corporate Yamaha didn’t spend a record long period of time working out the details of a contract to keep him racing with them for nothing.

motor
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by motor »

Rant:

I personally feel that wins are unlikely at his age, but IMHO he might have fared a bit better towards the end of his career - at least it would have been a bit less rocky - had he retained the services of Burgess.

I mean, one can understand why Rossi thought he needed a 'change', but JB was a calming influence on that group and never allowed knee-jerk reactions. More critically, he was Rossi's senior and had the authority to enforce a stable path whenever someone had a bright idea to test out unexplored configurations etc. Sure enough, JB can appear as someone constantly saying no to new/wild suggestions but he ensured that they never lost their way.

An example would be the time period when JB took some time off (his wife's illness) during Ducati days. I think Laguna Seca happened then. Sure enough, Rossi and team grabbed the chance and completely turned the bike upside down, trying a setup which they had never tried before. And sure enough, absolutely nothing came out it other than wasted time.

During JB's absence, someone reported Rossi coming into the pits and saying "I have no grip, let's lengthen the bike" or something like that, and the crew immediately set out to do just that. Burgess would have said something like "Ok wait, sit down, let's study and understand the problem before making any changes".

I don't mean to say that JB was always right - he was famously wrong when he was against Rossi's decision to switch to Bridgestones.

Looking at all those years when JB was around, they always started a season in a shaky manner - even 2004, despite Rossi winning the first race, which according to him was just an inspired weekend but the bike was still far from perfect. But Burgess's style ensured that they steadily developed the bike throughout the season and Rossi always finished strong. Once Burgess left, every year the graph reversed with Rossi starting out okay or even good, but deteriorating towards the end of the season. Case in point would be 2015 - a remarkable start to the season, but off the pace, especially in the final laps, towards the end of the season. Getting mugged by AI at PI, Pedrosa at Aragon, suffering at Sepang, and not particularly on the pace at Valencia.

My memory is fucked, but didn't they switch to the carbon fibre swingarm and new exhaust right during a race weekend? Sure enough they had conflicting results and ended up taking them off after a few races. Burgess wouldn't allow new parts or test drastic changes unless it's a test day...

All this said, Burgess used to over-simplify problems IMHO. Especially with his attitude towards electronics and computers and the disinclination to worry about details. I remember JB saying that Laguna Seca is a 'shitty little track' for which it is impossible to setup a bike, one can do only so much, and rest is up to the rider. This might have held true once, but with modern computing resources one can imagine Rossi seeing the other teams grind away at the details - without losing their way thanks to the technology available by then.

Despite the negative points, on balance, Rossi might have ended up gaining had JB been around...
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Decker
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by Decker »

Is Trump still the president?

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by Mikesbytes »

Rossi and JB went to Ducati with the attitude that fixing the bike would be easy. During those 2 years Ducati made massive changes to the bike but hadn't found the solution before they departed to Yamaha. What they did do was set the path for the modern Ducati, they had switched from a frame that used the engine as a stressed member to a frame that didn't, they had rotated the engine so to move where the weight was. After their Departure Ducati built a new engine for the GP14 which was designed for the position that Rossi/JB got them to do, however the GP14 added counter rotation of the crank so it was a significant leap forward in itself.

As we know it took several years for Ducati to refine their bike to a point where they were championship contenders so Rossi was right in returning to Yamaha as without Yamaha there wasn't a chance of winning the world championship. I recall saying that Rossi was past it at Yamaha and then he proved me wrong by almost winning the world championship. At this point however his massive skills and experiences doesn't out weigh his age. The only aged victory that comes to mind was the Aprilia test rider who won a 250cc race as a wildcard. There was another a mighty long time ago, before the 2 stroke era. I'll put my prediction of Rossi getting 2 to 3 podiums this year.
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kenup283
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by kenup283 »

motor wrote:
Sat Mar 13, 2021 5:41 am
I personally feel that wins are unlikely at his age, but IMHO he might have fared a bit better towards the end of his career - at least it would have been a bit less rocky - had he retained the services of Burgess.
Just last season he was fighting for the win at Catalunya and crashed out of 2nd place. A win here or there is still reasonable for 2021.

Going back to Burgess if you look at Rossi’s results they immediately and greatly improved after the switch. Maybe he liked speaking in Italian or maybe just needed a change to get over a bad breakup. I don’t like the way it went down but whatever it did for his motivation or otherwise he finish 2nd in championship 3 years on the trot immediately afterwards. 2014 ahead of teammate Lorenzo, 2015 ahead of Marquez, and 2016 ahead of Lorenzo again before he tucked tail to Ducati.

The mistake then occurred in 2017 where Rossi colluded to use the riders safety commission to change the spec front tire to one that felt better to him. The downside was it went better on bikes like Ducatis and Honda and was not good for Yamaha.

Now the new rear most recently brought things back the Yamaha and Suzuki way, and since is staying same thru 2021 it is good for Rossi to stick around now as the pendulum swings back and gets held there for another year due to Covid. Come 2022 when new front that would have come this year gets introduced it will likely swing things back towards Ducati / Honda again and we’ll prob see Rossi hang it up after a year or so of that.

In meantime we see another interesting crew chief move from Rossi last year switching again and bringing in one of his own guys from his VR46 Moto2 team to MotoGP. It’s a clever move to be able to use his position to build up experience for younger people from his own teams which will come in handy later.

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MiniNinjaMk5
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by MiniNinjaMk5 »

I've been reading through the results from last year in the Motocourse book and his year wasn't as bad as I thought. He had that awful spell in the middle of the year with DNFs and then covid, but his first half of the year was pretty good following the podium.

I think, simply, if you can podium or near to it in MotoGP then you absolutely deserve to be there. I wonder if the change to the Petronas team will give him some fresh impetus, he is riding with one of his closest friends in Morbidelli, and away from the factory team he will be free to just ride without having to do testing for the bike. If we have another tumultuous year I think every chance he could challenge for podiums again.

Actually the worst thing of last year for him was the accident at Austria 1, where he came within inches of losing his life. I honestly thought at that point he would take the message and retire with all of my faculties intact, but then I'm not a seven-time GP champion :)

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Mikesbytes
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Re: Is Valentino Rossi finished?

Post by Mikesbytes »

In 2010 Rossi broke his leg and had 4 races off, he finished 3rd in the world championship. 2020 he missed 2 races but had 5 retirements meaning he scored in only 50% of the races and finished 15th. Even with this information its hard to compare, it should be pointed out that his team mate won the championship in 2010 blitzing the entire field where in 2020 his team mate came 6th, so it would appear (but not conclusive) that the performance of the bike was also a factor in the races he did finish.

My conclusion is that whether he has worsened or not, the bigger challenge is in how MotoGP has changed.
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