Keeping Track #43: Age hasn’t wearied Rossi, says Doohan

RossiAssen15podiumAustralia’s five-time 500cc world champion Mick Doohan says the Pramac Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix shapes as a crucial race in the three-way fight for this year’s MotoGP title.

Yamaha teammates Jorge Lorenzo and Valentino Rossi came into last weekend’s British Grand Prix at Silverstone tied for the championship lead, while reigning world champion Marc Marquez (Honda) has been the form rider of the championship since reverting to the 2014 chassis he used to win the first 10 races last year.

Phillip Island will host the third-last round of the 2015 season on October 16-18, with Rossi the defending race-winner.

Speaking to the ‘Keeping Track’ podcast, Doohan said he has been impressed by the 36-year-old Rossi’s bounce-back season. In his 20th world championship campaign, ‘The Doctor’ is well placed to win his first premier-class title since 2009.

“Age generally isn’t the issue,” Doohan said.

“Physically he’s in great shape … and a more calculated approach to racing has put Valentino in the position he’s in this year. There’s no reason why he can’t end up on top this season.”

Doohan said Marquez’s fearsome speed since a spate of early-season crashes means the 22-year-old Spaniard can’t be ruled out of the title fight.

“He’s got to win every race essentially, (but) you wouldn’t put that past him,” Doohan said.

“It’s getting harder as each race goes by, but that won’t stop him trying, and mathematically it’s still possible.”

Doohan also spoke about Jack Miller’s maiden MotoGP season for Honda, and why an up-and-down rookie campaign could be the making of the 20-year-old Australian as he enters the second year of a three-year deal next season.

Listen here – and leave your feedback.

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